Some Common Social Advocacy Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

Social advocacy is becoming more integrated into marketing strategies. Companies are realizing the value of social advocacy programs, such as increased conversion rates and higher engagement levels. Content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. To have a successful advocacy program, you need your CEO and stakeholders to understand the value the program can bring, and you need all participants to be passionate about the brand and the content they are sharing.

However, companies are discovering barriers within their company to having a truly successful advocacy program. Some B2B marketers struggle with getting their executives, sales team, HR, and other employees onboard with becoming social advocates. Here are some reasons why certain departments are not using social media and tips for encouraging these employees to participate.

CEO’s and Other Top Executives

Only 28% of CEOs use social media, with 22% using LinkedIn and 10% using Twitter. True, they are too busy running the company to think about social media and usually place it under marketing’s duties; however, they should consider that 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. CEOs and executives are seen as powerful thought leaders. When they share content about the company, outsiders will take notice and view that content as more legitimate than if shared by non-exec profiles. With their executive role in the company, they can be seen as social leaders and an excellent example to follow for other employees.

Present social media stats and insights to the executives and show them how 10 minutes a day on social media can improve engagement levels for the company. You must define your specific goals for your social media strategy and present the benefits of the program.  Some executives might feel that social media is the domain of their kids using Snapchat, and they need examples of how it can work for the business. You may have to start by building their profile’s for them, enabling them to become comfortable with the platforms.

The Sales Team

A study by Jim Keenan’s “A Sales Guy” 21.7% of salespeople don’t want to make money! Well, at least they said that they are not are not using social media, with 19% citing they don’t see the value and 45% citing it’s because they don’t understand social selling. Salespeople underestimate what social media can do for them and may be used to traditional sales and marketing strategies. For example, they might not realize that many prospects are out on social media looking for helpful content and information prior to even talking to a company.

To bridge this gap, set up social media tutorials and presentations to make sure the sales team understands the importance of social media for sales and how to share content correctly to their target audiences. It can also help to work with smaller teams when implementing a social advocacy strategy, making sure each member really understands the importance and benefits of the program.

Typically, salespeople are competitive by nature, so showing them an advocacy leader board and the real benefits of social selling will spark their inner competitiveness. You need to show them how social selling can result in lead generation and conversions. The advantages of social selling speak for themselves, as 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.


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