5 Key Pillars of Employee Advocacy: Part 5 of 5 Measurement and Reporting

What does a successful employee advocacy programme look like?

We’ve already talked about the importance of knowing what you’re trying to achieve in our article on Purpose because if you don’t have a vision for what you want to achieve, there’s no reason why anyone else will. 

It sounds obvious but it’s one of the main things people get wrong: knowing what you want to achieve is the only way you’ll be able to measure success and know when you’ve achieved it.

Now, you might say you don’t know what success will look like as you’re experimenting but even with an experiment or pilot, you should have a hypothesis of what you think will happen.

1. Be clear about what you want to achieve

Examples of things you might want from a successful employee advocacy programme:

  • Long term brand building
  • Short term sales activation
  • Employee engagement
  • Improved customer service
  • Increased footfall in store

Your goal may be one of above, more than one or a different goal altogether. The important thing is to be clear what you are aiming to achieve because this dictates the results you will need to gather for measurement and reporting. 

Don’t skirt over this part of the process. By setting out what you’re expecting success to look like, means you’re more likely to achieve it and those you’re reporting to are more likely to value what you’re doing when you do achieve it and, crucially, they won’t have unreasonable expectations.

Note: we will cover all the different outcomes you may wish to achieve in a later blog article, showing how you’ll need to set your programme up and what you’ll need to measure for reporting. 

2. Know who and what your reports are for

When it comes to reporting,  it is easy to quickly get overwhelmed with data. There’s a chart for everything and for every social network, it’s a little different. 

Apps and platforms provide you with masses and masses of data. You can end up creating reports with pretty but meaningless charts which don’t help you understand your situation, achieve your goals or present a well-thought-out case to others.

Successful employee advocacy programmes measure relevant information. You need to be able to pick out the data you need from all that is available and organise it based on who you are presenting to.

Are your reports being generated to let senior management know how the programme is going? Are they for your teams to refine your strategy and tactics? Are they to inform your content strategy for employees going forward?

With measurement and reporting, one size does not fit all. You need the right data, presented in the right way for the right people. In practice, you may need different versions of reporting for different internal audiences.

Here are some examples: 

Pitch to senior management: you’ve run a pilot and you wish to pitch the idea of employee advocacy to senior management in order to scale up and get more budget.

Marketing performance: you need to provide a  performance update to the marketing management to be incorporated into their wider monthly performance report.

Optimise programme: as the advocacy manager you need to maintain and grow performance to meet  your programme targets. Every week or month you need information on where you have to adjust or fine-tune your strategy.

Motivate employee advocates: as the employee advocacy manager you need to keep your employees motivated by supporting them to build their confidence and the quality of their sharing. You will need information on who’s doing well and who’s struggling.

3. Collect data and create your reports

i/ Gather data: you need to collect the data associated with the posts made by advocates in your programme. If you are not using an advocacy app to help with this, it can be a bit more time consuming but is still possible if you’re organised. 

Some of the data you need to collect is available publicly on the posts they make, but some of it can only be seen by the advocates themselves on their private social media accounts. 

You will need to make a decision on what level of data you need or are happy to run with. 

You can then decide to ask the advocate to provide some of the required data, say every week.

ii/ Combine data: once you have the post level data from all participants for the week you can combine this in a number of ways for use in your report and analysis.

You can simply combine all the post figures for the week to give you a set of totals in a spreadsheet or you can segment them for more detail.

iii/ Select report purpose: decide the purpose of the report you’re creating (eg optimisation, marketing performance etc) and identify the charts or tables you’ll need in the report.

iv/ Create chars and build report: use your data and the above information to create the charts and tables and build your report.

We hope you found this article useful if you need to report on your employee advocacy programme.

To recap:

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