Increasing Reach through Employee Advocacy: the case of Electronic Arts and Starbucks

What Is employee advocacy? Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its employees. This could mean employees share information about certain products or campaigns of the company. They could also share a look into the company culture. Employee advocacy programs allows companies to create guidelines, resources, and rewards for employees who promote the brand. Employee advocacy programs can also lead to great return on invest for companies because of the large increase in reach the company is getting. The most effective channel for employee advocacy is social media.

Why is Employee Advocacy Important?

Employee advocacy programs are important for companies for many reasons but there are three reasons that stand out. The first reason is the most important because it positively impacts sales and company growth because of the increased brand awareness. The increased reach created by the employees reaches more people than the company is able to on their own. Customers will see employees advocating for their company and it will improve their perception of the company as a whole. The second reason is that it improves the companies staff retention and engagement. When the staff of a company is using their time to advocate and promote them it creates a better work culture and can even help recruit other people to work for the company. The last reason is that it improves the companies reputation. When consumers see that employees like what the company is doing, it improves the companies reputation.

Employee Advocacy Program Stats

These programs help increase reach because employees already have social media profiles with followers that don’t follow the particular company. It was found that people trust a regular employee more than the CEO. Employees see more of the daily activities and deal more with the products themselves than the CEO. 92% of consumers also trust their close friends and family for recommendations on the companies that they use. When family and friends of the employee see they are posting positive things about the brand they work at, it creates a significant amount of reach. Another study found that company branded posts when shared by an employee had 561% more reach than branded channels itself. When consumers see real people post or repost great things about a company they are going to pay more attention than if brand posted the same thing. When an employee advocate is referring consumers the retention rate is increased by 37%. After you reach more people you also need to retain their business which can be improved with employee advocacy programs.

Examples of Successful Employee Advocacy Programs

Companies like Electronic Arts and Starbucks have great employee advocacy programs. EA created their program called EA insiders and generate tens of thousands of social shares each month to a network of over 1 million people. They have leaderboards and contests to create friendly competition between their employees.

Starbucks refers to their employees as “partners” to create a sense of togetherness when posting on social media. They have comprehensive social media guidelines and have created social media accounts just for their “partners” to post on.

Both of these companies have created successful employee advocacy programs by developing an engaged workplace, setting goals, discussing incentives, providing resources, and encouraging use of the program.

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