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Dec. 14, 2015

121: Everything You Wanted to Know about Employee Advocacy [PostBeyond Interview]

121: Everything You Wanted to Know about Employee Advocacy [PostBeyond Interview]

Today on the podcast, Neal is sharing an interview he did at the Social Tools Summit in San Francisco with Chad McCaffrey and Daniel Hebert of PostBeyond. Listen in as they talk all about employee advocacy. This episode is full of great reminders for any company thinking about establishing an employee advocacy program, reasons to start one, and tips to help convince your team or executives internally as to why it’s time to try it.


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welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximized Social Business, Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Pool Summit Neil Schaefer

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Thistles Neil Schaefer. And this is maximize your social coming. You live well recorded, I guess. But live when I'm recording this from the Social Tool Summit 2015 here in San Francisco. And with me today are two wonderful gentlemen that have flown down here from Toronto, Canada, from one of the leading employers, Dixie Platforms Post beyond. Well, you know, I'm gonna have each of them, even though I could probably pronounce her name correctly. I don't want to chance it, so I'll have each of them introduce themselves to you. On my left is chap McCaffrey on the vice president. Growth in customer success, a post that was like an American accent, wasn't it? But on the opposite side of chat is so I'm Daniel, he bear, I I run digital marketing at Post beyond. Okay, He's trying to sound American there, but he has a distinct French accent, so gentlemen, today was day one. We had our session, an employee of a CSI which obviously Europe CEO Ivan was a member of but employ obviously seem to be a theme that, you know, permeated almost every session. You know what? What? What's your take so far? And there were a lot of corporations up there giving their own experiences on unemployed Dixie. What sort of the state of the market? For someone listening to this podcast, How should they be viewing? Employ advocacy now is it a must that every company is doing is it's something every company wants to do, but they haven't launched it successfully. Is it still on everybody's wishlist? Where are we right now in North America? Chad, Go. It's a really good question. I think you know, we work with so many different types of companies, which is awesome. And I think that, you know, today was very obviously it's a very important topic for everybody. I think the first session was very obvious that you were talking about enterprise social media in general, and what happened was it started becoming very obvious that employees Alexi was the court of that, right? So these huge companies were trying to mobilize lots and lots of people, and there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I think it's really important today to note that you know, what is the training? What is the setup to actual? Even think about doing this. And so I think we focus a lot on that. And certainly I've been talked about in concession. But like the planning, the training, what actually is to go in ahead of time before technology gets involved is really important. And that definitely showed to the There is another side outside of the planning that talk that we talked about today, which is, well, I launched my employer Dixie program. Now what? You know, after you launch it, you have content cued up. This is great. A month later, it's like holy smokes. I have no more content in the queue, no one sharing it. No one's participating. What do I do now? Daniel? Yeah, so that's a really big challenge with anybody trying to do these programs, right? Um, so it's It's one of the things that we see all the time of clients to is that you get a lot of initial traction. And then things started to go down a little bit. And one of the most important things to remember when employees advocacy is that it is an ongoing effort. It's not a one off campaign, so you might set up set up your initial instance or your initial program and load it up with content. But unless you keep doing it, and unless you keep communicating to your employees, or unless you keep training your employees, you know it's it's going to drop off eventually. So it is one of the things that I think it's a mindset for most enterprises to start adopting, always on marketing strategy versus a campaign based marketing strategy and a lot of enterprises, they're just not there yet. So that's one of the things that they one of the challenges that exists within the enterprise, that they need to get through and think about this as an ongoing initiative that stems across departments across regions, not just your marketing department running the campaign so true. I mean, I'm a member of A It's an influencer marketing initiative that's using an employee advocacy program, so you know, every day we had a great content for you two for you to curate. You're already active in social. Why not share content? And then one day I noticed like there were, you know, normally on a day that have, like, one or two new pieces of content one day they're like 15 different new pieces of content. They were clearly promotional, clearly campaign based. And this is like a Fortune 50 global company. I won't name their name to protect the innocent, but I immediately, you know, close the tab that always had open. And I even unsubscribe from the e mails reminding me a content to share. So I told you, get that as an employee. If that content isn't on, it's it's hard to get them to adopt to start. But it's so easy for the tune you out. Have you seen that? And how do you avoid that? I guess the answer is probably gonna come down to the content. But you know, what have you seen in the market shot? I definitely think you know, the higher key thing today was interesting. I think there was a bunch of questions and, you know, ideas around. How do you build like with these huge 1000 plus person organization was that Andrew Sportsman, CIA