How to inspire your team to be advocates on LinkedIn

Brand champions are like bees — they spread the word about your brand to the people in their network that matter, like bees pollinate flowers in a garden. They are an essential ingredient to business success because creating trust and brand advocacy starts from within. How can we expect customers to buy into a brand if the brand’s own colleagues don’t advocate its products/services?

Consumers trust people more than brands. In fact, 88% of people trust recommendations from people they know over any other channel so getting your employees to advocate for your brand is more important than ever. But how do you do that?

One solution is leveraging the power of a colleague’s personal LinkedIn page. On LinkedIn, colleagues can speak positively about their company, which not only magnifies the brand’s presence to potential customers but can enhance the company’s reputation as an employer of choice. However, it’s important brands tread carefully when engaging their employees, so it is done in a meaningful and authentic way. Otherwise, the long-term benefits of awareness, follower growth and traffic to website (to name a few) won’t be visible.

Read on to hear from the spottydog pack and their top tips for inspiring colleagues to become brand champions on LinkedIn…

1) Lead by example, says Rachel Carroll

Social media advocacy has a better chance of success if it’s supported by senior members of a company. This is because those in senior positions are often viewed

as role models by other colleagues; so, if they set the expectation of what ‘good’ looks like on LinkedIn, this will encourage employees to follow suit.

What’s more, colleagues who aren’t avid LinkedIn users may lack confidence in how to use LinkedIn so if leaders ‘walk the walk’ and demonstrate best practice examples of how to be a champion on the platform, this will help colleagues feel empowered.

Let’s take our very own Co-CEO of Leopard Co, Anthony Tattum, as an example.

Anthony has over 5,500 followers on LinkedIn and receives high engagement on his posts, which helps solidify his position as an expert in advertising.

Most of his content amplifies our sister agency’s (Big Cat) blogs, which is a very simple but effective way of raising brand awareness. This is because, by commenting on the blogs, Anthony can highlight himself as a thought leader within his field while simultaneously showcasing Big Cat as a leading agency that is on top of industry trends — a win, win situation!

2) Use incentives, says Jack Press

Developing an employee advocacy programme that incentivises and recognises your employees’ LinkedIn activity is an effective, efficient method.

We review our SSI (social selling index) scores every month at Leopard Co (spottydog communications and Big Cat Agency) encouraging each other to improve them by becoming more active brand champions. Based on factors such as establishing a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships, your SSI score is an indicator of your ability at ‘Social Selling’ — the higher your score, the more successful you are at reaching your sales goals.

Active LinkedIn users gain 45% more sales opportunities, are 51% more likely to hit targets, and 80% more productive than those with lower scores, so it’s key to overall company success, too. Brands could incentivise employees to boost their SSI scores through recognition in meetings or rewarding the top ‘Social Seller’ of the month with a free lunch or gift card.

3) Appeal to their interests, says Bronia Hennessy

Whilst having employee advocacy on LinkedIn is great for building brand awareness and consumer trust, it’s important that this content feels authentic.

I’m sure we’ve all come across a connection on LinkedIn who repeatedly reposts their employer’s content without adding their own comments — or worse, shares a post which has obviously been supplied by their marketing team. In both instances, this content can appear forced and disingenuous. In fact, these failed attempts at employee advocacy can have the opposite effect, leaving their connections feeling skeptical of the sincerity of the posts, and of the organisation behind them.

To avoid this, companies should be appealing to the interests of their employees. If you want your employees to share how amazing your brand is, make sure that they really believe that it is! Whilst some employees care about the regularity of work socials and their annual leave allowance, others care about opportunities for professional development and contributing to your organisation’s core values. Organisations that have employee packages in place that actively benefit employees and appeal to their interests, whether professional or personal, are more likely to gain employee advocacy on LinkedIn.

For example, the pack at spottydog communications has access to training and networking opportunities through a membership with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Future Faces Chamber of Commerce so our pups regularly share their achievements and key takeaways on LinkedIn, boosting their role as experts within their field.

4) Offer appropriate training, says Miranda Lukangu

Assisting your employees in promoting your brand on social media can be paramount in optimising engagement on LinkedIn. However, it’s important to remember that employees may have varying levels of experience with some employees using social media in their everyday lives to others not having a social media presence at all and everything in between.

Therefore, some employees may require assistance in ensuring their LinkedIn profile is engaging which is why we’d recommend implementing training during a new starter’s onboarding. Not only will this help improve their confidence, but it will set the expectation that an active LinkedIn presence is important.

Some suggestions for key matters to be addressed in training sessions include how to perfect your profile, the optimum times to share content and how to become a thought leader on the channel.

If you’d like help in delivering measurable improvements in employee engagement, get in touch today.

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