Employee advocacy — As many profiles as ambassadors
On social media, there are the observers and the exhibitionists. Those who love debate and those who challenge trends. Those who are comfortable with interpersonal relations and those who prefer to create a good image. Those who live for the moment and those who stand back. Those who are at home with LinkedIn, finding it reassuring and compassionate, and those who find it bland and toothless. Those who like the energy and drive of Twitter and those who drown in it. Those who are still on Facebook and those who have given it up. Those who compulsively check their Instagram accounts and those who disconnect.
In short, and we have all experienced this, we all use social media in our own way, whether for personal or professional use. These usages can undergo change, but what characterises them is their very great diversity. You could honestly say that there are as many forms of use as there are users.
This thought is a highly structural starting-point for considering the next steps of employee advocacy a relatively new discipline which asks many questions of businesses.
Few businesses are in any doubt as to its legitimacy and usefulness, and very often the ambassadors are identified, content sharing platforms are put in place, and training is given in social media. But the time comes to take a step back and work out how to keep up the momentum, spread best practice, increase influence, unblock any problems encountered and dream up the next phase.
So on to the next phase. Why not dream it up on the basis of the wide variety of uses that employees make of social media? Because basically, it is the same for ambassadors as for other web-users. And there are a thousand and one ways of being an ambassador: connecting to the employee advocacy platform to share content is only one of them.
These “messengers” share without implicating themselves much, which is perfectly fine. They co-exist with reporters who bring the company to life through images. Experts offer viewpoints, analyses and opinions. Likers give other people’s content more power. Explainers are capable of making a complex subject accessible. Curators seize upon novelty. Fact-checkers rely on facts and figures. Helpers love to be of service. Scouts focus on helping their company to recruit. Insiders bring events to life, live… And any individual can correspond to one or more of these personas.
The definition of these personas within each company is a structuring exercise of the second wind, the new horizons, of employee advocacy. It relies on a phase of auditing and on knowledge of your ambassadors. It requires them to be described in great detail: who are they, what are their personality traits and their needs, what motivates them?
Once the typology has been defined, it proves useful at three levels:
Firstly, it makes it possible to both reassure and inspire ambassadors who recognise themselves and identify new practices they could make their own.
It makes it possible to individualise their paths with training, advice and best practices that correspond to them.
It provides an insight for recruitment campaigns when the programme is broadened.
The typologies of these personas make it possible to amplify and specify the content of the ambassadors programme. The messengers have a content-sharing platform, experts and agitators follow a personalised coaching programme, reporters are invited to events and big occasions, etc. Doing this, it is possible to see which ambassadorial uses dominate and which should be strengthened.
In doing this, an individual “ambassador experience” is constructed, which keeps the troops motivated at the same time as giving power and diversity to the content of the programme.
Much still needs to be thought up in what is still a young discipline affecting the corporate culture of companies. The persona-based approach and ambassador experience act as a driver to help employees become the ambassadors they are capable of being.Meet François Guillot, Associate Director of Angie+1