Employee Advocacy.

The term “employee advocacy” has recently generated attention for how beneficial it may be for companies.  Employee advocacy, broadly defined, refers to employees actively promoting the company they work for.  So how can employee advocacy work intentionally, or un-intentionally, for you? Employee advocacy, when used as a marketing tactic, can be a strategic and sustainable program that encourages your employees to share your values, company culture, and messages organically. Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58more likely to attract and 20more likely to retain top talent.

A successful employee advocacy program is about 25% brand messages and 75% curated content—valuable to your target audience but not directly related to your brand.  There are instances where the employee may un-intentionally promote your business, whether that be a free catered lunch (example: a Facebook post; “Great lunch @your company!”), or intentionally promoting your business (example: a shared blog from your company’s LinkedIn).   As a company, it is important to curate content for your employees to share, encourage the sharing, and track and evaluate the success of the posts.

  1. Curate Content: Create quality content and encourage employees to share with their friends on social media.
  2. Don’t Dictate: Allow your employees to share the content in their own ways—by making their own comments, statuses, and links about the content.  This encourages organic posting, and lets your employees go about content-sharing on their own terms.
  3. Evaluate: Measure the number of likes, shares and comments that each post receives.

In what ways will employee advocacy benefit your company?  Not only is this a free marketing tool, but it may also generate sales and free recruiting for you.

  1. Marketing: According to LinkedIn, on average, employees collectively have social networks ten times larger than a corporate brand does.  This increases the number of eyes that are seeing your content by dramatic numbers.  The company’s posts will be receiving more likes, clicks, and comments by encouraging your employees to share them, verses solely sharing the links on the company’s page alone.
  2. Sales: It’s all about the reach.  Like mentioned above, by encouraging employees to share links to content generated by your company on their own personal page, you are reaching more people.  In our modern day technology-heavy environment, buyers are looking to the internet to guide their purchasing decisions.  Not to mention if the content is shared by their own Facebook friend, they’re more likely to trust in your company right off the bat.  According to LinkedIn, salespeople who regularly share quality content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.
  3. Recruiting:  Admittedly, your Marketing Department is not Human Resources.  However, it is your marketer’s job to attract, retain, and display a certain reputation.  Employees engaging in employee advocacy aren’t only encouraging a high-level of brand reputation, but also showcasing your company’s great work.