How to introduce a LinkedIn employee advocacy programme

One scroll through LinkedIn and you'll see that it's people-first and not business-first. That means your business' brand building on the platform needs to be driven by people promoting your content on your behalf, alongside posting from your company page.

This is a really arty picture of a notepad and pen. But it is just a notepad and pen, laid out in front of an open laptop.

Over to LinkedIn for an official line:

“People follow brands on LinkedIn, but they engage with the people behind those brands. Encourage your employees to become advocates and ambassadors for your LinkedIn presence – when an admin posts on their page, 30% of the engagement comes from their employees, who are 14x more likely to share that content vs. other content types.”

Here’s how to introduce an employee advocacy programme on LinkedIn:

The foundations of an employee advocacy programme

You need to set the foundations first, for the plan to be effective.

  • Introduce social media policy: Set some guidelines for your employees and their social media activity, so they’re clear on what they can and can’t do.
  • Set up a distribution plan: How you send your content to employees is important, so have a structured schedule in place and stick to it.
  • Select social media champions: Find your employees who are already active on LinkedIn and get them involved first. They can then influence colleagues.
  • Think about incentives and recognition: Something simple like a monthly prize for the most active employee, or the employee with the most post engagements, can go a long way in encouraging activity.

Educate and empower your employees

Your employees need to be comfortable using LinkedIn and also understand the benefits of their activity.

  • Set up social media training: Whether it’s one-to-ones or group workshops, or a mix of the two, introduce a series of sessions aimed at raising the knowledge and confidence of your people.
  • Help employees build their profiles: Give your employees branded messaging and visuals, like a cover photo, for use on their LinkedIn profile.
  • Tell employees what they get out of it: There are many benefits for employees themselves, so make sure they know what they are. They will build their credibility, increase their authority, and grow their networks.

Activate and empower your employees

Now you need to put the programme into action.

  • Send consistent content: Use email, Teams – or whatever your business’ go-to communication platform is – to distribute content to employees. If you have the budget, invest in a dedicated employee advocacy tool to distribute content.
  • Produce pre-written posts: Give people suggested content to post, including wording and a visual. Importantly, stress that they need to give their own opinion or personal insight where possible, making every post unique.
  • Create bespoke content: Rather than just sending business-wide posts, create content for specific teams, and people. That makes the messaging tailored and more specific to the person and their network.

IMPORTANT: Do not insist that your employees post the exact wording you provide. The focus is empowerment.

Measure, improve and, you guessed it… empower

Employee advocacy programmes are ongoing, so it’s important to not sit back and relax.

  • Measure success: Track your progress so you know the levels of success you’re having. Some simple metrics you could collect include the number of active employees on social and the following of your business page and post reach.
  • Tweak and test your programme: What’s working? What’s not working? Tweak and test as you go to unlock further success. Be sure to get feedback from employees, too. Slight changes may be needed in the processes, as well as the content.
  • Educate and engage: It’s important to keep your employees educated on social media and engaged in the programme. Get new employees involved and make social media policies and training accessible. Introduce and maintain a structure of one-to-ones, group sessions or webinars, and keep celebrating the achievements of your people.

What can be achieved with an employee advocacy programme

I put this plan into action as social media manager for Shoosmiths, a law firm.

As part of a wider strategy, the employee advocacy programme supported the firm’s year-on-year post views increasing by 58% and engagements increasing by 200% in 2022.

In November 2022, the firm ranked seventh in the world for the most active legal professionals on social media, according to statistics by employee advocacy agency DSMN8.

A table of the most active law and legal professionals on social media, from November 2022. The table shows Shoosmiths seventh, with 21.12% of employees active on social media.

The benefits of an employee engagement programme

Social media has often been seen as a reputational risk for businesses. Now’s the time to flip that on its head.

Social media provides a huge opportunity to unlock doors to new opportunities, if managed correctly.

And the opportunity with employees is that you have people within the business who are ready and waiting to become advocates. They just need to be educated, activated and empowered.

The more employees you have active on social, posting consistently and having relevant conversations, the more support you have in building your business’ reputation with the correct audiences.

That activity will have a positive impact on top line performance. And that’s the ultimate aim, right?

Book an intro call with me to create your employee advocacy programme, and turn your employees into advocates on social media.


Employee advocacy programmes

  • People are more likely to respond to other people than they are to businesses on LinkedIn
  • By activating and empowering your employees you will build your business’ reputation and presence with the correct audiences
  • Set the foundations with a social media policy and content distribution plan
  • Educate your employees on how to use LinkedIn effectively and on the benefits of using it
  • Activate your plan by sending consistent content to your employees for them to post
  • Do not tell your employees what to post and how to post it – this is about empowerment
  • What’s working? What’s not working? Tweak and test as you go to unlock further success
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