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Why Embrace Employee Advocacy? Genuine (Not Promotional) Content Wins

Last week Mashable reported that Facebook is cracking down on promotional material posing as status facebookupdates. The things Facebook is rejecting speak to the very reasons some employees tend to fear the invitations and requests of their organizations to put up posts about workplace topics on their social media feeds.

The following are the three kinds of content Facebook finds objectionable, according to Mashable’s report:
  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

In short, the kinds of material virtually no one is interested in seeing in their news feed (and in fact many subscribers consider highly objectionable) and employees are generally embarrassed to post on behalf of their companies. They become paid shills to put overt advertising in front of their friends.

Facebook has long encouraged business posters to create engaging and interesting content—perhaps with a call to action that is directly apparent—but this is the first time the company has taken steps to enforce this behavior in its admissible materials rules.

What this means to organizations is two things: 1) The Golden Rule of content still holds—write material that is interesting and welcome to your prospective readers and provides them with a clear value-add, and 2) Employee Advocacy, done properly, is a powerful strategy, as it provides legitimately interesting information that employees can feel proud and empowered to share. Not a guise to press employees to distribute the company’s “ads.”

The Facebook rules are intended to protect the user experience within Facebook. And strong Employee Advocacy is a way to provide employees with worthwhile content that is worthy of sharing. Everyone wins.

In the case of EveryoneSocial, as reported by CEO Eric Roach in Forbes.com, the company’s research shows that a strong employee advocacy platform can produce the following outcomes, with a base of 1,250 employees:

  • Increased brand reach of 1.1 million individuals for content shared,
  • An annual increase of 25 million authentic impressions,
  • A savings of $515,000 in recruiting expenses.
  • $1.2 million in earned media advertising value, and
  • A 19% increase in revenue growth.

This level of results is only possible with an easy to use sharing platform in place that provides the participating employees (and other brand advocates) with strong and consistently interesting and useful content, and the employees have a way to use the platform that leaves their personal willingness and desires to share firmly in place.

The choice of platform is vital: In another data tidbit, EveryoneSocial notes that good content is shared 38% more often when there’s a strong platform in place for sharing, versus simply sending an email that says “Here’s some great content; please share” (even when the email includes automated buttons to make the sharing easy to do). Imagine the difference great content and a great means of sharing could make to your own company’s revenue?

And this is true in addition to the fact that where Facebook’s concerned, sharing interesting value-add content in status updates (as opposed to blatant ads) is now becoming the rule.

Are you ready to take advantage of the new marketing opportunities available to you? If you’d like to schedule a demo and discuss ideas for your own advocacy program, drop EveryoneSocial a note or give us a call. We’ll help to design an approach to social media amplification and employee advocacy uniquely for you.

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