The launch is arguably the most important step in your Employee Advocacy journey. One of the key factors is communication and allowing your employees to understand why the tool is being implemented. A solid timeline of communications leading up to a "hard" launch date will see uptake, understanding and usage at the highest.
Basic Plan Outline
- Pre-launch communications
- Defining Objectives
- Finding administrators
- Finding your best advocates
- Recommended timeline
We recommend an internal communications campaign as a prerequisite to the launch date of Smarp. Our most successful launches have been when a highly informed workforce realise the program is for them, and to help them in their role. An example from some clients is below;
“By 2025, millennials will constitute 75% of the global workforce. They are all on social media, 95% with at least one social media platform. This is networking in 2017”
“By sharing and curating content, you will become a thought leader in your field, and therefore will greatly increase your own personal brand. It is your opportunity to be seen online as an expert and influencer in your field”
"We recommend informing your employees that Smarp is a platform for them, and in helping the business. The business in return will reward them! Be sure to mention the following in your communications;
- Increase thought leadership status and develop professional brand
- Grow their professional networks and cultivate relationships with key contacts
- Gain social business awareness and confidence
- Impact the company’s visibility and how we communicate
- Discover and easily share valuable content to their networks
- Get recognition from leadership
This can also be reiterated within the Smarp platform’s invitation message.
Defining objectives and KPI’s is vital when launching a new initiative, especially with a new platform. Examples of objectives can be the following;
- Helping improve the social media skills of your employees
- Allowing your employees to understand more of the company’s activity through content internally and externally
- Developing a further understanding of interesting content for employees and their networks
- Creating a sense of pride in working for the company
- Amplifying content reach through employees sharing
These objectives may differ depending on how much content sharing and engagement of employees currently takes place.
Example KPI on objectives;
“Helping to improve the social media skills of your employees”
- % of employees engaged on Smarp
- Number of pieces of content shared and consumed per week/month
- The individual reach of employees, which can be seen on Smarp
- Improving SmarpScore of individual employees on the Smarp platform
Administrators and owners of the program can be found relatively easily, and is a step that shouldn’t take too long. We suggest a combination of marketing, content specialists and then sales/HR depending on the program’s goals. Marketing are used to using various platforms, understand content well, and work within branding guidelines. The ratio we recommend is for every fifty users on the program, one administrator can cover the workload.
Finding your best advocates
Finding your best advocates can be a bit tricky initially, as employees will most probably be sharing content online already. This however does mean you should gain plenty of volunteers looking to join the program. In the pre-communications stage, there are plenty of ways to find advocates;
- Advertising in company monthly/weekly newsletters
- Information of the program on internal intranet
- Posters and flyers around the office advertising the initiative
- Onboarding and training senior management
A hugely important part of participation is the onboarding of senior management and heads of departments. Having management understand the importance of having a fully engaged workforce on social media will mean greater success, whether that be in;
- Sales - social selling, becoming experts in their field, social media networking
- Marketing - Amplification of content, greater brand awareness, driving traffic to the website in greater numbers
- HR - Branding your company as a employer of choice, advertising open positions, creating a happy and engaged workforce
- Communications/PR - Internal communications messages read by more employees, employees align with company brand
Once senior management are "sold" on the idea that the program will greatly benefit their divisions, they can become spokespeople for getting employees on board and volunteers.
The creation of a clear and concise timeline from start to launch needs to be defined from the program being implemented. Although the timelines can shift, it is recommended that the timelines are stuck to relatively rigidly to ensure the program is launched successfully. From initial planning to final launch, we recommend a two week timeline including all the invites and finding advocates.