I feel sorry for so many employees that have had to take part in "employee advocacy". I also feel sorry for the friends and family of those employees that have been forced to endure all this corporate spam
Should companies really "force" employees to push corporate content through their social profiles? This isn't something to celebrate, this is something to be ashamed of!
I've likened "Employee advocacy" to flared trousers. People thought flares were fashionable, but quickly people realised it was shit and now nobody admits to wearing them. Same with Martech, all that investment in "interruption" technology, treating prospects like data, rather than human beings. Martech will soon be forgotten and in fact swept under the carpet as people move to modern permission based marketing.
Let's take a step back. We all know that social media has changed the world. Never in the history of the world has world leaders been able to talk direct to the world as they can on Twitter. No longer do they need to talk through journalists. In fact, in theory you can talk back to them as well. You may not like this world, but the "horse has bolted".
Check out this research from Hootsuite and We are Social Media https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2019-q4-global-digital-statshot shows there are 3.75 Billion people in the world active on social media. From a B2B Enterprise prospective, that is pretty much everybody you are going to need to sell to.
Accenture research shows that we are spending 6.4 hours a day on the internet, which if we take out the time we are asleep, we are now spending half our lives on the internet. Let me write that again. Your prospects, your employees, your customers, your future employees are all on social!
The problem is this that the old ways of marketing, advertising, cold calling and email just don't work anymore. It was all very well back in 1930, you could interrupt people. The average person gets hit with 1,000 messages day, so how do you make yours stand out?
You can have the best photography in the world, the best images in the world and the best copy in the world ..... and you are just yet another sales person or just another marketer with a message that I don't want to hear.
Which is why there is a whole industry grown up to block those messages. It could be ad-blockers, it could be rules in email software or it could be iOS13 standard functionality.
So what have marketers decided to do?
Let's take that content that nobody wants to read and stuff it out through people's social media feeds. Really? Is this the best that sales and marketing can do in 2020?
Even if companies spam out content, did anybody actually read it? I remember talking to a person who managed an employee advocacy program, they were being measured on the number of people that signed up to it internally. When I point out in her reports that there had been not one reshare of the corporate content, she didn't understand what I meant.
Let's go back to social media.
How about, if we didn't stuff social media channels, but we actually empowered our employees to be on social media? Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, in fact all of our employees.
We activated them so they had a personal brand, we taught them how to grow their network. Not contacts but a network. And we taught them how to create content. Not content that echos with Marketing cliques, "we are great", "buy my product", "we are number one" but content that inspires, excites and educates.
Just think how great our company will look from the outside world? All these inspiring people, our people ...we will be the talk of the town. Better than that people will flock to buy things from us, to work at our company, to be suppliers to our company. How cool is that?
Open up LinkedIn and look at any people, how drab there are, just think how brilliant your company will look.
This is NOT about clicks, this is NOT about Followers, this is NOT about shares, this is NOT about SSI ..... this has always been about our people and it still is.
Given the nature of social media, tapping into the power of your employees should be a consideration for all brands - employee-posted content not only generates more reach and response, but its also seen as more authentic, and therefore, more likely to inspire action.