Devon Eyer on going beyond the vanity metrics of employee advocacy at Johnson & Johnson

Your employees want to talk about you.

“We're blessed at J&J with having people in our company who are truly passionate about what they do,” says Devon Eyer, Strategic Engagement and Advocacy Leader and member.

In her presentation at our Member Meeting in New York, Devon says most big brands already have a large percentage of employees talking about them in social media — whether the brand is helping them out or not. “Some of it's good, some of it's not good,” she says.

At Johnson & Johnson, Devon created an employee advocacy program to help employees share content through a mobile platform that makes sharing easy and compliant.

Devon Eyer at Member Meeting 41

Devon's team chose LinkedIn Elevate for their employee advocacy platform.

Through the app, Devon's team curates the content. Then, users have content options they can share on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn with pre-populated hashtags (like #mycompany) for compliance. When they log in later, the app gives the user analytics on how their post performed.

Devon says they chose LinkedIn Elevate over other platforms for a few reasons:

  • It's branded and backed by the largest professional network, which made people more comfortable using it.
  • Users could share across multiple platforms.
  • The robust analytics gave users personal dashboards so they could see their impact and how they were building thought leadership.
  • It supported compliance enhancements like pre-populated hashtags.

They launched the program with 100 early adopters, starting with employees on the Communications team. Together, they established content strategy and processes and created internal marketing to drive more adoption among employees.

To get people on board, they partnered with LinkedIn to host on-site registration events.

Go back to your vanity metrics and dig down to an actual, measurable business outcome.

LinkedIn representatives held sessions on building a network, thought leadership, the types of content to share, and how to set up a LinkedIn profile. Johnson & Johnson also hired a photographer to do professional headshots which, Devon says, was a big driver for attendance.

They also targeted Johnson & Johnson employees who might be early adopters with ads for the program on LinkedIn.

“To increase usage with folks we already had on board, we created internal leaderboards and seeded competition — a tactic as old as time,” she says. “It works especially well with executives.” Devon says the key is showing users their advocacy's actual business impact.

The outcomes surprised even Devon and her team.

In a few months, they earned 830 users, 6,200 shares, 4.7 million impressions, and $226,000 earned media value. And with a 1.5 percent engagement rate, they were performing better than most companies using LinkedIn Elevate.

More importantly, they brought on 230 “influenced hires” — people who saw the employee advocacy content, clicked through, applied for a job, and were hired. “Go back to your vanity metrics and dig down to an actual, measurable business outcome,” she says.

Watch Devon's full presentation here. Devon's been a member of since 2011. Follow her on Twitter here.