technology is talking about that that triangle that pyramid or absolutely So. You know, I think when it comes to the Khan, everything, the relevance is interesting across different areas. So people care about certain things. They're trying to hit their own goals and so content, certainly and social in general. It's very obvious that it feeds sort of everyone from the executive suite down to people on the on the ground level. If you think about it that way, and that's where the relevance comes in. I think when you're getting bombarded with continents are important to you. Personalization is something we focus on a lot. And how are you creating sort of program managers within within the program? So certainly there's leadership. There's governance of me. That's business. But being able to span sort of the control. The programmer, what contents gonna end up inside of the program needs to come from various areas in the business. It can't be strictly in market, and we talk a lot of votes, sort of these non outside of marketing, right, marking communications, obviously the core. But there's so much monetary activity that happens with content outside of marketing. And I think that the big, most successful ones that we've seen are ones that really utilize whether it's hr content recruitment, all these other flavors of content that are really going to drive those conversions and the deeper stuff that people are looking for on DSO. That's I think, the important piece and what we're seeing is that you've aligned that properly and you get the right people involved out of the gate. You're gonna see a lot more relevance and personalization, which is ultimately gonna drive the results. You know, it's funny a company that I work with while several years ago that actually sort of spawned the writing of Maximize Your Social Waas power utility company. Well, actually, not a power, totally a utility company. And when I started working with them on the social business strategy, I'm like, Well, you know, every stakeholder every department needs to be needs to be in the room. And so we have, like 15 different people in the room, and they all were from different departments, from public affairs to H R. To customer service and what have you So it would seem like employ, obviously is really has the same need. As you said. It needs to come from a variety of perspectives. Variety apartments. You know, Daniel, when companies reach out to you to begin, I'm assuming it's normally marketing. But how do you get sort of that involvement internally from various departments that you need to be successful? Yeah, so for us, it's it's usually starts with marketing. You're right. It's usually digital or social or some department or marketing what we can easily do because its employees involved, we can easily get HR. Luke did write as soon as we say, Hey, we're gonna has help engage your employees. HR gets involved, gets interested. So you're putting on the employee engagement hat now? Very much so. You play that card and you get you get H R right away. And then there's the knowledge sharing the internal communications piece to it. All right, so if you do that, then also get PR interested. You get the PR departments in the internal corporate calms apartments, interested, and then on top of that, you start saying, Hey, content could be used to nurture relationships and who builds the most relationships. It's your sales department. Also, we angled a social selling angle, so weaken usually round up at leas marketing PR seals and jarred by playing these different angles. And when you say PR one of the internal communications, if there's a specific, you know, I know unlike the U. K, a lot of companies will have specific internal communications departments. Yeah, so as for PR, that's that's essentially who we move in is whoever would be involved in internal Corporate comes Chad, Let me ask you when you work with HR. So I work with a lot of companies, and it seems like HR in terms of the social media curve of adoption. Although you have some very savvy social recruiters out, their HR seems to be a little bit late to the game. Maybe I'm wrong. That's sort of been my impression. When you work with HR on Employ advocacy as part of employee engagement, I'm someone who would almost argue HR should be at the forefront of employees advocacy because it touches all the employees. What have you seen in your engagement with HR Professional so far for your customer success for plus paying customers? Yeah, I think, you know, you have to tie it to marketing. Still, because that's where the communication is getting stirred up and really stemming from the strategy. But if you build that partnership between them, I think with anyone that's doing this successfully right now on the maturity of what's going on, it's It's timeless. Two together nicely, so usually in some and some really progressive. Cummings actually have a role that's really focus on employer brand. It's sort of a marketing person, but the plate brainiac there, folks there sitting kind of between the two there, that bridge. I think that's the key, and you start to think about these things. Ultimately its people, its culture. It's what's going to drive more people to business. There's all these values that come from it, and so social is obviously that that bridge between all of it. But that's what we see. I think with a lot of the companies, they're starting a car about these new roles, which I think is really interesting, you know, certainly social digital, it's all sort of marketing, but you know how HR comes into that. It's it's just really important and certainly when you're talking about engaging the employees or the culture of the business. They care about it the most. So making sure that's on their scorecard and ultimately, how that's gonna support the internal communications dimension. I mean, that's that's the paramount importance to start like Captain, Are people aware what's even happening across all these areas of the business? And then, sure, if they really, truly want to become that brand advocate externally and be that spokesperson, that's we'd like them to be it down to the game. But that start here and