Employee Advocacy: Pros and Cons of Employee Empowerment

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On Air: 01:00 - 02:00 EST (GMT-5)
Monday, January 25th, 2016

In this panel, we are going to talk about views and experiences of employee advocacy on social media. It’s easy to understand that it’s beneficial when employees spread a positive word about the organisation. However, if the message is always positive, isn’t it just another form of typical marketing jargon? On the other hand, what are the risks if employees are given too much leash on social media?


Virpi PietiläinenVirpi Pietiläinen
Communications Officer at the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre

Virpi works as a Communications Officer at the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre. Having had education in organisational communication, she has held several positions in communications, mainly in public sector. At her present position one of her responsibilities is to develop social media channels for this new office. She is interested in the ways social media can be used to support organisation’s strategy and goals and is enthusiastic to learn more about how a public organisation can use social media to serve the public better.

Connect with Virpi on LinkedIn.


Robert BrooksRobert Brooks
Social Media Analyst at Itim International 

Responsible for social media at Itim International and The Hofstede Centre. Itim solves intercultural and organizational culture challenges using The Hofstede Model based on the research of world-famous social psychologist, Geert Hofstede. Previously Global Community Manager and Social Media Support Manager for Nokia and Microsoft. Cork ambassador on social media.

Connect with Robert at Twitter @RobiBrooks, LinkedIn or on Google+.

Jaana NyströmJaana Nyström
Solopreneur in Gplussa

Jaana passionately coaches small businesses, non-profit organisations and students in branding, social media skills and tools, digital marketing and Google’s free tools.  She also acts as a Community Manager for companies, managing their social media accounts and curating content.

Connect with Jaana at Twitter @JaanaNystrom or on Google+.

Antonio Vieira SantosAntonio Vieira Santos
Community Manager at Atos

Antonio is the Community Manager at Atos focussing on Digital Inclusion, Social Media Engagement and Social Business. He provides digital consultancy across the different sectors of the organization specializing in Business Intelligence, Social Business and Social Media Analytics. Antonio was proud to serve in the military and is a veteran. He studied Sociology at University in Lisbon, and specialised in HR, Media, Telecom, and ICT Industry. He is a social entrepreneur, having co-founded 3 startups one of which helped children learn and develop their IT and social skills. Antonio is the Co-founder of #AXSChat.The number one Twitter chat in Europe, focused on digital inclusion.

Connect with Antonio on Twitter at @akwyz or on Google+.

Jens SundellJens Sundell
Business Development Director at Smarp Oy

Jens is in charge of Sales and Business Development at Smarp, the leading employee advocacy software provider in EMEA. As pioneers on the Employee Advocacy space since 2011, Smarp has helped hundreds of companies empower their employees to act as brand ambassadors and grow their influence on social media.

Connect with Antonio on Twitter at @JensSundell or on Google+.

Hanna TakalaHanna Takala
Social media & Employee Advocacy Coach at Zento

Hanna has been teaching organizations to use social media for years at Zento. Her mission is to put the needs of employees first: proper coaching and personal branding makes employee advocacy possible. Hanna herself is an employee advocate, so much so, that some think she is an entrepreneur.

Connect with Hanna on Twitter at @hannatakalaLinkedIn or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. How is employee advocacy implemented in your company?
  2. Do you know of any other good examples of employee advocacy?
  3. How should employees be encouraged for employee advocacy?
  4. Should employees be allowed to share negative opinions about the company online? If so, what guidance should they be given?
  5. What threats may exist from implementing/promoting employee advocacy (if any)?

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Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a weekly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. 
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