How Innovate UK turned their employees into brand advocates and grew their reach by 20x
Learn how empowering their employees to become advocates helped them grow their reach
With an already successful social media strategy underway, Innovate UK—a government agency that supports science and technology innovation across the UK—needed to get their message seen by more people.
increased reach on branded content
engagement on posts shared by employees
Social media followers and website traffic
What they did
Innovate UK’s mission is to help grow the UK economy. As innovation was seen as a key part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK wanted to increase brand awareness and showcase their various offerings—their services, available funding, and support options—to a broader audience.
A skilfully executed social media plan supported by a well-rounded content strategy helped grow their followers from 33,000 to 100,000 across their social channels. The same strategy quadrupled their YouTube views and tripled the views on their government website.
Our content strategy and social media initiatives were very successful in building our follower numbers and increasing brand awareness. With our next challenge to reach sector specialists, we felt we had room for improvement in how well we engaged our colleagues—beyond those already sharing on social media—to support that goal.
While growing their followers and views helped them get seen, their next goals were to focus on getting their audience to engage with their content and to grow the reach of their messaging.
Knowing the power of their social-media-savvy employees, Innovate UK turned to their team of technology experts to grow their visibility online. They had a range of employees within their ranks: some who loved creating social media content, and others who were less confident. They sought out a solution that would make it easy for any employee to share the Innovate UK message in an on-brand, timely, and simple way.
How they did it
Innovate UK used Hootsuite Amplify to engage employees in sharing branded content and educating their networks about their services, support, and funding
A dedicated team effort
Innovate UK assigned Camilla Barnes—Senior Digital Communications Executive—to lead the Amplify program. With a senior team member responsible for the program, Innovate UK ensured there was always content available for colleagues to share. This kept the content on-brand, relevant, and strategically aligned with broader marketing campaigns
Simplicity, advocacy, and shared growth
Colleagues could easily share content based on their interests and preferences. With preapproved content loaded into Amplify, team members simply selected the posts that interested them, then share them with their network with a few clicks. It created a win-win situation: employees could share relevant content with minimal effort and in nearly no time, and Innovate UK grew the number of people viewing their content incrementally with every share.
With a solution in place that helps time-strapped or less confident employees share social content, employee advocacy has become second nature at Innovate UK. That advocacy continues to grow each employee’s online presence, increasing their reach and influence as they share high-quality, engaging, and relevant content.
An unexpected and valuable benefit of the Amplify program was the growth in team members’ sophistication and confidence using social media. As they grew comfortable sharing preapproved Innovate UK posts, colleagues found their voice and started customising content to resonate more with their individual networks, evolving and maturing their presence online and their influence in their industry.
At a critical time in raising awareness of Innovate UK, we were able to monitor the specific impact of Amplify posts and see the reach they delivered—an additional two million. Having a well-planned content strategy meant Amplify really could live up to its name.
Using Amplify to complement their social media plan, Innovate UK grew their audience size by an additional two million people. And people weren’t just seeing content that Innovate UK colleagues were posting—they were taking action, with Amplify content seeing a 70 percent engagement rate.
Beyond seeing the number of Amplify users and their audience grow, Innovate UK used the insights from Amplify’s reporting features to help educate and empower their team. Through tracking active sharers and identifying less avid posters, Innovate UK has been able to train and support colleagues less engaged in sharing on social, and help convert them into active advocates.