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Bobby Isaacson Director of Brand Partnerships Social Chorus

What content types create the highest level of brand engagement and why?

Employee Engagement = Customer Engagement

Marketers are always on the lookout for new ways to drive consumer engagement with brand content. From ebooks to blog posts to videos and infographics — marketers are constantly publishing and tracking the results, looking for what will resonate with consumers the most. However, research from Nielsen shows, consumers care more about content that is shared by real people (i.e. your employees) than brand messaging.

It might shock you that 92% of millennials say that they are working for a company that makes a positive impact in the world, according to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report. They also spend an average of 4.2 hours per day social networking. Given those stats, why wouldn’t you engage these employees and encourage them to share about your company on social media?

Although employees are your most credible spokespeople, the overwhelming majority of workers still feel disengaged, and they don’t understand your company’s purpose well enough to talk about it publicly. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace survey, just 13% of worldwide employees say they are engaged at work. The same poll found that only 41% of U.S. employees know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from competitors’ brands.

The key to getting employees engaged with the brand — so engaged that they’ll be empowered to share brand content — is fairly simple. Here are four steps that top brands, such as Target, AT&T and more have successfully taken to create a culture of employee advocacy.

1. Share the Knowledge

If your employees fall in the 59% of U.S. employees who don’t know much about their company, they won’t advocate on social media. Why then, would consumers engage with your content if your employees don’t? By giving employees access to content they can share as well as internal-only content, employees are more likely to feel engaged and evangelize their brand’s messaging.

2. Train for Success

Employees need to know what to share, and how to do it in a brand-safe way. Do you provide social guidelines that would allow employees to post without fear of repercussions? If you’re training strategy is "Ready, set, tweet," most of your employees won’t engage. Provide structure and guardrails.

Make social advocacy a source of employee engagement, and make engagement a source of advancement.

Bobby Isaacson, Director of Brand Partnerships, Social Chorus

3. Make Engagement Easy

How easy is it for employees to access brand content and company news? Employees need an one-stop shop where they can easily access everything they need to know — and easily share that content if they want to.

4. Recognize Your Biggest Advocates

Do you acknowledge people who share on social media? If an employee tweets and gets a shout out or re-tweet from the CEO, he or she will feel motivated and recognized, both key ingredients in engagement.

Make social advocacy a source of employee engagement, and make engagement a source of advancement. To learn more about how to create an engaged culture of advocacy, read the SocialChorus ebook: How to Train Employee Advocates