Take Advantage of Resources Already at your Fingertips!
I want you to think about how much your company is currently spending on advertisement needs. That’s a large number right? Can you imagine cutting this number nearly in half by the help of your employees? I can, which is why I would like to introduce you to employee advocacy and some amazing incentives you will receive by implementing it into your current business models.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is when employees share company content on their own personal social media accounts. More often than not, employees are already doing this without even having to be asked, however, this could potentially cause issues for the company itself. If the company has no way to control what they post then things the company may not want to be associated with can make it to the internet for the public to see, automatically associating it with the company name. This is why there are beginning to be more and more employee advocacy programs.
What Employee Advocacy Programs Look Like
- Employees posting on their personal social media accounts promoting their companies brand or products
- Companies provide guidelines of what they can and cannot post about the company
- Can not post something that puts the company in bad light
- Can not talk in poor ways about the company
- Should post about their favorite parts of working for the company
- Should post fun things they do day to day
- Should post about any accomplishments made during their time working with the company
- Should post about the positive work environment
- Should post about their favorite product from the company
- Should urge followers, friends, and family to use brand or product of company
- Free publicity for the company as well as recognition for the employee who posted the content
- Incentives and bonuses for the employee
“In a world where buyers trust their barista and used car salesmen more than marketers, brands desperate to find effective ways to engage with new customers are beginning to realize the solution is right in front of them: employees. Research has shown customers trust employees more than ads or formal marketing messages. Inspiring employee advocacy means brands can enlist those closest to knowledge of the company’s solutions to make genuine, authentic recommendations that people want to hear.”
Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing
Benefits of Employee Advocacy
There are so many benefits to companies utilizing employee advocacy programs. The top benefits are;
- Increase Brand Visibility
- Employees generally have about ten times as many connections as the companies themselves. With that being said, employees combined can have a much larger reach than the company would ever be able to.
- Attracting New Business
- When the followers of the employees see that they are posting about where they work in a good light, they are much more likely to transition to going to that company over where they were previously going because of the fact that they trust their friend or family member who posted it.
- Strengthening Employee Engagement
- Many companies use employee advocacy as an incentivized program for employees. This means that if a company sees an employee post on their personal social media account and from that post the employer notices a jump in sales or an increase in following on the companies page then the employee may get some type of bonus because of it. This drives employees to want to do well and to want to get their connections to start using their company.
- Highlighting Positive Workplace Culture
- When people see an employee of a company posting about how much fun they are having at work or how much they love their coworkers it makes them so much more likely to either want to also work for the company or to want to follow along their journey of working at the company because they see how positive of a work environment it is. They are also much more likely to want to use the brand or product the employee posts about because they see what type of environment it is coming from.
- Humanizing the Brand
- Generally, customers tend to believe what actual people who work within the company have to say. It makes it more of a personable experience for customers to see and interact with workers rather than a social media page for the company that may have millions of followers.
“Employee advocates are the new authentic marketing channel for brands. By sharing helpful content that engages communities, employee advocates encourage others to share and amplify their brand’s message, leading to increased social chatter, web traffic, and sales.”
Cheryl Burgess, CEO, Blue Focus Marketing
Explore for more information on the importance of employee advocacy on social media!
Examples of Employee Advocacy
The first example is a post from a Starbucks employee. While she is posting about her own accomplishments within the Starbucks company, little does she know, she is fully participating in employee advocacy. As she posts this, her friends and family members see this post and realize that she 1. works at Starbucks and 2. very clearly loves working there. This is great publicity for the company because it shows how much current workers love working there as well as the fact that she is proud enough to work there to the point where she would post about it on her own personal social media account. I bet this post encouraged many of her followers to show up to her location just to see her in action!
This second example is also from Starbucks employees. This post shows a coworker excited that another coworker will be graduating college in the coming months. This is a perfect example of good employee advocacy because again, it shows two employees having a blast at work and making jokes with each other, but at the same time it is also promoting the fact that working for the company has a positive work environment and that everyone who works there cares about not only the company but also the people they work with. Seeing this post may encourage someone to want to apply to also get to experience a similar feeling when working.