Get to know their values, their strengths, and their aspirations. Get to know their environment too. We share a lot about the company’s brand, but you have to take a moment to understand how the employees’ work fits into the overall company picture. The better you understand them and their environment, the easier it is help them be a better advocate for you.
Marketing author and speaker Seth Godin talks a lot about the "connection economy" and the need for people to be connected. This is true for your advocates too. Teach them how to make and keep connections, with individuals both in and outside of the company. With external connections you could help cultivate a future customer while helping your advocates build more fulfilling lives. And internal connections can teach advocates how to connect and stay connected with fellow advocates, allowing them to break down silos and solve problems that could lead to big promotions.
This is tied to getting to know your advocates. Look for opportunities to make their involvement about more than just sharing content. Align their talents, skills, and passions to create unique projects that allow them to showcase what they already know and learn skills that will make them better advocates.
For example, at Intel, employee advocates were used to successfully launch tablets through a "Tablet Smart Squad." Advocates with technical knowledge were able to share what they knew while learning how to amplify their voice on social media. The cool thing is that you could also have been someone who knew how to share a message, and learned the technical aspects of the product so you could participate as well.
This is the one aspect most programs are already familiar with. It includes educating your advocates on using social media, teaching them the skills to be a good storyteller or presenter and helping them to position themselves as thought leaders by using tools like Meddle.it to comment and amplify the content they are sharing with their followers.
Helping your employees build their own brand only makes them a stronger brand advocate for your company, and makes it clear what's in it for them when it comes to employee advocacy and brand ambassador programs. You now have the tools to build your employees into brands, so what’s getting in your way?