How Boosting Employee Advocacy Can Help You Market Your Brand
By Jori Hamilton
Image Source: Pixabay
April 23 2021 - We spend a significant amount of time at our workplaces, and because of this, we’re able to give detailed accounts of our experiences in them. We’ve been sharing our on-the-job experiences for decades. But the introduction of social media has since increased the impact of our advocacy or lack thereof.
Employee advocacy is now primarily carried out on social media. Employees take it upon themselves to promote the company they work for, share their honest opinion about the brand, and give additional insight on what it’s like to be a part of the culture on their pages.
Let’s learn a bit more about employee advocacy and discuss three key benefits. We’ll leave you with some guidance on how to boost employee advocacy in your company starting today.
What is Employee Advocacy?
We love our employees for many things, including their genuine feedback about their experiences with your company. Without their authenticity, you wouldn’t be able to improve your workplace practices and overall office culture.
Employee advocacy is simply employees creating conversations around the organization for promotional purposes. They share positive feedback with their personal networks about what it’s like to work for a specific company, the products/services available, customer wins, and so forth. Employee advocacy can be carried out offline, but as stated above, social media is the most common avenue. These conversations could contain information about:
- Their favorite products or services
- Upcoming campaigns they’re excited about
- Industry trends
- Behind-the-scenes projects
- The company culture
- Social responsibility commitments
- Business remodel in favor of sustainability
- Employee recognition
- Stories of trial and triumph
- How they were supported by leadership
- Customer-centered stories
- Professional development
- Their work-life balance
The point of employee advocacy is to boost how favored your brand is among customers and potential hires. Employee advocates humanize your brand by giving raw, real-time details on how your company caters to its employees and its clients.
Three Benefits of Employee Advocacy
When employees advocate for your business and brand on their personal social media pages, they’re able to reach a wider audience and attract people that may not have otherwise been targeted. You have the potential to get the reach of paid ads with an organic strategy.
Company leaders usually spend good money on marketers who can craft the best captions and calls to action (CTAs), and choose the most aesthetically pleasing photos to engage followers on their business’s social media page.
With employee advocacy, you have something similar to social influencers without the associated costs. Using social influencers is a popular marketing tactic because you’re able to leverage the trust-filled relationships influencers have with their followers. When their influencer suggests something their followers are likely to do it. Your employees have a similar influence on their social media followers.
Here are a few other benefits of employee advocacy:
Tell your company’s story
Employees can help you tell your company’s story. People are just as interested in employee experiences as they are in CEO stories. They want to know how the CEO got to where they are now, but also what it’s like to be an employee from day to day should they ever be hired. They’re equally interested in authentic employee accounts of how customers are prioritized in a company.
They can share highlights about the unique things you do at your company. For example, millennials are taking over the workforce and also happen to be leaders in the sustainability movement. Millennials in your company are likely to share your green endeavors like your use of natural cleaning products, recyclable office supplies, or eco-friendly packaging. Sharing things like this can attract other millennial talent to your company.
When employees tell authentic stories about your company on their social media platforms, it drives customers, new employees, potential partners, and investors to learn more about your brand.
Increase sales and improve your marketing
Many businesses don’t have nearly as large a following on social media as most of their employees. This means more eyes on your brand and more chatter about your business if you can get your employees to engage in employee advocacy.
More people trust a regular employee (54%) than a CEO (47%). When employees share, it comes across as more authentic than when a company leader does so. Many of your employees are also highly tech-savvy and have created online presences that are engaging, intentional, and centered on loyal relationships. When they speak, their followers listen.
Employee advocacy can significantly increase sales and better your marketing messaging with the consistent sharing of valuable content that drives quality leads to your business.
Recruiting is more productive
When employees advocate on your company’s behalf, it makes the recruitment process that much easier. As mentioned above, people trust a regular employee more than they do a CEO. So, hearing about your business’s sterling brand reputation from multiple employees far outweighs the impact of a single CEO’s story.
Employees start the advocacy on their pages, but the brand awareness goes beyond their networks with each share, comment, and direct message. They’re an actual representation of your company culture’s greatness while sharing their emphatic on-the-job stories to promote excellence.
You want a diverse and inclusive workplace. Encouraging your employees to share their work experiences will ensure you attract candidates from all cultures and backgrounds.
When you’re recruiting for vacant positions, you can suggest candidates take a look at some of your top employees’ social media profiles and let their advocacy content do some of the work for you.
Boost Your Employee Advocacy
After reading up on employee advocacy and its benefits to your company, you’re probably wondering how you can prioritize employee advocacy in your business. You can start by sending out some literature on your intent to generate employee advocacy.
Ask for feedback from your employees on this initiative and gauge how committed they are to participate. You then want to create an employee advocacy program. Be clear about its goals and objectives and appropriate ways to carry out advocacy.
Ensure that you’re monitoring the effectiveness of the program and shifting strategies when needed.
Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, recruitment, HR, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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