Nearly every business and organization today can benefit from an employee advocacy strategy, but the advantages may be different than you would think. Here are four distinct examples of how you, your teammates and your company can use employee advocacy to drive results. To begin though, let’s level set on the concept of employee advocacy.
What is Employee Advocacy?
In its most basic form, employee advocacy is the practice of engaging employees to help promote a company’s brand. This could be as simple as wearing company-branded apparel or telling an acquaintance about your company.
In the digital world, employee advocacy primarily encompases encouraging employees to share noteworthy news and announcements – such as a new blog post, press release or other content – on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
While promoting content is clearly the primary benefit for considering an employee advocacy program, there are a number of other advantages.
Promotion, Amplification & Awareness
If you’re going to go to the effort to produce content or create a press release, you likely want it to be seen by as many people as possible (yes, there are exceptions). With the average user having 707 Twitter followers,155 friends on Facebook and 930 connections on LinkedIn, one way to easily extend the potential reach of your announcements is to recruit your team to help spread the word.
Where a company may have 10,000 followers on LinkedIn, if 100 of their employees also shared the same content on LinkedIn, the potential reach would increase by an additional 93,000 (100 x 930). Plus, research shows that posts from a known person are more credible than those from a company. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer study found that 53% of surveyed consumers would put their faith in an average company employee's testimonial over that company's CEO.
If you’re running a marketing department, a PR team or the company itself, you’d be crazy not to try to capitalize on this, especially when there’s very little incremental cost involved.
Recruitment. Recruitment. Recruitment.
It’s well known that a company is only as good as its employees. Regardless of where things stand with a particular economic cycle, recruiting good people is hard work. Yet having great employees makes all the difference in the world when it comes to running a company or organization.
The best source of qualified candidates comes from existing employees, so there’s enormous value in having your employees promote job descriptions/open opportunities to their networks on various social media channels. And if your company offers a referral bonus, it’s an easy way for team members to potentially earn a few extra bucks.
Aid in Social Selling
As cold outreach tactics have produced fewer returns, today’s sales representatives are increasingly participating in conversations across social channels. Essentially, by following and engaging with prospective companies and key stakeholders, sales reps are able to monitor the topics that are most important to them. And when the time is right (i.e., a conversation relates to the products and services that they’re trying to sell), they can add to the conversation with constructive commentary.
As a part of social selling, sales reps can position themselves as industry thought leaders. One way to do this is by leveraging a company's employee advocacy initiatives and positioning the update so that it adds value to their current and prospective customers.
Most importantly, social selling improves sales results. Research shows that leads developed through social selling are seven times more likely to convert.
Boost Employee Engagement
If your employees are like a lot of people these days, they’re so heads down with work that they miss what’s happening within their own company, especially if they’re not in the marketing or public relations department. By encouraging employees to share relevant company content on social media channels – and presenting those requests to them via internal communications platforms like Slack – you are also motivating staff to take a few minutes and learn what’s happening at your company. You’re also giving them great opportunities to easily make a positive impact for the organization which helps boost confidence and morale.
Forward-looking companies are turning to employee advocacy to amplify their messages in a cost-effective manner, to recruit high-quality talent, to help with social selling and to increase employee engagement. To learn how to use automation to simplify employee advocacy, check out Please Share’s features page.