There’s a new Comms kid in town, and she brings promise of engaged employees and brand awareness on unparalleled levels. Not only that but the right kind of folk will, over time, fall in love with your SaaS organisation and everything you stand for. Welcome to the age of employee advocacy….
Needless to say you’re well informed about the benefits and buy into the concept. But the reason you’re here is because you really want an answer to “how much is this actually going to cost me as an HR Director/ Manager?”. So without further ado, let us explain. First there’s the cost of the technology itself. Trying to run a successful employee advocacy program without an advocacy platform is ill advised (many have tried and that’s why people like Visibly exist). How much the platform costs is likely to be influenced by how much you are going to use it – so put some thought into the number of employees who’ll be advocating on your behalf and just how much content they’ll be producing (Note: Visibly only charge for active users).
Next you might want to factor in the cost of any paid social media you’re likely to use. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are by and large free tools, but a paid campaign will inevitably hold some cost. If your Talent Acquisition team is already using this route then you’ll have an idea of where to invest your time and money. But if you’re new to the paid social media world, it might be worth taking your hipster Marketing Director for a Flat White and asking him to explain. Now let’s take into account the cost of ‘making it fun’.
Gamifying the employee advocacy program no doubt takes things to another level. Many of the best advocacy platforms will have this functionality embedded as standard. The question of whether or not you reward your best advocates can partly be answered by understanding the costs involved. They needn’t cost the earth, but must be factored in. Then there’s the less tangible costs. Think of the time that needs to be put into developing guidelines on what makes great content (no doubt another Flat White for the Marketing Director). You’ll also need someone to build employee advocacy into your onboarding process. Not forgetting that this is a cultural shift towards more openness, authenticity and transparency – and that kind of stuff doesn’t happen overnight. So there you have it. Some thoughts on just how much it costs to introduce an employee advocacy programme into your business. Of course when it works and is working well, the ‘return on investment’ is clearly worth it.