How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program

social media how toWant your
employees to share curated on-brand content with their own social
audiences? Wondering how to measure the impact of those shares
across multiple social media platforms?

In this article, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn Elevate to
manage and measure the impact of an employee advocacy campaign for
your business.

How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program by Karlyn Williams on Social Media Examiner.How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an
Employee Advocacy Program by Karlyn Williams on Social Media
Examiner. What Are the Benefits of Employee Advocacy for Your
Business?

Employee advocacy is when you engage your employees to
be ambassadors
to grow your company’s reach, generate
more prospects, and convert them into paying clients without
spending excess advertising dollars.

Let’s look at a few reasons why employee advocacy works,
according to LinkedIn:

  • Content shared by employees has double the engagement
    than when shared by a company
    . People want to interact
    with other people, not a faceless brand. So let employees be that
    face (if they want to be). Let them share in and contribute to the
    online voice of the brand.
  • Salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more
    likely to exceed quota
    . They’re the employees who are
    building the initial rapport with prospects. They’re the ones who
    want to be the experts in their fields so they can showcase their
    knowledge and position themselves for the sale. Assisting them in
    sharing safe and on-brand content would be a smart idea,
    right?

By positioning employees as advocates, you’re also giving them
the freedom to create a personal brand.
personal
brand
 is when you, as an individual, actively market yourself
as an expert in your industry or chosen field. In today’s digital
age, personal brands are becoming the vehicle by which larger
brands are being seen.

National
Geographic
is one of the most authentic brands when it comes to
employee transparency. The photographers who snap the amazing
photos run their main Instagram. This means their employees out in
the field are creating the content and the copy that goes with it.
Here, Christina Mittermeier shares one of her photos for National
Geographic and links to the magazine’s Instagram:

example of social media post shared by employee/advocate

Employee advocacy is the employee equivalent to
influencer marketing
. It’s a win for your employees because
they get to show their expertise online and it’s a win for your
company because you get more exposure to different audiences.

How to Manage Your Program

Many companies haven’t adopted a social media employee
advocacy program for a few reasons:

  • They don’t understand the tools that will be used to
    implement the plan.
  • They don’t trust their employees to be their frontmen and
    -women.
  • They’re scared of what employees might say about their
    company online that could damage their reputation. (Hint: Employees
    are already talking about you, so don’t you want to give them
    something relevant to say?)
  • They can’t get their employees engaged.
  • They don’t have someone to run the program to ensure its
    success.

LinkedIn Elevate Trending in Industry list

What can assist with some of these objections, and make the plan
simple and effective to implement is having a tool that manages it
all for you. Enter LinkedIn Elevate.

To give you a jump start, this tool will quickly
identify your most active employees on the
platform
. These employees are the ones you want to get on
board first and maybe even have them take ownership of some
of the program’s implementation
. Elevate also will
suggest trending content based on relevant topics
you’ve selected, and help ensure you engage key employee
audiences and customers.

Just like anything that makes marketers’ lives easier,
there’s a price tag involved. It varies based on the size of your
business and number of participants; you’ll have to contact LinkedIn
directly
to get a price breakdown. Now let’s look at how to
set up an employee advocacy program with LinkedIn Elevate.

#1: Plan Your Employee Advocacy Program

Crafting a plan for your employee advocacy program gives you
clarity before making the case to leadership. Ask yourself,
“What’s the main objective for our program?” Here are a few
to consider:

  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Attract top talent.
  • Amplify your brand story to new audiences.
  • Further position your leadership insights.
  • Develop relationships among employees and customers.

The list could go on, but narrow it down to one or two
main objectives
. It’s important to note you should
choose objectives that relate to your business’s primary
audience
.

Also decide what types of content you want to make your
employees aware of to share with you and other employees

(yes, it’s a two-way street):

  • Curated content (sources outside your company website)
  • Company-only content (sources like your blog, press releases,
    recent company news)

Whatever content mix you decide, it’s important that there’s
consistency with relevant categories/topics.

Set Up a Simple Employee Advocacy Program

If you don’t want to use a tool like Elevate to manage your
advocacy program, you can simply create a daily or weekly
email to send to your top social media employee
influencers
. This email can include content that’s
curated or owned (from your company’s blog/website).

To make it quick to consume, include the headlines,
short descriptions, and the native link to the complete
article
. Also include share buttons linking to
appropriate social channels
. Adding these share buttons
makes it easy for your influencers to share and you can pre-fill
copy for the articles if you want.

#2: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Push Approved Content to Employee
Advocates

Now that you’ve developed your plan, you’re ready to
set
up your LinkedIn Elevate account
. Once it’s up and running,
click Sources in the top navigation bar to
pull up the pre-populated content from Elevate
based on the Trending in Industry list in the left column.

LinkedIn Elevate dashboard interface

Click the Broadcast button
to the right of any articles you want to share.
Employees will see content you (or your admin) have published
and/or scheduled on the main Elevate dashboard. Each piece of
content is labeled with the appropriate topic, helping employees
select content that most interests them.

LinkedIn Elevate top recommendation with Broadcast button

Employees can also recommend content to you to be broadcast on
the company’s Elevate feed. You may want to set your own
parameters for what fits within the content topics that are
relevant for your company and industry.

To see what employee participants want to
share
, toggle over to Employee
Suggestions
. You have the option to broadcast
right from this window
.

employee suggestions in LinkedIn Elevate

#3: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Measure the Impact of Employee Advocacy
Across Platforms

LinkedIn Elevate offers metrics to highlight employees’ shares
and how they’re driving key business metrics. That’s why you
want to have your goals written down before implementing the
program so you can properly measure success.

