I have been getting a lot of questions about advocacy so I want to take a few minutes to share my thoughts. I often hear people use the terms “influencers” and “advocates” interchangeably. While there are similarities between these two groups, in my opinion they’re not necessarily one and the same. You may have a different viewpoint on this, and that’s fine. What I’ve discovered is people define these terms differently which results in mixing these 2 groups. Taking some liberties with Ant’s Eye View’s (AEV) definitions of advocates and influencers, this is how I would like to describe them:
An influencer is someone who actively shares their opinions and expertise through their (large) personal and professional networks. An influencer is someone that can cause an effect without apparent exertion or force. Most common examples include analysts and media.
An advocate is someone who proactively defends, promotes and participates in the public conversation for a particular brand, product, service or cause. An advocate is someone that has positive affinity toward and stands behind a brand, product or cause. Most common examples include your most passionate customers and general brand aficionados.
Aristotle was spot on when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This holds true when we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the socialsphere. Why not leverage your organization’s built-in social media army to evangelize the brand? Encouraging employee engagement across social channels on behalf of the brand seems to be a hot topic in social media these days.
Now the question is what are the steps for successfully encouraging employees to participate on behalf of a brand? In a recent Let’s Chat #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat we heard from Cisco’s Petra Neiger (@Petra1400) and Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham (@JennyDBurnham), on ways to engage employees. In addition to their insightful tips, here’s my take on 5 steps to successfully encouraging employees to participate in the socialsphere:
Step 1: Training
It all starts here. Educate your employees with social media best practices, checklists, playbooks, toolkits, etc. Help your employees feel comfortable using social media on behalf of your brand. Interested in social media training? Check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email email@example.com
Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:
Step 2: Stretch Assignments
Once your employees have participated in training and are comfortable using social media best practices, create opportunities for their participation across multiple social channels. Leverage the masses to assist with social media campaigns, launches, events, etc. Even if social media is not their main role within your organization, develop these assignments as a great way to increase your program’s reach in addition to allowing employees to test out their new skill sets.
Step 3: Recognitions
What motivates your employees? Is it a milestone badge, management recognition, or perhaps a prize of some sort? Knowing this will help you to motivate additional employee participation. Along the way, create incentive programs to entice your employees to participate. Adding an element of gamification and rewarding beneficial behaviors can go a long way.
We are working hard to minimize broken link experiences on Cisco.com. Over a year ago we started using a new tool that helps us shield Cisco.com users from broken link errors. This process has resulted in a steep reduction in the number of broken links reported.
We track what you encounter as avoided broken link experiences. Last month we were able to resolve and direct 215,750 attempts to access broken links and old articles and send you to the right place. The highest resolved broken links for a single month was over 354,300 links.
Our progress so far is encouraging even though we have more to do.
Can you help?
When you find a new URL, change your bookmark so future access to the page will be faster. And if you do hit a broken link drop us a note in the feedback tool found on every page of Cisco.com
Can there ever be enough discussion around “social media measurement”? While I joke as part of the opening of this post, it is a topic that we’ll continue to explore in upcoming #Ciscosmt activities. And as a follow up to my recent “Decoding Social Media Measurement” post, last Thursday Charlie Treadwell, Manager, Digital and Social Media Marketing at Cisco, shared his insights through the monthly #Ciscosmt Series Twitter chat. Below is a transcript of the interesting conversation as well as a few key takeaways.
Social Media Measurement #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat
I think this is a great start to the ongoing conversation we’ll explore further as we move forward. As it evolves, it provides more and more critical data points for business impact. I’m interested to hear how you are using social media measurement to benefit your business and also what types of metrics are most important to you.
Social media measurement is a key element in showing business value…social media benefits are no longer taken at face value. Businesses must align metrics to overall goals and benchmark along the way.
Metrics will vary from company to company based on individual goals. However, some basic types of data to measure includes: cost and/or support savings, revenue, influencers, share of voice, engagement, and crowdsourcing.
Social media measurement can be implemented even on limited budgets. Use tools like Google Analytics, individual social channels, or other resources to gather data and make informed decisions.
Pilot and test social media strategies on an ongoing basis and create measurement benchmarks throughout the initiatives to ensure efforts are maximized.
Quantity is an important part of the social media measurement equation. However, “quality” is an even more crucial element to consider. Take time to look deeper into the metrics to understand the types of engagement, influencers, or other data points that can be retrieved.
Measurement can and should be implemented across the organization when it comes to social media. HR, sales, support, marketing, and other areas can benefit from strong measurement best practices.
October Twitter Chat
And mark your calendars for next month’s Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Twitter chat, taking place on Thursday, October 24th from 9-10 a.m. PT. More details will follow shortly on this blog and through the @CiscoSocial handle on Twitter. Stay tuned for more details by following the Cisco Digital and Social Blog and the #Ciscosmt hashtag!
Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series: Engaging Employees in Social Media Twitter Chat Transcript
Stephen King’s latest novel – his 50th – is out today. “Doctor Sleep” is a 35-years-later sequel to his hit horror classic The Shining. And after that long of wait, it’s no surprise to hear that it can take the great author weeks, or even years, to write a book’s opening line.
King fans will be thrilled to know that Doctor Sleep finally tells us what happened to Danny Torrance. He’s no longer a kid wandering the halls of The Overlook Hotel in Colorado but a middle aged man in Connecticut, working at a hospice where he’s even more haunted by his ‘special’ psychic powers.