Employee influence is all about how people connect with other people in ways your brands and ads just can’t.People trust other people more than they trust brands. This will always be the case. It’s because people are more personable and authentic than a brand or ad could ever be. There’s an agenda behind an ad, and that’s why ads and posts from brands are viewed with skepticism. But if someone you know talks glowingly about a brand, product, or service, they will be much more convincing.
Over 74% of people say that posts from other people are more persuasive than posts from brand accounts, according to Social Media Today.
For example, let’s say you saw a trailer for a new movie. It might look interesting, and it seems like there’s a lot of production behind it. However, you’re not sure if it’s worth your time.
The trailer doesn’t completely convince you to watch the movie because you know it’s just an ad. The whole point of any ad is to try to sway you. But if someone you know tells you they saw the movie already and liked it, it’s much more convincing.
You’ll put more stock behind someone’s recommendation because they’re a person. It doesn’t even matter if the person tells you directly that they liked the movie. They could simply tweet out their thoughts on the movie and that could be good enough to convince you .
That’s how person-to-person influence works, that’s how thought leadership works, and it’s why employee influence is so powerful. This is something every person in your organization can provide, and it’s why you should implement employee influence into your marketing strategy.
Benefits of Employee Influence
Leveraging employee influence is simple. Your employees work for your company, so they want your company to do well.
But people don’t view your employees the same way they view a brand or an ad. That’s why you can enjoy the following benefits simply by leveraging your employees:
- Extend your social media reach to gain more brand recognition.
- Boost your social media KPIs including website traffic and clicks.
- Increase your conversions while saving money on expensive digital advertising.
Simply by suggesting employees share a specific message or piece of content, you can get more eyes in front of that message without spending any money on digital ads.
Messages from your employees are viewed as more authentic than messages from your brand accounts. This shows the faces behind your brand, making your brand seem more personable and credible. But the key is employee influence.
A message shared by employees reaches more than 5x further than the same message shared by a brand account, according to the MSL Group. This is because the average message your employees share gets 24x more reshares than if your brand account posted the same message.
That is a huge difference.
This extended reach and boost in engagement adds up for each post over time.
Include Your Employees
Many organizations, especially those in regulated industries, shy away from including their employees in external efforts.
This is a mistake.
Your employees have the power to influence your customers, prospective clients and partners, your business, and your bottom line.
This applies to your social media marketing efforts, and your social selling efforts. By promoting their insights on your industry, your employees can gain credibility from industry peers and your target audience.
Your salespeople can stay connected with prospective clients in a more casual way than calling or emailing them. It’s much less invasive for your leads to see your salespeople post on social media.
Your employees can post about what they see in the industry, interesting content, and mix in posts about your brand’s initiatives. They can also connect with others and engage in conversations.
That’s why your organization should encourage its employees to promote themselves on social media, and the best way to do that is by including your employees in your social media policy.
You want to leverage employee influence by encouraging to be active on social media and enabling them to do so.
While your company may have done the basics on social media, your employees are the personality that puts a face to the company. They’re the ones who gain the trust of users and influence their purchasing decisions.
We see more and more today that there’s a shift wherein the employees are beginning to hold more and more influence both inside and outside their organization.
At the end of the day, overlooking the power of employee influence is like looking over a vital component in your marketing strategy. Content can reach more users, and your marketing efforts can make larger impacts on potential clients when we understand fully the power of our employee’s influence. This is what forms the foundation for an advocacy program and is a critical component of any company strategy.