Social marketing
Stefan Kapteijns
August 11, 2023

How to effectively implement a brand advocacy tool in your organization

Nowadays, social media planning tools and employee advocacy software are widely available. Nevertheless, in many organizations, the implementation of this software and the activation of brand ambassadors is inadequate. As a result, the whole strategy has little success.

In addition, the software that is currently available does not account for brands with dealer channels and franchise formulas that want to handle their own brand sales and control their own online brand expressions. Apostle has the answer: a brand advocacy tool, compatible with all these different types of organizations, accompanied with a powerful implementation strategy for each customer segment.

The importance of quality content

Besides, employees and entrepreneurs lack knowledge of social media, so they do not use it very effectively. When employees do not understand the reach of different types of media, the importance of authentic content, and the functioning of algorithms, a brand advocacy program will not be successful. Organizations can give their employees, dealers, and franchises numerous licenses, but if they don’t provide any support with the software, success continues to elude. As a result, these future brand ambassadors begin the collaboration without knowing the possibilities of the software.

Moreover, people within organizations and affiliated branches or retailers often do not wish to use personal accounts for business use. Also, it's not made clear to them how they can benefit from social media, specifically its business use. For all these reasons, organizations don’t use the many opportunities social media has to offer. However, Apostle has a different approach, and goes the extra mile for their customers.

Expand your scope with Apostle

To help your company or brand take full advantage of social media, Apostle facilitates everything you need for a successful software deployment. With the Social shift methodology, we activate your own brand ambassadors on social media. Thereby, you will receive all the necessary support from our activation managers and partners. This “social shift” consists of five steps:

  1. Determining content strategy: We develop a clear content strategy and determine the goals, themes, and structure by filling out our content strategy templates.
  2. Optimizing organizational structure: After developing the strategy, employees will be designated a certain role, attainable for every employee, franchisee, or store employee.
  3. Kick-off and e-learning: To activate the participants of the program, we offer a clear explanation of the expectations and working methods of the app.
  4. Collecting input and sharing messages: A centrally designated person creates professional social media posts. Ambassadors can share these posts on personal or corporate social media channels. In addition, the ambassadors collect authentic material to use and share through these professional messages.
  5. Continuous activation: By continuously monitoring and analyzing the results, we further adjust the process and further increase the impact.

Social shift Readiness Model

The brand ambassadors thus play an essential role in the identity and marketing of your company, although they often have little experience with the corporate use of social media. With the Social Shift methodology, however, Apostle combines the best of both worlds.

Since 2013, the Social Shift method has proven to be successful. In this implementation program, we take into account the maturity level of your organization. Therefore, we use the Social Shift Readiness Model as our base. This model consists of three phases:

1. Content strategy and structure

The first phase is all about the development of a content strategy. Together with you as a customer, we define clear objectives, target groups, content pillars, and company identity. This strategy is the foundation for all online communication. The structure and activities are safeguarded by assigning various roles with different tasks. We also launch a relevant content stream with pilot groups.

2. Pilot phase

The second phase is about rolling out and testing the brand advocacy software with a small group of ambassadors who have an affinity for social media, and who can contribute relevant content.

In an extensive pilot, we determine what skills the brand ambassadors have on social media, and we teach them to work with our software. We instruct them with e-learning via short instructional videos and facts to learn how to increase their impact. Through various tools we stimulate the group to actively use the software.

It is important for the ambassadors to learn how to use the app to deliver authentic content from the workplace. It is an excellent way to personalise your communication on social media, but also to reinforce the bonding and involvement of the ambassadors with the organization.

The adoption rate of the software has so far proven to be particularly high, which is due to Apostle's extremely user-friendly tools. And, since the ambassadors have small roles in this, it is even attainable for people with busy schedules. At this stage, we launch a business case to examine the effects of the strategy.

3. Scaling up

About six months after the start, we arrive at the third stage. At this stage, we analyse the results of the pilot and decide how and when to scale up. We look at the components that have proven to be the most effective. Apostle provides an analysis dashboard to give the management a clear overview of the results, and marketing specialists the opportunity for in-depth analysis.

Now, the previously appointed brand ambassadors will become the ambassadors of the program and the software. By using a white-label version of the brand advocacy software, we further enhance the bonding that resulted from the previous phase.

Additional elements for an optimal "Social shift"

To improve the process, Apostle offers various features during implementation. For example, organizing editorial meetings with Social Creators—the brand ambassadors who provide material within a certain content pillar. It is also possible to create a motivational video from the board: Apostle has a recording studio at its disposal to make this happen.

In addition, the software is equipped with functionalities to activate ambassadors. Examples include assignment notifications and the rewarding of ambassadors via the leaderboard. This also demonstrates the most active ambassadors.

As you can see, we offer a lot of support when implementing our brand advocacy software. Step by step and with various possibilities, an optimal social media strategy is at your fingertips with the help of Apostle.

Schedule a discovery call with expert Koen Jordaans to discuss the options within your organization!

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