What is an Employee Advocacy Program?
An Employee Advocacy Program is when workers of a company take steps in promoting the company or brand, they work for through a set of different variety tactics. This includes promoting through the public, on social networks, and even from within their day-to-day business operations to share the support for environmental, political, or social causes. The true purpose of an employee advocacy program is to motivate and make it simple for your employees to be active in your organization’s marketing efforts by executing activities and sharing company messages with their personal networks.
Benefits of the Employee Advocacy Program
There are many benefits that are generated from this program. The one goal that this will help reach is increased brand visibility, improved brand recognition, and better brand loyalty. But there are also other benefits that come from this program, this includes the increased social presence and humanizing your brand. Also, it positions your employees as leaders and industry experts and foster thought leadership. The main purpose of the employee advocacy program is to boost employee engagement and morale. But the most important benefit of employee advocacy is the impact on corporate goals by having the people who are already on your payroll help promote the brand, without having the spend more money on marketing and see a greater return.
Examples of Employee Advocacy
Here below, I am going to show you how companies use their employee advocacy programs.
Here we have Mastercard and how they unitize the Mastercard Employee Ambassador Program to show their brand related content across their personal accounts. They collaborate with over 400 employees on this program to post texts, images and videos on their Facebook and LinkedIn account. This program is a direct result of a commitment to prioritize talent development. The CMO of MasterCard had to say this about the Employee Ambassador Program, “As we look at our priorities for 2018, let’s commit to putting talent development at the top. There’s much we can do to help develop the ‘superhuman’ marketers needed to succeed in today’s tech-savvy world.”
MasterCard is so lenient with this program, they even allow their employees to post during office hours, rather than their own time. This can an example of why they have such high morale in their work environment.
Mastercard recognizes that its strongest social media asset is its large workforce. As they are aware of this, they just started to open playbooks on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. MasterCard employees are even included in their decision-making process. Marcy Cohen, the VP and Senior Business Leader for Communications at Mastercard thought it would be a great idea to bring the company together for a meeting where they discuss the guidelines the allows the people to ask questions and understand what is and is not allowed on social when acting as an employee advocate for MasterCard.
Another major brand that follows this program, they are the leader when it comes to coffee and other breakfast items, Starbucks. They have created employee partner accounts on their various social media accounts that give their employees the opportunities to make posts- pictures, stories, and discussions about their brand. Their employees’ Facebook page has well over 350,000 followers, Twitter account with over 50,000 followers and an Instagram page with over 125,000 followers.
The term that Starbucks uses when referring to their employee advocacy program is “partner”. By them giving their employees this title, gives them a sense of belonging and emphasizes the accountability that they are given for the content they post on the company’s behalf. Starbucks has given their “partners” guidelines to their employees of what they can and cannot post on the social media page.
Starbucks believes in giving their employees the opportunities, to ensure that they have a better-trained workforce, which leads to a lower staff turnover and having more motivated employee advocates. Starbucks claims that they have a staff turnover 20% lower than the industry average.
Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, shares in this book, Onward, “[Employees] are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers. [Employees] elevate the experience for each customer – something you can hardly accomplish with a billboard or a 30-second spot.”
Click here to see the others brands around the world that use the employee advocacy program
How a Brand can start their own Employee Advocacy Program?
Given the facts on why starting a Employee Advocacy Program would be a wise investment for a company, EveryoneSocial has a quick and easy way for a company to get started on creating an employee advocacy program. The company Everyonesocial is dedicated to helping companies establish an employee brand ambassador program. The sign up is quick and easy and has even helped some of the biggest companies in the world today. Click here to visit their website