“History repeats itself” is a saying so old that it has become a bit of a cliché. However, whether a cliché or not, the saying still has a ring of truth to it—especially in marketing. One of the most exciting modern tools for your marketing strategy is one your grandparents would recognize: employee advocacy.
Employee advocacy has always existed. Before the internet, word of mouth and good old fashioned in-person networking were the ways in which employees shared their love for their company and promoted it. This worked on a local level, but it did not scale well to a wider audience. Advocacy was a nice bonus, but for many years we lacked the technology to make it a key element of a marketing strategy.
The limitations of old began to change as technology advanced and social media came into being. As businesses began leveraging social media in the early 2000s, they started to notice that employees were posting about their work and jobs online. Many organizations reacted out of fear and implemented strict social media policies forbidding employees from talking about work at all. Those organizations saw only the potential risk posed by interactions on social media, and they ignored the opportunities that employee advocacy could offer.
2010 rolled around and marketers were searching for a way to break through the growing noise on social media. Most brands were using organic and paid social media as part of their marketing strategy, but standing out amongst the crowd was becoming harder as more businesses jumped in.
This is where the story of GaggleAMP begins. In 2010, our CEO Glenn Gaudet was interviewing for a CMO position at a technology company in the Boston area. When discussing the company’s social media efforts, Gaudet suggested that the company could mobilize its employees to help create the tipping point the organization needed to break through the social media “noise” that already existed—using employee advocacy to amplify the company’s marketing message.
That evening, he began researching to see if there was a platform or tool for companies that would do what he had suggested in the interview. “I thought to myself, ‘I can’t be the only one who has thought of this,’” he remembers. “It turns out I was because I couldn’t find anything related to it. It seemed so simple, yet nobody had done it before.”
Turns out there were no such tools, and Gaudet founded GaggleAMP to fill that demand; building technology that helps organizations formalize employee advocacy and make it part of the company marketing strategy.
Through 2015 many early adopters jumped on this new ability to leverage their employee’s social networks as a channel to distribute content. However, a new idea evolved. What if employees went beyond just sharing content? What if they could be leveraged to engage with a person or a piece of content on a deeper level? That is when what we call “Actions” were born. There is immense power in leveraging your employees to like or comment on a social post. These engagements help form conversations with your audience that ultimately garner a huge benefit for your marketing strategy and your organization as a whole.
As we move into 2018 we anticipate a bright future for employee advocacy. We believe in a future where employees not only share and engage on social media, but they are also empowered to create their own content. Your employees have their areas of expertise, and they have valuable insights and information to share. Helping them create original content for themselves and their fellow advocates to share is where we see employee advocacy headed—empowering each employee to act as a beacon for your brand.
If you are interested in the benefits of good old-fashioned employee advocacy, but want to harness tools of the future in your marketing strategy, let us show you how.