Employees who are fully engaged in a business tend to work harder, deliver strong results, and have a high level of satisfaction and pride in their employer. When it comes to social media, these employees can be some of the most powerful, effective assets in strengthening and expanding a corporate social media strategy. Engaged employees are more likely to become brand ambassadors and employee advocates on their personal social media platforms. This, in turn, helps businesses to generate new leads and new customers, as well as enhance how the public perceives and interfaces with the company.

But what does it take to foster employee engagement in a way that can complement and enhance corporate social media strategy? The keys to success are multi-faceted and require a long-term commitment by the business, but they’re very much worth the investment. Here are the essential building blocks that your business should implement to enhance employee engagement and foster genuine employee advocacy:

  1. Align employee performance goals to your corporate goals. Every employee’s professional development goals should be aligned to big-picture goals of the business. An employee who is evaluated through the lens of how their work contributes to big-picture goals tends to be more motivated and engaged, because he or she is more likely to feel that the job done every day is making a difference. This, in turn, makes him or her more likely to discuss the employer in a positive light on social media.
  2. Make sure your company instills and reflects its values. Employees are more likely to become effective brand ambassadors for your business on social media when they reflect the values that your company stands for. Every business must work proactively to instill these values in its employees, and to reflect the values in the way it conducts its business. Employees will only live by your business’s values if they seem genuine and pervasive within your company culture.
  3. Get employees more involved in higher-level decisions: Employees who are invited to participate in important business decisions and provide input on the direction of a business are more likely to feel engaged and empowered. And when employees feel engaged and empowered, they are more likely to discuss in a positive light the directions that their employer is taking on social media.
  4. Cultivate thought leadership: When your business takes the time to help its most talented employees become thought leaders on social media, you’re sending a clear message to employees that their skills and experiences are valued – and you’re also effectively creating a sense of pride among all employees. All employees love to see “one of their own” being asked to write about the company in a positive light as a thought leader. As this content makes its way across social media, it engenders pride and engagement among the rank and file. After all, what employee wouldn’t want to share and retweet a piece of content from a thought leader who is also a peer?

EveryoneSocial offers the leading social media sharing platform in the industry. We analyzed social media data to understand how much of a difference employee advocacy can make for a business’s bottom line when organized around an automated social media platform. We found that a company with an employee base of 1,250 can create $1.2 million in earned media advertising value and as much as $1.9 million in additional sales. If your business is interested in growth potential like this, the formula for genuine employee advocacy boils down to this: Align employee and employer goals, reflect and instill strong company values, involve employees in major decisions, and cultivate thought leadership.