No matter the size of your organization or the type of industry you’re in, it’s important to have a strong social media presence, and that’s where employee advocacy helps in a big way.
Employee advocacy is a method used to promote your brand and initiatives through people who work for your company in an authentic and trusted way, typically on social media or other digital channels.
For example, let’s say you want to promote your company’s upcoming conference. By having your employees post on social media that they should come and meet them at the event, it shares the intended message in a much more personal way than your brand account ever could. Maybe industry connections and friends want to meet your employees at the conference, or they’re simply more receptive to your employees’ endorsement of the event than any promotion your brand account shares.
And that’s the key. Employee advocacy allows organizations to spread their message through many more people in a more authentic way, which has three major results:
There are other benefits to employee advocacy around boosting the personal brands of your employees, making them more comfortable on social media, making them more aware of your organization’s initiatives and priorities, and more. But improving your reach, gaining engagement, and saving money are the core benefits that lead to these and other gains.
By involving your colleagues in your social media marketing efforts through employee advocacy, you can greatly increase your reach.
This is for a multitude of reasons. For example, simply having more accounts on social media posting your messaging and promoting your initiatives, will get eyes on your posts from people who don’t follow your brand account.
But more importantly, people trust other people more than they trust brands or ads, which means people don’t view your employees’ posts on social media with the same skepticism they view posts from your brand accounts or your digital ads. This results in people being more likely to engage with these posts, which boosts your social reach even further.
According to the MSLGroup, brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when shared by employees vs. an official brand account, and messages shared by employees have a 561% further reach than the same messages shared by an official brand account.
Improving your reach on social media and delivering your message in a more authentic and engaging way has obvious benefits. In addition to more engagement, it leads to more clicks, website traffic, leads, and more. This is typically why you buy digital ads, which are far more expensive than they were just a few years ago.
You can easily calculate the ROI of your employee advocacy program by calculating how much it would have cost you to reach the same results with digital ads.
There are enormous benefits of employee advocacy for your Marketing department, but it also has perks for other departments, too.
For your Human Resources department, your employee advocacy program helps with recruiting. People are more likely to apply for a job posting that they saw a friend share on social media than if they saw the same position on a job board, so have your employees share job postings helps tremendously with recruiting.
If you use employee advocacy for social selling, this helps your Sales department nurture leads. Salespeople who excel at social selling create more opportunities than those who don’t and are 51% more likely to hit their quota, according to LinkedIn.
Employee advocacy benefits your Public Relations department, too. If your employees engage journalists or promote instances where your brand is in the news, this is a huge benefit for your PR team. It gives reporters an incentive to work with your brand again because they’ll like receiving a boost in engagement and traffic.
To implement an employee advocacy program correctly, you should have employee advocacy tools to track the analytics and effectiveness of your activities and to make it simple for your colleagues to participate.
Using an employee advocacy tool allows you to track all needed KPIs of your program, such as shares, reach, clicks, engagement, and more. You can see this at a more granular level too, such as how effective your activities are on each social media platform, what kinds of activities your employees most commonly participate in, and how much money you save on social media advertising.
Through platform integrations, an employee advocacy tool like GaggleAMP makes it easy for employees to respond to your activity requests without interrupting their workflow. This means that If you ask an employee to carry out an activity, they’ll see the notification through any number of platform integrations, including the Chrome browser, Salesforce, Marketo, Slack, or others.
For example, if they set up their notifications to appear in their Chrome extension, they’ll see the GaggleAMP notification in the Chrome browser window, and can respond to the activity in one click without opening a new window or even leaving the Chrome browser. It takes less than five seconds.
Employee Advocacy is incredibly beneficial for any organization, no matter the size or industry, and using a tool to help with your program makes it much simpler and more effective. It not only helps your Marketing department but your HR team, Sales department, and PR department as well. Once your employees become more comfortable with social media and with your employee advocacy program, the benefits will only become more plentiful.
Ramin Edmond is the former Content Strategist for GaggleAMP. Outside of work, Ramin likes to run, hike, and take pictures of Boston's best views. You can get in touch with Ramin by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
Stay up to date with the latest in employee advocacy.