Managing a successful employee advocacy program can be a truly rewarding experience. Think about it — your content is directly responsible for helping to build brand awareness, it sets employees apart as thought leaders in your industry, and it helps to deepen the company talent pool and aids in sales social selling strategy.
It may also get you thinking about how replicable this success could be elsewhere in your company. Sometimes it's a corporate success that can be replicated regionally; other times it’s a successful program in one area of the business that could be replicated elsewhere (e.g. a successful U.S.-based program expanding to APAC).
When expanding your employee advocacy program, there are a few strategies you should consider to ensure not only program success but also inclusivity. Below are several strategies that have been discussed when advising clients on the expansion of their programs to ensure inclusivity and success.
1. Build Your Platform to Scale Different Languages
While English is the dominant language on the internet, it is not the predominant first-spoken language throughout the world.
Statistics aside, the decision of which language to speak when communicating online has a relationship to which community you wish to be sparking conversations with. Content curated in your employee advocacy program should be sensitive to that.
Using the ‘groups’ feature on GaggleAMP, a Gaggle Manager can group together Members of their program with like needs and then serve only those groups' specific content. For example, groups can function to send targeted Activities to subsets of people. This might be individual departments, different work locations or products, languages, and more — you structure it based on what works best for you and your program.
Some Gaggle Managers prefer to forgo groups and opt for Channels. With Channels, Gaggle Managers initially invite Members to their Channel. Channels can also be fueled with content specific to certain languages. While the content may be the same or similar, it’s fed into the Channel in the native language.
Where this becomes really powerful is when you have both groups and Channels being used. Groups are how you want to segment people; Channels are how you want to segment content. It allows you to segment a set of people with content in the language they prefer to speak or share content. And it makes it that much easier for you to serve Activities to all the relevant participants of your program.
Of course, not all organizations are the same and some may choose to segment people and content differently. Your Customer Success Manager can help walk you through what has worked for other expansion programs and shed light on scenarios that may work best for you.
2. Consider Linguistic Differences
When adding new regions and Members to your employee advocacy program, you need to think about who will manage content for your newly onboarded. When Gaggle Managers create content to share, they use their language patterns and local nuances, sprinkled with the company's brand identity. But someone unfamiliar with different linguistics may serve content that is disingenuous.
For example, there is a stark difference between British English and American English — a boot and a trunk mean different things depending on the native language. This is true too for spelling, dialect, slang, and so much more. Employee advocacy programs are designed to help support employees and language matters.
Someone should be based in or create content only for that area, whenever possible. This helps with ensuring Activities are in the employees' voices. Of course, that isn’t always feasible, so whoever is curating content does need to be vigilant in getting feedback to improve their content curation.
3. Use Geotargeting LinkedIn Feed Capabilities
How do you segment your content regionally on LinkedIn? Do you use a Showcase page or use geo-targeting on your company's main business page? Either way, you do — you can easily set up an AutoAMP Content Feed to automatically create shares, likes, and/or comment activities from what you're already posting, and segment it directly into the respective Channel.
Channels in GaggleAMP can be segmented by LinkedIn geotargeting criteria which can help you serve the right content to the right audience. If you are not familiar with the concept, geotargeting changes LinkedIn company page content to be relevant to the settings the user has selected, but the LinkedIn admin can curate content to just one company page.
For example, a LinkedIn user in France may have their preferences set to only see French content, whereas a Member in Canada may want to only receive Canadian content. Likewise, an ex-pat residing in another country may prefer to see content from their native country, despite their geological location Selecting ‘Use LinkedIn Targeting Criteria’ in GaggleAMP allows the Gaggle Manager to deliver the content to match their native selections but the end user only sees what is relevant to their selections. So in short, someone who opted to see only French content will not see content that has been tagged to German readers.
Pro-Tip: Learn more about how to set up and manage post targeted updates on your LinkedIn page here.
4. Assign Rewards by Channel or Groups
When you add a gamification strategy to your employee advocacy program, it keeps the Members of your program active and more engaged over a longer period of time. Employees are rewarded with points for completing Activities and those points can be redeemed for rewards, set by the employer when redemption thresholds are reached.
When expanding your program, your strategy here matters. It's encouraged to provide different rewards for Members in different parts of the world. This allows for redemption in their local currency and also gives the option for donations to regional causes.
When using tagging with your rewards, the Gaggle Manager will see all available rewards, but the Gaggle Member would only see rewards available to their group.
By using groups, you can reward more aggressively in programs that are not performing as well or are newer to your employee advocacy efforts. Likewise, a Gaggle Manager can also run different competitions and rewards to different business units.
5. Study What Social Networks Your Employees Use
In the United States, employee advocacy is highly prevalent among the big four social media networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The Activities you serve your Members correlate directly to the audience you are looking to reach on each network. But if you serve employees in China Facebook Activities, not only can they not complete the activities, the audience you are looking to reach is not on Facebook there either.
Each region has its own culture, social networks, and way of networking so you need to be aware of what social networks employees use globally. For example, GaggleAMP has Activities that can be curated to the German equivalent of Linkedin on the Xing network. WeChat is big among international users therefore GaggleAMP has WeChat-integrated activities.
Whoever is the Gaggle Manager curating content for those areas needs to be hyper-aware of:
- What networks do employees use for social media.
- Which social networks employees are willing to share on, and which they are not.
- What regional concerns exist and how to speak to them.
- The desired level of sharing and privacy. Some nations are more willing to share; others are much more private.
Taking the time to study and learn more about the social media networks in use will help your Gaggle and your employees to become more successful.
How Can GaggleAMP Support Your Expansion Efforts
Once you have committed to expanding your program, GaggleAMP can help you set up your employee advocacy program in a way that will scale long-term. This has less to do with the logistics of serving the content and more with how your platform is structured. Putting a strong structure in place first will allow for easier Activity curation, distribution, and further expansion later.
Enter your Customer Success Manager. Our customer success team has helped hundreds of teams scale their employee advocacy program globally. They’re happy to discuss best practices, help train and support Gaggle Managers, and regularly offer live Gaggle Member training for teams, no matter the timezone!
They’ll help you with some of the early decisions you will need to consider. One such choice is if all employee advocacy efforts live in one Gaggle or separate Gaggles. While a program can certainly be managed all from one Gaggle using groups and Channels, there are some benefits to upgrading to an Enterprise program. Some benefits include:
- Being 100% positive that no content or Activities can cross-pollinate over each other. This could be really important when promoting multiple brands in one employee advocacy instance.
- Separating your Gaggle Managers. This would be a good fit if you want to have several Gaggle Managers managing different regions or locations, but do not want those Gaggle Managers to have access to other programs' content.
- Less tagging and group management. When you have separate Gaggles, contact management in groups is less of a concern.
- Rewards programs can remain separate without tags of Member groups needed.
Your Customer Success Manager can make recommendations on what would be the most beneficial and appropriate for Gaggle Members and the Managers.
If you’ve been thinking about expanding your Gaggle or simply want to kick around a few ideas with your Customer Success Manager, let them know! Feel free to reach out to them directly or email email@example.com.