Some key analytics collected through Elevate include:

  • Trends (number of broadcasts, shares, total reach, and
    engagement)
  • Reach, engagement, and earned media value (Elevate integrates
    with Facebook and Twitter, so it captures the data from each
    platform)
  • Audiences engaged (based on industries, professionals, and
    companies)
  • Employee share rates (by topics)
  • Top sharers (participants in Elevate who are sharing the most
    content)
  • Top broadcasts (the pieces of content that performed the
    best)

Explore the LinkedIn Elevate Dashboard

To access your analytics data, click on
Analytics
from the top navigation. You will see a
dashboard with a snapshot of trends
.

LinkedIn Elevate analytics trends, reach, engagement, earned media value

Scroll down to view reach and engagement data, earned
media down to the cent, the most engaging topics, and the top
employees sharing and suggesting content
.

LinkedIn Elevate analytics audiences engaged, employee share rate, top sharers

Examine the Leaderboard

To dig deeper into these metrics, toggle over to the
Leaderboard tab
. On the leaderboard, view which
employees are your best ambassadors
based on how much they
share. You can also see what topics interest them
most so you can continue to provide topic-rich
content for them to share. This measurement will be useful if you
put together a rewards system for the top sharers of the month.

LinkedIn Elevate Leaderboard filters

Also notice the drop-down menus on the right that allow you to
filter the data further. You can select
the type of analytics category, the timeframe, and
topics
.

Get Broadcast Insights

Next up is the Broadcasts tab. This data is similar to the Posts
Insights that many of us are familiar with on Facebook. From the
drop-down menus at the top, select the topics for which you
want to see metrics, the curators who shared those broadcasts, and
the groups most active when broadcasting
.

LinkedIn Elevate Broadcasts tab filters

Groups are how you segment employees within your Elevate
community. Are they part of the sales team, marketing team, or
C-suite? And as always, you can change the timeframe for a
different look at the data presented.

View Stats for a Specific Share

Of course, you can always take a deeper dive into specific
posts. Click on a headline to open a new window
where you can see the trends of the broadcast and the
reach, engagement, and earned media
.

LinkedIn Elevate metrics for broadcast

You can also view the top sharers of the content and
where they shared it
.

LinkedIn Elevate metrics for broadcast

Run a Report

The last feature I want to point out within the metrics is the
Reports function. My business primarily uses it for downloading
“seats” reports, which means it runs the numbers of all
employee groups and pulls out the top sharers, and lets us check in
on how many employees exist within each segmented group.

To run a report, toggle over to the Reports
tab
. From the drop-down menu, select the type of
report you’d like to run
.

types of LinkedIn Elevate reports

It takes a few minutes to run a report. Once the data is
scraped, you’ll see the option to download the
report
from the page. All reports are in Excel format.

Download links for LinkedIn Elevate reports

Sometimes it’s nice to have monthly reports outside of the
platform to give you a broader overview of where your employees are
with their engagement with the platform. This analytics data is
essentially for social proof, and to see how many of your employees
are engaging with your online advocacy program and how many
aren’t.

Other Tools Similar to LinkedIn Elevate

Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use the
following tools, here are my takeaways from walking through demos
with a representative:

  • Hootsuite
    Amplify
    : Many social media managers and employees who create
    content for companies are familiar with Hootsuite. What you may not
    know, though, is that the Enterprise version (pricing varies by
    organization) offers an employee advocacy feature. A positive for
    some businesses is the adaptability because you don’t have to
    open another tool or learn another system.
  • GaggleAMP: This tool
    caters to the medium-sized business crowd. Pricing is based on the
    size of your company and your needs. If you have 10 employees or
    fewer, you can get started for $200/month, which includes
    onboarding and support.
  • EveryoneSocial: This
    is a more robust yet user-friendly tool. This platform is geared
    toward businesses with 200+ employees. Plans start at
    $1,500/month.

Conclusion

I love it when organizations use a tool in a creative way that
benefits their audiences but doesn’t align with how the tool was
originally meant to be used. For example, organizations like
American Public University
System
, an online university, are leveraging LinkedIn Elevate
to engage not only staff in the main office but also faculty and
alumni—a fun and relevant influencer program.

“Organizations should think of advocacy programs as more than
an employee-only focus. As a higher education institution, we have
an incredible community of faculty, students, and alumni with
expertise in so many fields with wide-reaching networks,” said
Madeline Kronfeld, Marketing Director, American Public University
System.

She went on to say, “By extending our advocacy program beyond
staff, we’ve been able to reach people in industries from intel
to health sciences and share relevant information from our own
subject matter experts.”

Just like any type of social media, blog, or video episodic
program, you have to stay consistent with cadence and relevance of
content for employees to begin to adopt it and stick with it. In
addition, you need either a dedicated staff member to run the
social employee advocacy program or recruit a small team internally
to kick off the program and decide later, based on social proof, if
it’s worth bringing on a dedicated employee to run the
initiative.

All in all, your employees can and should be your company’s
greatest asset. The question is: Are you leveraging them as willing
participants to become the driving force behind organically
building your social media presence?

What do you think? Do you have an employee advocacy
program for your business? Will you consider using Elevate to help
manage it?
Please share your thoughts in the comments
below.

More articles about LinkedIn marketing:

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