You may be wondering what an employee advocacy program is and whether you should start one. The answer is yes, you should.
An employee advocacy program encourages employees to promote your business through social media sharing and engagement of company content. Your employees have 10-times the reach on social that your brand accounts have. Think about that: 10-times the reach of the accounts that you pour the most time and money into cultivating!
Your employees’ social media profiles also wield valuable influence. One reason is that many of them will use social platforms that your brand does not, so they have access to followers you don’t. Second, their content is perceived as three times more authentic than branded marketing material. Consumers use social media to do research before making purchases, and potential hires use social media to research companies’ potential as an employer. Eighty-three percent of consumers value family and friends’ recommendations over any other kind of advertising. That’s because people trust other people more than they trust brands, so using an employee advocacy program offers an effective digital tactic to harness your workforces’ own enthusiasm and network to increase organic brand awareness among potential customers and build an authentic online community.
Employee advocacy involves curating brand content for employees to share on their social networks. When you write posts about products, provide content that gives a look inside the company, content that announces awards and promotes webinars, and provide incentives for employees to share that content on social. But don’t limit yourself to a top-down approach. Employees’ own content is just as important.
Employees’ conversations on social are the digital equivalent of someone recommending a business over dinner: “Wow, you have to try this new craft cocktail spot downtown.” They’re the online equivalent of sharing a story at a party about a wonderful experience you recently had: “This company came to our house, installed the composite deck for us, and it’s the best big house purchase we’ve ever made.” On social, people share pics of everything from their new roof racks and coffee makers to new shoes. On social, consumers watch and listen. While they lurk, they form ideas about your company. When done well, employee advocacy programs can build the kind of grassroots endorsement network that generates leads and converts online conversations to actual sales. The source of employee advocacy’s power: Employee endorsements seem natural.
Put another way: Employee advocacy is organic brand promotion. When your staff gets excited, when they believe in your company and use your products or services, they can share that positive experience to create brand awareness and new customers. Whether it’s humblebragging about seeing new products in development or raving about your company’s exciting, innovative work culture, online advocacy shapes public perception and builds your reputation in a way that customers see.
a. Increasing brand awareness
b. Higher engagement rates
c. More reach
d. Improving overall marketing strategy
e. Increasing leads or sales