There is no denying that social media has completely changed the way we interact with each other and it is now taking all generations by storm. What (at the beginning) was dismissed as a fad destined to pass has now become a central part of the way most of us connect with the world. To give some context, in 2017 the number of active internet users globally grew to 3.4 billion people, and, of those, 2.3 billion are also active social media users. Last year alone almost 220 million people of all ages and from every corner of the world started being active on social media.
Different businesses and industries have shown up to the social media party at different moments. While media and fashion outlets – especially in the US – have been among the first ones to jump on the social bandwagon, some more regulated industries have taken a more cautious approach. This group includes most organisations in the charity sector.
Currently, more than 50% of charities are not utilising social media, even though 84% of the ones that do use it see a growth in donations. So, why is this happening?
The key reasons why still so many charities are not utilising social media include:
- Lack of time and resources
- Difficulties in training employees on social media best practices
- No process in place to supply social content to activists on an on-going basis
- Struggle to demonstrate the ROI and impact of digital strategies
An extremely effective way of addressing these challenges, without breaking the bank, is to enable your team to become your voice on social media through a well-structured employee advocacy programme. By giving your team access to a repository of social media-ready content about your organisation and initiatives, you can easily and cost-effectively raise awareness online, while helping your team gain new digital skills without overwhelming them.
Specifically, an employee advocacy programme helps charities address their key digital challenges as follows:
1. Lack of time and resources to dedicate to digital communications and content production
Not showing up to the digital party is not an option anymore. As an organisation, you need to deliver your message to the people that care about it, to increase the chances of activating them around your cause. But this doesn’t mean that you should spend most of your money and time on marketing, it simply means you should find innovative ways to make the most of your budget and resources, limited as they may be. By implementing an employee advocacy platform at your company, you can:
- Create one-stop shop for all your existing social media content
- Use one tool to share to all your official social media channels and aggregate all insights in one place, making the most of your time and money
- Maximise the reach and engagement of what you create by easily distributing it to your staff, volunteers and activists
- Source content ideas from different departments and regions to re-purpose on your official social media channel
2. Training employees on social media best practices to turn them into an effective force online
Wanting to launch an employee advocacy programme gives you the perfect opportunity to put your house in order and step up your digital game.
Key steps in this process are:
- Provide clear guidelines to your team on how to talk about the organisation’s online
- Lead by example, distributing posts the way you’d like them to be, yet leaving space for personal input.
This will take away some of the hesitation around HOW to talk about your charity’s initiatives; at SoAmpli, we see this with charities supporting scientific research in particular – a lot of us don’t have the confidence to share specific breakthroughs or press releases because we’re afraid of presenting it in the wrong way, but when the message is ‘packaged’ and approved, we will share it happily.
- Provide training to your team, whatever their level of social media experience and confidence.
In our experience, the way you present social media and its benefits to your team can make or break the success of your employee advocacy programme. This is why at SoAmpli we put special focus on social media best practices training for all users, to help you harness your colleagues’ eagerness to shape your company’s voice in today’s connected world.
3. Supplying social content to activists in an on-going and cost-effective way
Compared to other organisations, most charities have access to an amazing pool of supporters and activists that will happily talk about the organisation online. This is such a tremendous advantage that should be harnessed on an on-going basis, especially since, as individuals, we are mostly connected with like-minded people who share our interests and values. Through an employee advocacy programme that uses the right technology, you can you supply content to your activists in a few easy steps:
- Identify the most prolific and influential supporters through Twitter and Instagram analytics
- Invite them to be part of your social media initiative, providing content for them an on-going basis
- Harness activists’ enthusiasm around crucial campaigns and initiatives (i.e. end of year campaigns)
- Re-purpose activists’ content on your official social media channels
4. Demonstrating the ROI and impact of digital strategies to all stakeholders in a tangible way
Finally, one of the key benefits of using a dedicated platform for employee advocacy on social media is that you can MEASURE the impact of all your digital communications, all in one place. In a very quick and easy way, you’ll be able to see:
- How much traffic social media is driving to your website
- Which social media channels, in particular, are most effective to help you drive attention to your donation pages
- Which types of content are generating more interest, and thus you should focus your budget and resources on going forward
Any charity – whatever their sector, size and marketing strategy – that wants to tackle their digital challenges and tap into larger audiences online can achieve incredible results when implementing a structured employee advocacy programme.
At SoAmpli, we are proud to be working with some amazing small, medium and large charities, helping them drive their digital transformation and harness the power of social media in a cost-effective way. But don’t just take our word for it…
The ongoing support and advice we have received from SoAmpli during our employee advocacy journey has been amazing. The platform has created a new way for us to share and track content that is simple and effective, no matter how experienced or confident you are on social media. The results we have seen so far have been so positive that we have decided to bring more regional teams of our charity on board. I would definitely recommend SoAmpli to any organisation looking to step up their corporate social media game.
Nick Franks, Digital Media Manager at Adopt A Child
We chose SoAmpli as our social advocacy platform for one key reason, its simplicity. We were looking for an easy and effective tool to engage and inform our wide base of advocates across the country in areas as diverse as fundraising, retail and head office staff as well as mobilise them around our social campaigns. SoAmpli proved perfect for that. The SoAmpli team have been great at listening to our specific needs, really taking on board our suggestions and supporting us every step of the way. It’s hard to find a SaaS company as involved in their clients’ success as SoAmpli.
Athar Abidi, Social Media Manager at British Heart Foundation
At Age UK, we needed a quick and efficient way to streamline our communications between the local branches and the national headquarters. SoAmpli was the perfect solution: all communications are now centralized and consistent. The SoAmpli team has been supporting us every step of the implementation journey, committed to ensure our success from the very beginning.
Tom Cheley, Social Media Manager at Age UK
If our approach is what your organisation needs, please get in touch!