an HR is going to start that for us. Awesome. So, Junior, I want to switch gears a little bit What we heard today at many of the sessions. Waas. We need to think about the people behind the user names, and these are our employees that are actual people. And what are we going to do to get them active in our program? Because we can invest a lot of money and tools like post Yom it. If no one's using it, we're not gonna get any value, but right. So from the employee perspective, how do you view employ advocacy and how do you teach your clients to teach their employees to think about employee efficacy. That's a great question you on. One of the things that I think is the most beneficial to teach the employees t kind of sell this program to employees is that a program like this is really developed for building their personal brand and a personal brand in this day and age is really important. And just as an example, kind of go with my past experience and stuff. I was really lucky that I've been both on the marketing side of employees advocacy, but I've also been on kind of personal branding, an employee's side of employees advocacy and one of the things that I've really been focusing on overtime is building up that personal brand. So even when I was still in university, I was blogging, was networking. I was building relationships and and I know you from that time as well. So exactly rates. So it's it's funny how you and I are now sit in the same room together and having this this discussion. But it really started with content and and so for medium building relationships, and did one of my good buddies that used to be a founder. Bondo Post. Robert Caruso. Great guy, great guy, Right? And he used to say this all the time. Content leads to conversations, Conversations lead to relationships. Relationships result in order. Why? And I think that is so true when you think about employees, have a CSI or even content marketing in general. And how you social is that you are using content to fuel relationships. And just as an example here. You know, Chad and I met two and 1/2 3 years ago through one of my first jobs at at an early startup and using content using social, we started interacting and building up a relationship. And, you know, two years later, I started working at Post Me on Through that relationship. We met a couple of times face to face when you know I was visiting people in Toronto and we kept that relationship going and we always had a content exchange and we were always fueling each other's mom's knowledge and always kind of having these these conversations. And now we're working together and we're building this company together, which is something that's like exactly what Robert said. This relationship is resulting in our you know today we had a lot of people from corporations speaking about not just in plastic, see, but social in general, but shame a glove him from Wal Mart, I think, had a lot of great advice. And that advice was really look at the content that your employees want to share. You talk about personal branding. For some people, the R A. Y was like a 10 cent discount or 10% off coupon or whatever it is, whatever it might be that there is value in sharing content with your network. So I think, for the severe professional, they understand the value professional personal branding. But even for those who don't understand that there's still content that their network would appreciate. And I think you know, one of things we talked about today or that the panel is talking about there was the fine tuning or tweaking of your content so that everyone in the organization would have something they'd find. You know that they want to share chat. On that note, I want to shift the focus to the business value of employ advocacy. One of the things I let a trainer panel today and One of the things that people brought up was love the price point of a hoot suite and and obviously you're dealing with enterprises where the price point is very different. But on the other side of price is the R Y. And just like social media monitoring software, in the old days, you know everyone and anyone needed it. And now it's like, Well, do I really need it? Employee of Oxy software. Something that every company needs now to scale. But at the end of the day, they're still need to deliver our why when you talk with clients about the business value of employ advocacy, what where does the conversation go? Yes, there's a couple of 1,000,000 things I talked about on that front, for sure, I think obviously there's the kind of the website analytics discussion, and I think it's interesting the maturity of that within different enterprises and what they're actually looking at, what they care about. But we're really thinking a lot of boat. So sort of from the talk about online first with the online perspective, certainly the funnel what they consider that to be conversions know these certain terms were really and not show what is the goal? What are they trying to get people to opt into? Two. To be into marking automation? Some of these other tools out there? It's a very connected and interconnected space, so we've worked a lot on that. I think integrations air hugely important part of this and any vendor that you're working with, it's very important that they connect to your business in that way. So you know, if it'd be to be contacts, obviously sort of the funnel to stay a sales person more of a complex situation. It would come from social advocacy to a website. It's a trusted piece of traffic that then converts into sort of marketing automation. People get drip campaigns and great content from there and then, ultimately, to a sales person that closed the deal six months, 12 months down the road. That's kind of what that road would look like. So I think that's one important thing to think about how these conversations are truly created in a trusted way and the reputations built 1 to 1. Word of mouth is huge, hugely important part to starting that. The other thing that I think a lot of what I think is outside the box a little bit is actually the offline conversations. So we obviously this isn't gonna be tracked in the plot for him. It's not gonna