Achieving tangible business results through social media is a challenging task. Despite sharing regular updates with your company’s social media followers, your posts often get lost in the sea of content they see every day. While paid ads can provide some assistance, they are not the sole solution for cutting through the noise on social media. Audiences crave genuine connections and desire to engage in conversations with people they know. This is where an employee advocacy program comes into play. By leveraging your employees’ professionally curated networks on social media platforms, an employee advocacy program can amplify your brand’s reach. These programs not only enhance your company’s share of voice, lead generation, and website traffic, but they also do so without breaking the bank. Employee advocacy programs go beyond sharing business updates and news; they involve employees authentically sharing their work experiences. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Bradley Keenan, Founder & CEO of DSMN8, to learn how companies can utilize their employees’ authenticity to enhance social media reach and brand awareness. During our conversation, Bradley shared his journey as a technology entrepreneur, insights on finding the ideal advocate profiles, and strategies for building an employee advocacy program from scratch. This interview is part of G2’s Professional Spotlight series. To access more content like this, subscribe to G2 Tea, a monthly newsletter featuring SaaS news and entertainment. To start off, here are some warm-up questions: – What’s your favorite beverage? – When do you enjoy it? – What was your first job? – What’s your favorite software in your current tech stack? – What work-related challenges make you frustrated enough to want to throw your laptop out the window? In our deeper conversation, we delved into various topics, including automation. Bradley shared that at DSMN8, they focus on automating any manual processes to allow administrators more room for creative thinking. They utilize AI, particularly generative AI, to assist in creating post captions and generating content ideas. When asked about his journey and background, Bradley discussed his sales career, starting as an employee of a video content production company in 2003. In 2009, he ventured out to establish his own business, E-Tale, an e-commerce technology company focused on helping people find products through manufacturer websites. After E-Tale was acquired in 2014, Bradley spent two years working for the acquiring company before starting DSMN8 in 2016. When it comes to finding product-market fit, Bradley emphasized the importance of identifying a problem that enough people share, particularly those from large companies with substantial budgets. By creating a solution to that problem, a market can be established for the product. The idea for DSMN8 was born out of Bradley’s experience working in the marketing team of the acquiring company, where he struggled to get salespeople to share social media content. This led him to create a business that helps individuals become more active on social media in a safe and manageable way, while also ensuring brand compliance for companies. Addressing the disconnect between sales and marketing, Bradley advised that companies without an employee advocacy program should start by engaging with senior leadership across different departments. By connecting with departments that would benefit the most from an advocacy program, such as sales, companies can demonstrate the value and onboard employees more effectively. In terms of the impact of employee advocacy on share of voice and inbound leads, Bradley highlighted the significance of salespeople or customer-facing teams sharing valuable content consistently on social media. This helps the sales team dominate the share of voice in their category, making them the first choice for buyers. Bradley cited McKinsey & Company as an example, with over 9,000 active ambassadors within the organization. He also shared that small businesses can achieve impressive results through employee advocacy, citing DSMN8 as an example with 70% of website visitors coming from social media referrals and over 25,000 social media followers in just 18 months. For companies looking to start an employee advocacy program, Bradley recommended creating ideal advocate profiles based on the company’s objectives and the profiles of its employees. For example, if the goal is to increase sales, salespeople should be encouraged to be more active on social media. The content shared through employee advocacy can be categorized into company content (updates about the company and its products), industry news, and company culture content showcasing the employee experience. The specific type of content depends on the company’s target audience and goals.