Today companies can have literally have tens, hundreds or even thousands of advocates to benefit from.  Who are these advocates?  The employees!  Empowering employees to share on behalf of the organization can provide extensive reach for positive company remarks.  And for this, we’re not just talking about a marketing staff.  We’re talking everyone from the part-time on-air talent to sales to even the receptionist.

Employee advocacy channels the internal devotion and insight of employees and encourages them to spread the word with their social networks.  According to Edelman’s 2014 Trust Barometer, forty-one percent of people believe that a company’s employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO or founder.

How does a station create employee advocacy?

1.    Make it easy for employees to share station news socially.  Keep employees in the loop by sending company-wide email updates on station events, promotions, news headlines that affect listeners, etc.  These emails should provide a description of the announcement and include suggested social media posts, encouraging everyone to spread the word.  These suggested posts should cater to each specific social platform – character limits, link additions, etc. – therefore, employees can easily copy and paste the text into their own social media accounts and easily share the good news.

If your station is comprised of multiple departments, it may be beneficial to send email updates to specific recipient groups, depending on the topic.  The more relevant the topic is to the employee specifically, the more likely they’ll share the message.

2.    Establish regulations for social media sharing. If you’re encouraging employees to use social media for the benefit of the station, then the station should be responsible for training them on how to do so. While everyone might think they know how to use social media, they may not know how to do so in a professional way – which is much, much different than personal use.

Hootsuite – a social media management system – offers Hootsuite University, which trains users on the Hootsuite software and provides resources for social media enhancement.

3.    Motive your employees to share. Station managers should know their employees extremely well, including what they value.  Motivating factors don’t need to be monetary – in fact, other tactics can sometimes work better. Often, employees want to feel as though they’re part of the bigger picture of the organization and that their presence is valued and impactful there.  Make social media something your employees want to, not something they feel forced to do.

4.    When you win, they win. Set goals for the station that every employee can be a part of. Employees will feel as though sharing information with their networks will help reach those goals, therefore encouraging them to do so. If those goals are met, employees will take pride in the achievements and have an increased sense of pride in the station/company – leading to the continuation of positive sharing.

While managing social accounts specifically dedicated to the station is important, it’s crucial to utilize employees and their networks for an even greater reach. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.  For every 1,000 employees, companies are capable of gaining more than one million dollars in media value, $500,000 in recruiting cost savings and millions in added sales per year through employee advocacy, according to Dynamic Signal, a leading employee advocacy platform.

We’re extremely passionate about helping small market radio stations succeed online.  Let us know in what areas your station needs help in and we’ll be glad to help.  If you’re not into creating an online platform that you can easily monetize, then that’s cool too.  Either way, visit our contact page to reach out to us.