be thought about through analytics, But, you know, we train Ah, lot of mass sales teams have field sales, you're you're aligning marketing and sales. It's a big part of certainly advocacy in our discussions, but the idea that a sales person always has to be on their game, right, you have an offline and online persona. You're trying to match the two together, so you're kind of talking a lot. And that's sort of something We talked about a lot, but you have this online persona that's always working for you. It's almost like this virtual assistant. I'm actually working on, like a kind of a block post idea for this. But the idea that you know some people use virtually assistance from overseas and certainly usually without, and how you know a different time zone. And there's people doing work for you while you're sleeping. That's an interesting concept, but it's sort of the same way with your LinkedIn profile on your Twitter profile. This is always on. People can see this when you're sleeping. It's doing work for you. And I think, as a not only a sales person but a business person that is very high leverage thing to invest in. I think that's something we're really teaching people. Is this. How can that fuel these offline conversations you're having? And then on the knowledge side of it, obviously I have content, and it's put together by really smart people in the organization. I'm going to live and breathe that every day, but it's in front of me and I can read it and I can consume it. And ultimately I can talk to my peers about it, my prospects, my potential clients in meetings. That's where business is always gonna happen. And so I think the more that you can educate yourself in a scalable way across the enterprise or any business that's kind of the goal and in a sort of broader viewer, broader lens and looking at this. But those are the two things we think about, certainly from tying down the true business value mean what is the value of your people being smarter, being sharper on top of their game when they meet with that prospect, and they have 20 minutes to really get the point across. That's that's interesting, right? So that those are some of the things we're thinking about. But certainly tie it down to the analytics and what they're trying to do on the digital side is there. And you know, whether it's Google analytics or you know they're marking automation will make sure that fits in their business. It's funny. I remember a conversation I have with a client of mine, and it was a CEO of basic gardening company. And he was talking about Well, you know, what's the are alive? All this and it's a company that spent a lot of money on paper advertising, like in local magazines. What have you what's the R y of that local magazine out of advertising? And he knows why. I can't really measure it. And what's amazing about social is I mean, it's digital, so it's extremely measurable, as you talked about, and I'm sure that with post beyond their ways of of sending out content, that makes it even minute Lee measurable down to the person sending out the contents So but also that personal brand inside. I think there's a lot of, you know, anything you do in social media, there's always gonna be an intangible benefit. And there's always anecdotal ways in which social helps those that are active in social. And I think you brought up those points. So So I think that these are all great reminders for any company Miss Notice that is either looking to establish an employer, obviously program looking for reasons to, or ways of basically internally convincing executives as to why they need one. I guess the only thing I would add is is, Don't forget those intangibles. There's just incredible benefit from having, you know, the bigger the company, the more potential benefits there are. But it's not as easy as just hey, share this as we found out from this podcast. And if you're in doubt, what I love about Post beyond is that they're really passionate about the consulting side. They understand that not every customer is alike and that everyone needs a little helping hand, and they prevent. A lot of resource is to make sure that you can get from investment in their platform to actual implementation. So if you're in doubt Reach out the post beyond and you know I'll ask each one You, Daniel, Any last messages for the audience Can you call to action? You can do called auction And I know you have a great e book on all the steps you need for a successful employ. Obviously programmes. Let's have that girl c t a. We've This is after the happy hour here, So please excuse us, but it's okay. It's a podcast. People want to be entertained. Daniel, go for uh yeah, as Neil mentioned, we were very big on helping out with the implementation process just as much as we are with the technology. So if you want to learn more about implementation process, just goto post beyond dot com slash social tools 15 and you'll be able to download an e book or a guide around the 11 steps on how to implement social media at bricks. Yet at your enterprise, I want to get post beyond our coms. Last social tools 15 helps with the r y. This podcast to doesn't with that tracking u r l chat Any last minute notes. Thanks. You know, that was awesome. I really appreciate you having us on, and it's been also be in San Francisco with you. Hey, it's been an epic event with thoughts beyond you guys were the first guys who actually signed on as a sponsor. So I think if reinvestment in Social Tool summit, looking forward to what tomorrow brings and for all you listening, I want to thank you wherever you are in the world for listening this podcast. As always as I'd like to say, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day and be on the lookout for a next podcast. Thanks, everyone.

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Thanks for listening. To maximize your social way, appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend contact, please contact Neo Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's New Community Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social media, c o e dot com, as well as Neil Social Media Conference, The Social Tools Summit