The realm of public relations has traditionally involved one macro voice—a company’s—which delivered information to their audience. Social media however, has flipped this paradigm on its head. In social channels, your audience has a voice which can be as large as the voice of your company (or larger). This means that PR has had to evolve; considering conversations as a viable tool rather than only broadcasting messages.
Employee advocacy, especially in social media, is a natural extension of corporate communications and PR; it organically raises visibility, and plants the seeds for conversations which help build relationships and grow your client base.
Employee advocacy in social channels is just a recognition of something already happening offline. Your employees are the voice of your company to their friends, family, and other acquaintances—encouraging them take this same role online, and helping them with the messages they share is just an extension of what your staff have been doing without you thinking about it. You can resist this evolution, or you can embrace it…after all, your employees are your best brand advocates.
Far too many employers are completely blind to the incredible public relations resource offered by their workforce. Employee advocacy programs help you enlist your employees in spreading strategic content that supports your business goals. In most organizations, the collective social audience of your workforce will exceed the audience on your official brand social media channels.
Employee advocates do far more than just increase your audience size, they can boost the impact of all marketing and public relations efforts on social media. Many people come to social media to learn about new products and services, but customers have grown wary of marketing that comes directly from brands and they place more trust in people. This means that messages from real people (such as your employees) can have a much higher impact than those from your official brand, generating more interactions, more shares, and overall driving more impressions for your company.
An employee advocacy program does require some work. Employees cannot be treated as mere extensions of the brand voice. A successful advocacy program treats employees as partners with a stake in the success of any public relations effort, and the company in general. Done right, the beneficial impact of your initiative will vastly outweigh the extra effort required.
Your employees have vast social networks on multiple channels. They are often connected to exactly the audience you are trying to reach, whether they are customers, partners, or other potential employees. Enlisting your workforce as online advocates of your company unlocks a powerful public relations resource that can help you spread your message and achieve your goals. That’s why your employee advocacy in social media is a crucial part of your public relations strategy.
Download our eBook to learn how to get your employee advocacy program started today!
Bradley Yeater is the former Marketing Manager at GaggleAMP.
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