The benefits of employee advocacy
Who knows your company and the work that you do better than the people who do that work? Your employees! Not only are they great ambassadors for sharing information and promoting your brand in an authentic way, but they know your products and services inside and out, they know your company’s aims and they are invested in its success.
How your employees engage with your brand can make a huge impact on your success. Read on to find out more about employee advocacy and how you can encourage and benefit from it in your business!
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is simply the promotion of a company by its own workforce. It’s like having your own, internal cheer-leading squad! Employee advocacy is often demonstrated online and can be particularly impactful on social media. However, word of mouth and offline advocacy of your brand can also be powerful.
Online employee advocacy can take the form of re-sharing a company’s posts on personal profiles or can be via the creation of original content by the employee.
Why is employee advocacy important?
When an employee shares their positive experience or expertise relating to the company, it can boost your brand’s reach, awareness, and reputation.
shows ‘outsiders’ that your employees believe in your product or service, and they support the message, which builds trust in your brand.
grows your reach by expanding your audience to include your employee’s social media following.
builds a positive image of your company through employee reinforcement, which can increase your sales, and can increase your staff recruitment potential.
can encourage a more engaged workforce and improve staff retention. The more your employees share the company’s successes and see the perception from their peers, the more likely they are to continue being engaged.
What do the stats say?
Edelmans Trust 10 states that “Trust matters more than love”. They explain that customers and clients care more about the trustworthiness of a brand (88%) than they do about the love of the product (81%).
Hootsuite research suggests that employee advocacy improves “brand health” (which includes metrics like relevancy and positive sentiment). Mature organisations saw a 31% increase in brand health with employee advocacy, and smaller, less mature organisations saw a 13% increase.
A study by leading employee advocacy and social selling platform, Post Beyond found that branded posts shared by employees increased their reach by 561% compared to when shared by a compamy-owned page. Employees have a wider and more diverse audience, with Post Beyond stating that on average employees’ audiences are 10x larger than branded pages.
Post Beyond also tells us that companies with high employee advocacy are more successful: “organisations with high employee engagement outperform those with unengaged employees by 202%”.
So how can you increase your employee engagement and advocacy?
Make it worth their while
One of the best ways to increase your employee’s engagement is to incentivise it! Employees are already very busy, and though there are a wealth of reasons that advocating can benefit them, it makes it much more tangible to offer an incentive for engagement. There are even social media tools that make it easy to measure employee advocacy. For example, social media scheduling platform, Sprout Social gamifies the process and awards points for engagement. But you could also simplify this and offer prizes or an ‘advocate of the month’ scheme!
Tell them why it’s important
Provide training or a guide as to why you’re encouraging them to be an advocate on social media. Your employees are intelligent and switched on – that’s why you hired them! Tell them your aims, your goals and give them some evidence and examples - that may be enough to get them participating!
Give them freedom
Sometimes, it’s easier to tell people what you want them to do and when, but when it comes to encouraging your employees to engage, it’s best to let them use their own words and share in their own, authentic way. This builds trust with your employees and shows you value their advocacy!
Give them goals
We use the word ‘goals’ and not ‘targets’ purposely! Knowing and sharing your strategy, and where you want to get to is important, but your employees won’t want to feel pressured by it. Let your employees know that you have goals and encourage them to help you achieve them, but don’t make them feel pressurised to act. This process aims to nurture your brand and pressurising your employees to engage, could be detrimental.
For more advise and tips sign up to our newsletter