Marketers - we've been tackling employee advocacy all wrong.
For years, we've tried to cajole our team into feeling that advocacy is part of their job, an obligation to share in the growth of the company by spreading news far and wide. It's no wonder we find the same employees share company news and insights, but the vast majority sit on the sidelines.
According to LinkedIn, only 3% of employees share company-related content in an average company. But, there is good news. That small percentage is responsible for driving a 30% increase in the content’s total likes, shares, and comments.
The Marketing Advisory Network set out to find out what’s holding employees back, and more importantly, what can be done to break through the barriers and drive more engagement. To achieve that goal, we went right to the source – surveying 499 employees from a wide range of organizations.
We found some remarkable truths.
- Just like we have buyer personas, we need to develop employee personas. Many factors influence an employee’s motivation and desire to advocate on behalf of the company.
- Millennials aren’t the only ones who get social. Gen X employees are very sophisticated in their digital sharing.
- Those organizations that document social media guidelines have higher rates of employee advocacy.
Most importantly, we found that those organizations that turn advocacy into a benefit, instead of an obligation, thrive. Making the shift is simpler than you might think. You can help by:
- Helping employees understand that advocating can benefit their personal reputation, not just that of your company.
- Providing content that elevates their profile in the industry, not just celebrates company successes.
- Thinking of content creation as a team sport. Encourage employees to participate in authoring content the rest of the organization can share.
If you'd like more great tips for building an employee advocacy program that scales don't hesitate to reach out. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.