How Employees Strengthen Trust in the SIX Brand via Social Media

How Employees Strengthen Trust in the SIX Brand via Social Media

The employees of SIX are the best advocates for the company. Online communications specialist Hanna Traber explains how employee advocacy strengthens trust in the SIX brand, promotes brand awareness, and fosters engagement and activity on social media.

Social networks, in their function as information dissemination platforms, are an integral part of the communications strategy at SIX. Our social media engagement is principally based on three pillars: security, content activation, and employee advocacy. It was only logical to get our employees involved in our social media activities. We therefore laid the foundation for employee advocacy early on. Through the engagement of inhouse micro-influencers, we strengthen trust in our brand and reinforce our SIX Spirit culture.

But how have we embedded our employees in our social media activities as brand ambassadors? Two years ago, we introduced an employee advocacy app as part of the further buildout of our social media strategy. Through the app, we give employees a simple and secure way to communicate corporate content on social media and we position them as thought leaders and subject matter experts.

The process of introducing and implementing employee advocacy has brought three success factors to light for us:

1. Employees Who Are Prepared for Their Role as Brand Ambassadors

Concurrent to regulatory processes and getting all stakeholders involved early on, our social media team developed a four-stage employee advocacy program:

Stage 1 began in late 2017. It was a basic program that familiarized employees with the fundamentals of social media. We intensively trained employees on how to engage with social media, instructing them on matters ranging from designing a profile and posting the right content on LinkedIn, the most important social media channel for SIX, to social media guidelines.

In stage 2 we launched a Social Media Professional program aimed at those employees who wanted to become more active and who had registered for the employee advocacy app. They received extensive training and learned about the guidelines and benefits of the program.

An internal influencer program was added in stage 3. The program is intended for select employees who either are able to expound on specialist topics or hold leadership functions in the company. The social media team writes articles for this group of people to post on LinkedIn, for example. After we completed the internal rollout, in stage 4 we additionally concerned ourselves with integrating external influencers.

2. Employee Advocacy Thrives on a Mix of Pertinent Content

To excite workers’ interest in the employee advocacy app and to motivate their long-term engagement, we create compelling content that employees enjoy posting. The social media team at SIX maintains a content calendar that we also use to define employee contributions and to generate topics for posts on social media. We schedule major stories in a biweekly rhythm. The team, as a matter of principle, works agilely in planning content and remains open to current trends and topics. In addition to developing our own themes, we also reprocess external information. This way, employees receive a diversified mix of pertinent content that they can use to distinguish themselves as thought leaders in their social media networks.

3. Employee Advocacy Isn’t a Sprint, It’s a Marathon

Introducing an employee advocacy program requires a long-term commitment, so we constantly urge and motivate employees. SIX counts on the continual support and involvement of all employees – both online and offline. A steady stream of new tips on handling social media and gamification initiatives such as competitions or prizes for especially active internal influencers create additional incentives. The uppermost priority of our employee advocacy program is to constantly motivate all departments through recurring training, initiatives, and high-quality content offerings. Every business unit is active so that everyone can benefit.

Sure, it takes time to persuade workers to engage in employee advocacy, but it’s an investment of time that pays big dividends. After two years of intensive work, we are seeing a very positive trend that validates our objectives: our company and our employees benefit today in equal measure from our program. It has a positive impact on our engagement and reach in social media and fosters internal and external trust in SIX.