Sarah Betts is an advocacy manager at Qubist, an employee advocacy marketing platform.
What is an advocacy manager? Who better than Sarah to tell all…
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Sarah Betts: I’m an advocacy manager at Qubist where I work with a number of different clients. The Qubist platform helps brands work with their employees to share authentic and measurable word-of-mouth through their personal social media networks, driving marketing reach, engagement and increasing talent acquisition.
I spend the majority of my days creating and curating brand and industry content that resonates with employees. The employees then use our white label mobile app to make the content their own before sharing to friends and followers.
It’s my job to make sure content is relevant for employees and in brand voice as well as being fun and desirable to share – this is informed by my own careful analysis and feedback direct from the users. My role also includes working with the wider team on strategy, client campaigns and product development.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
SB: I sit within the Client Services team and report to the chief product officer. Our clients’ advocate marketing managers, who we support, tend to liaise cross-departmentally with Marketing, Social Media, HR and Recruitment and Internal Communications as employee advocacy has a positive impact on all of these areas.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
SB: Like any role involving social media, my job requires a mix of traditional marketing, digital know-how and the ability to keep up with trends.
Advocate marketing is about engaging and empowering employees by putting marketing in their hands. As well as being comfortable with account management, content creation, strategy, community management and data analysis, an advocacy manager needs to understand what motivates people to share, and what makes employees passionate about the brands they work for.
It is a great opportunity to learn a whole range of marketing skills with a bit of sociology and psychology thrown in – and I have the added bonus of working with and learning about our very own Saas product.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
SB: There’s no normal day, which is what makes it exciting, but content creation and account management are my big priorities. The most important element of my job is keeping advocates engaged and excited, so I’m always checking into our platform’s real-time analytics to see which content types are performing well.
As well as writing fresh content based on this analysis, I source and format eye-catching images for employees to share or take inspiration from – I am a very visual person so I really enjoy this. I keep in touch with the team and clients throughout the day to keep up with wider campaigns, events and initiatives to work out what content should be prioritised.
My day generally ends with a cup of tea as I write my to-do list for tomorrow – never underestimate the power of a good list.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
SB: I love social media, and community management is a big part of my job – I enjoy watching trends build and die, and the passion with which people create Instagram content or spend time arguing on Twitter. It is also that passion that I enjoy encouraging through advocacy: helping people express their life at work; what they enjoy about the working culture; and new things they are proud of to share with network. It’s great to see how it unites employees and gives them a shared sense of belief and purpose.
Creating content and seeing how people make it their own is really satisfying. Plus, seeing a brand scale their advocacy programme quickly and achieving massive reach – that’s very rewarding. Of course, being constantly online means I am exposed to the negatives of the internet also, whether it’s fake news or complaints, but I generally find the good outweighs the bad.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
SB: The key criteria I track for brands are: the number of advocates in the programme; frequency of use on the platform; levels of engagement across different networks; and ROI for talent acquisition and marketing reach and engagement. The Qubist platform is fully measurable as it’s crucial to know how advocate activity is impacting business objectives. We can then use these results to keep improving and working towards brand KPIs that we set out in their strategy and roadmap at the start of any project.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
SB: Google analytics, Google Adwords and Google trends are all useful to see conversations about brands and how wider trends are taking off (or declining). Twitter and Google alerts are good go-to daily sources of relevant news and SproutSocial is useful for community management. Photoshop is my go-to for creating all visuals we provide for advocates to share.
Qubist gives me the key insight I need, provides raw data for in-depth analysis and also produces attractive, easy-to-read reporting for clients which they can access via an intuitive dashboard. Client insight is also one of the best ‘tools’ – although I work on a tech-powered advocate platform, it’s very much about putting humans at the heart of the brands we work with and getting employees’ unique take. So, meeting clients to gain a better understanding of goals and motivations, and getting feedback from employees is something I find really valuable.
E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?
SB: I joined Qube nearly four years ago as an intern before being offered a permanent role as digital marketing assistant. I was quickly promoted to community manager where my background in copywriting helped with content creation and, after training, I took on account management and analytics.
When the company pivoted from a social media agency into a Saas product business and advocate marketing platform, it was a natural step for me to move into the position of advocacy manager. Aside from my day-to-day responsibilities, I have enjoyed being able to help improve our platform by feeding back to our chief product officer. The skills I have developed and continue to learn here have put me in a good position for whatever route I decide on next.
E: Which company cultures do you admire?
SB: I think ASOS are great on social and are always ahead of the game when it comes to their marketing – despite being a purely online brand, they have managed to remain present with magazines, influencer mentions on YouTube and Instagram, and customer advocacy with VIP clubs and placing UGC on their website. Their employees also appear to love working there so the attention to real people must permeate their whole business model.
Given my role, I feel an affinity with any company that is putting people at the centre of the brand and enabling them to communicate effectively in their own voice; it’s so important for bringing colleagues together around a shared vision and values.
E: Do you have advice for anybody who wants to work in your field?
SB: You need to be able to create great content but then have the confidence to let go and step back, to let advocates engage, just managing any parts they need help with. It’s a role for someone who is open to learning a range of skills in a fast-moving environment and will enjoy creating great stories employees can embrace and love to share – if people like seeing that ripple effect it will be a role they’ll flourish in.