Is Social Media And "Employee Advocacy" Possible Within Regulated Industries?. How does this square with the concept of “employee advocacy”, where firms encourage their employees to share news of their firm on social media? When employees are equipped and encouraged to share news and information about their organizations, they become a powerful force in authentic brand storytelling. Belbey: We know that regulated firms are beginning to allow select groups such as financial advisors to post pre-approved content on social media. Like many firms within regulated industries, Humana established stringent requirements around the content that employees can distribute. Every organization wants employees to be excited about their company, their colleagues, and their work. Belbey: How do regulated firms comply with regulatory requirements regarding communications with the public? Instead, employees are directed to reach out to the social media or corporate communications team. Humana digital marketing and legal teams also worked together to make sure the program was in compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations. These polices can then be reinforced with technology.
Regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services have stringent requirements about how they communicate with the public. How does this square with the concept of “employee advocacy”, where firms encourage their employees to share news of their firm on social media? To find out, I spoke with Russ Fradin, digital media marketing industry veteran and CEO of Dynamic Signal.
Belbey: What does “Employee Advocacy” mean exactly? Is it something new?
Fradin: The idea of Employee Advocacy isn’t new. Companies have offered referral bonuses or encouraged employees to share media coverage with their networks for years. But in today’s digital, social, mobile, “always-on world”, the way companies select technology and execute employee advocacy has certainly evolved.
Social media is now a significant part of our everyday lives. It often serves as a primary communication channel between family, friends, and colleagues. Forbidding employees from using social media at work isn’t just unnatural — it’s a missed opportunity. Enabling a workforce to do what they already want to do, across their social networks, may lead to ROI and a more satisfied, connected workforce. When employees are equipped and encouraged to share news and information about their organizations, they become a powerful force in authentic brand storytelling. With these personal, public endorsements, companies experience more engaged, more productive employees who help to drive measurable results for marketing, sales, human resources, and communications departments. That’s employee advocacy.
Belbey: How do firms facilitate “employee advocacy”? How is it being used?
Fradin: It starts with communication. Disconnected, uninformed employees can slow growth, distract from the mission, or deteriorate the company culture. On the other hand, an employee who feels connected, knowledgeable, empowered, and equipped to share the great things their company is doing, will create meaningful awareness and loyalty beyond the reach of traditional marketing or advertising campaigns. Employee advocacy is used for social selling, recruiting, brand awareness, event attendance, productivity, content distribution, and more. Success, and possible ROI, is very much dependent on consistent participation across the organization.
Belbey: We know that regulated firms are beginning to allow select groups such as financial advisors to post pre-approved content on social media. Have firms in regulated industries had any success deploying social to broader employee populations?...