This week I’m coming to you from Japan, and I’m talking to Dennis Owen, from Cathay Pacific. Today we’re talking about their extremely successful employee advocacy program, which Dennis launched simultaneously with their brand campaign “Life Well Traveled.” Dennis explains how he got the higher ups behind him, the platform they use, what kind of content is successful, and the rewards they give for engaging in the program. This is a great episode to listen to if you’ve been trying to figure out how to factor an employee advocacy program into your business plan.
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In This Episode:
- I’m an avid traveler, and on a recent flight I sat next to a flight attendant, and he shared some stories with me, and I realized employees have such interesting stories to tell
- Dennis has been with Cathay Pacific for 29 years, mostly based in the U.S., last year moved to Hong Kong to work on Social Media
- Social media touches every department in a company: marketing, corporate communications, sales, reservations
- Dennis has a testimonial on Dynamic Signal, one of the leading employee advocacy platform in the U.S.
- Way before tools like Dynamic Signal, Dennis was sharing information about Cathay Pacific on his own social media like Twitter and LinkedIn
- Employee advocacy is a way to share messages more personally
- There definitely had to be some education in the beginning about what internal brand advocacy is; When he presented the idea, there wasn’t any pushback, just a lack of understanding
- It worked perfectly because it timed nicely with their new brand campaign, “Life Well Traveled”
- When he put it on their internal website, they got feedback from other ports as well, not just from Hong Kong
- The great thing about a tool like this is you can find out very quickly who is social media savvy and who are those brand advocates that are promoting you without you maybe knowing
- They use a point system – when you share, you get a certain number of points, redeemable for certain items; They also use a quarterly contest
- It’s the same as external social media – you have to shake it up and keep it engaging
- Giveaway ideas include sponsorships; they don’t have to be huge items, it does have to be scalable and usable on a global scale
- You’re not going to get people on internal brand programs that aren’t already there, you’re going to get ones that are already active on social
- Dennis’ theory is that for Cathay Pacific it should be about 25-30% company news, and the rest should be travel related
- The Dynamic Signal Dashboard is great, because it help you see what has been liked or shared, and so you can determine what kind of content resonates the best
- You can connect with Dennis and learn more on Twitter and LinkedIn, and make sure to check out Cathay Pacific!
Resources & Links:
- Read my ebook all about the final frontier of social media marketing: Employee Advocacy!
- LinkedIn is also a great place for employee advocacy to begin.
- Google AMP is another great tool for leveraging advocacy.
- Read why you should focus your efforts on advocacy (and where else you should focus your social media efforts this year).
- Engaging your employees can lead to a better customer experience!
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