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CHAPTER 7

Using social media to develop employee advocacy and achieve organisational aims is an area where non-profits can punch above their weight. But, how does this translate where you work? Is your digital strategy empowering your employee voice?

Organisations of all types have long talked about the importance of brand and of having employees as ambassadors to carry the word into the world beyond the walls of the organisation. In the networked world of today’s social web, this is more important than ever.

Today, social networks effectively dissolve organisational boundaries and flatten traditional hierarchies as they amplify the employee voice through platforms such as Twitter and blogs. And it’s this reach and impact that helps non-profits shine.

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EMPLOYEE SOCIAL ADVOCACY

TOP TIPS

  • Run a session with your colleagues to decide how social media could help you in your roles. For example, do you want to increase reach, generate corporate partnerships or lobby MPs?. 
  • Give staff clear guidelines and training on what they can and can’t say.
  • Share key analytics to show how staff’s social media presences are helping achieve your charity’s digital strategy.

FURTHER READING

  • A kickstart guide to employee social media advocacy (linkhumans)
  • 7 ingredients for employee social media advocacy (Convinceandconvert)
  • A 6 step guide for creating an employee advocacy program for your business (Hootsuite)

Claire Ainsley, Director of External Affairs and Communications at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, uses social media as part of her role.

SOCIAL AS AN ENABLER

LISA JEFFERY
Claire Ainsley JRF advocacy example

At the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we use corporate social media and networks to raise awareness of our work. We also use social at an individual level as an enabler to a more networked and human organisation, because, as per the title of Euan Semple’s classic book, ‘Organisations don’t tweet, people do’.

In 2015, almost 10% of our total website usage data as measured by sessions came through social (mainly Twitter). Having social employees helps us build relationships, increase our influence and bring in learning from outside the organisation.

"This is the first time that we have each had our own capacity to broadcast our ideas on a global scale in this way and for virtually no cost"

Euan Semple

OFFERING PERSONAL SUPPORT

We start by including digital in induction, highlighting how ‘digital’ is not so much about technology as it is about a networked mindset where collaboration helps us all win. We share guidelines, including ‘how tos’ for key channels, and offer support on how to use social for personal and professional development.

JFR Advocacy Example

Sharon Godwin sharing JFR's latest research

SHARING KNOWLEDGE & INCLUDING PEOPLE

It’s vital to have social at the heart of your organisational objectives. So we suggest ‘tweets of the day’ to make sharing easy, if employees want to share, and we feedback on the impact of social in digital dashboards, including website stats. This shows people how they are helping to deliver our digital strategy.

MAKING NETWORKING WORK

We use an intranet blog and internal magazine to talk about digital. We offer 1-2-1 support on how social can support individual objectives, and show how to measure success. For example, our policy and research managers tend to use social differently to someone working in our housing services. We also have a corporate blog and, more recently, we have started exploring LinkedIn publisher and Medium.

For brands, it’s often said that employees are your most important asset. So, are you making the most of social as an enabler to unlock the potential of your employees?

Infographics and 'shareable' content make it easier for employees to become advocates

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The Charity Social Media Toolkit - from the Skills Platform written by Zoe Amar & David Evans
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EMPLOYEE SOCIAL ADVOCACY

BY LISA JEFFERY - JOSEPH ROWNTREE FOUNDATION
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Click here to download the Charity Social Media Toolkit as a PDF