If you’ve ever wished you could expand your marketing team, here’s a way to do it! Our special guest for episode 317 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast was Glenn Gaudet, CEO of GaggleAMP. Site Strategics CEO Erin Sparks spoke with Glenn about the ins and outs of employee advocacy programs for marketing. Here’s what we learned:
Glenn Gaudet: His Background and Experience
Glenn Gaudet is the founder and CEO of GaggleAMP where he and his team help companies get the most out of their social media efforts with solutions that help amplify and analyze their efforts. Glenn is also the author of Connection, Community & Conversation: Making Social Media Work for Your Business in which he shares the principles that drive GaggleAMP and help employees share their organization’s branding and content to supercharge those results on different social platforms.
Glenn was involved in marketing for many years before starting GaggleAMP, which is a great story. He was interviewing for a Chief Marketing Officer position at a Boston company back in 2010. Social media was still relatively new at that time. The CEO asked him what the company should be doing with social media. Glenn’s idea on the spot was to get the company’s 1,000 employees involved in the messaging. After the interview Glenn tried to research what tools he would use to accomplish this idea in case it came up again, but there wasn’t anything out there. It was in that moment he decided to start his own company for employee advocacy marketing programs – GaggleAMP, to get employees involved in a company’s digital marketing efforts.
Your Untapped Marketing Team: Your Employees!
A company’s most bountiful gift is its employees, but most companies don’t realize how those employees could become a vital part of the digital marketing effort. You can empower your employees to have some pride in where they work, and be able to champion the company, and also align their own values with the company’s values.
One of the barriers to making this happen is the sense of control among marketers. They’re used to maintaining strict control over the messaging, so letting all the employees get involved feels like a nerve-wracking loss of control. It used to be that only a very few, select people could communicate about the company. But with the rise of social media, those days are gone. Anyone can say anything they like. So the challenge for marketers today is to guide employees in how to get involved in the messaging.
Think about it from the perspective of outcomes. Your company wants more sales, and sales come from building relationships. The more people you can have in your organization involved in relationships with prospects and customers, the better. How do you do it from a digital point of view when not everyone in the company really understands everything there is to know about digital marketing? How do you provide some guardrails while also providing value both to the employee and to the company at the same time. This is the focus of GaggleAMP.
But What About Disgruntled Employees?
Another point of resistance to employees talking about their company on social media has to do with whether or not they’re happy working there. Or if they get fired. Many companies just want to throw a big wet blanket over social media.
One of the activities you can do in GaggleAMP is ask your employees to write a review about what it’s like to work at the company on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. Why? Because isn’t it better to ask your employees to write that review while they’re still at the company than when they’re doing it after you laid them off?
But it’s also important to understand that employees can and will say things about their company on social media, good or bad, whether you’re empowering them to do it or not. The least a company can do is guide employees in how to engage thoughtfully and positively. And those guardrails you give them don’t have to be complex. They can be surprisingly simple.
In fact, less is more in this case. Give them some guidelines. Give them social media guidelines, “Here are some things we think are really good to engage with and talk about.” And with a platform like GaggleAMP, there are more than 50 different activities your marketing folks can ask your employees to do. It makes it easy and even makes it fun, and gets great results.
Benefits of Employee Advocacy Programs
The benefits of employee advocacy are obvious – more sales, social recruiting, lead generation, brand exposure, traffic, even job retention. The employees are getting more invested in their company. From the employee perspective, your employer trusts you to be responsible on social media talking about your experiences within the company, they’ll love you for it. There’s a strong cultural impact within the organization. When you have employees that are actually enrolled in having fun being part of the overall communication strategy of the company, that’s incredibly powerful, both for the company and for the employee.
Special GaggleAMP Page and Resources for EDGE Fans
Visit http://www.gaggleamp.com/edge and you’ll find several free resources all about employee advocacy programs, including an eBook you can download, a webinar you can watch, and more to help you think through starting an employee advocacy program.
Connect with Glenn Gaudet and GaggleAMP
Twitter: @gaggleamp (https://twitter.com/gaggleamp)
Facebook: @gaggleamp (https://www.facebook.com/gaggleamp)
How Healthy is Your Digital Marketing ROI?
Get a grip on your digital marketing ROI with a Site Strategics report that examines your existing SEO, content, social media, and PPC. Visit https://edgeofthewebradio.com/roi/ to get 30% off a comprehensive review of your digital assets!