Employee activation for B2B organisations: how to turn employees into brand advocates


Employee activation was one of 2021’s biggest buzzwords. Shoehorned into blogs, videos and social posts by brands eager to showcase their marketing pedagogy the term went viral – hoodwinking even the savviest of us into believing it was ‘the next big thing.’

But  employee activation is a sub-topic of brand advocacy: a process whereby workers  are often strong-armed into promoting their employer’s messaging on social channels.

As you can imagine, this strategy is doomed to failure because:

  • It’s transparent – savvy social media users can spot fake content a mile off
  • It’s usually boring – and, let’s be honest, who wants to read beige content?

This doesn’t mean employee activation – or indeed brand advocacy – is intrinsically wrong. Rather, the problem is in the execution.

So, what’s the answer? Provide a flexible framework where employees can share their ideas in a personal and professional context.

The transformative effect of employee activation

Here are three reasons to activate your employees.

#1 Build trust and loyalty

Your trusted team members must have passed muster. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them. So, demonstrate this by empowering them to post content that’ll engage with your audience. 

#2 Boost team knowledge 

Empower teams to create and share content and watch them become astute researchers – delving deep into the digital depths to learn about your industry, its customers, and its biggest challenges.

Using their newfound knowledge employees will add more value to your organisation while creating unique content that’ll capture your customers’ attention.

#3 Generate more leads 

Sorry to break this to you but 76% of customers prefer content shared by real people – not big brand names. And  yes, this might involve employees sharing images of their co-working pets. But when in Rome…

messy desk woman working home office

There’s no magic shortcut – so curate your working culture first

You can’t just create and roll out an employee activation policy and expect it to work. Instead, you’ll need to go back to grassroots. Starting from a foundational level and working your way up will help iron out any kinks that might otherwise sabotage your efforts.

Ask employees:

  • How they view the working culture
  • Whether they understand their role
  • If they feel sufficiently recognised

Host meetings, organise 121s, email surveys and feedback on progress often. Seek out brand champions and empower them to overhaul your working culture.

Once you’ve built a workforce of committed advocates you can launch your employee activation program confidently – while taking care to maintain momentum.

Apart from empowering your people:

  • Create a flexible social media policy that’s accessible, easy to understand, and which isn’t compulsory
  • Set targets in terms of goals participants can achieve as part of the program and attach incentives
  • Finally, be clear about your business goals – for example, do you want to:
    • Increase awareness of your brand?
    • Generate higher lead volumes?
    • Recruit new talent?

Join these goals into a strategy and your employee activation program will have a greater chance of success.

Need help meeting your marketing goals? Then let’s talk.

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