Nowadays marketers have a lot more choices than ever before when it comes to communication channels to reach their target audience, especially thanks to powerful online tools. When companies choose communication channels, whatever they are, they should never forget to take their employees into account in their communication plan. Indeed, employees represent the biggest company ambassadors and their engagement can bring tangible results.
When employees generate brand exposure, represent their company’s best interest and recommend their company’s products or services to someone else, this is what we call employee advocacy. Generally speaking, it covers each kind of promotion an employee can carry out for his/her company. This trendy concept has become much more significant since social media appeared. In fact, social media allows everyone to share any topic on their network, including, if they wish, company-related content.
While employees can advocate for their company in different ways, social media is the channel that companies have the most influence and control over. In fact, companies can easily leverage employee advocacy on social media by simply asking their employees to like, comment and share their content. In this way, brand communication can be more human, leading to real business results. Employee advocacy helps companies perform better on social media and consequently has a positive impact on their business.
“Employees are a company’s greatest social tool. Therefore, brands must embrace employee advocacy to have a truly authentic social presence.” — Brian Fanzo from Broadsuite.
Employee advocacy on social media can impact three company departments:
1. Marketing & Communication
With their extended networks, employees taken together have social networks ten times larger than companies do. Employee advocacy, i.e. word-of-mouth marketing by employees, can help a company readily reach a larger audience and significantly increase its awareness. It also considerably increases communication about companies and their brand(s). Besides, messages from known people are more trusted, get more attention, and therefore have more impact than messages from companies. This shows the powerful impact employees can have. Not only are organic reach and company awareness enhanced through employee advocacy but so are engagement with posts, clicks, leads and the number of followers.
Social media personalized sales refers to employees being given the opportunity to directly connect and engage with consumers. Additionally, they can develop social connections with them, which considerably impacts their purchase decisions. Employees can also be seen as trusted advisors for their company’s products and services. With social media, not only the sales department can bring new leads, but the entire company can do so. Employee advocacy can surely increase the amount of sales-qualified leads, develop the business and bring new revenue streams.
3. HR & Recruitment
Employee advocacy can also further collaboration among employees by involving all departments in a common project. By giving the voice of their brand(s) to employees, companies let employees enjoy what was previously restricted to the companies themselves. This change shows that companies are more open-minded and less hierarchical than before. More significantly, they show their employees that they trust them enough to give them the freedom to communicate about their brand(s). This can also reinforce the link between employees and their company. Therefore, it can also increase their engagement, which generally leads to better business results.
In addition, employee advocacy can undoubtedly benefit recruitment as well. Indeed, what better way to attract talent than having employees share their pleasure of working at a company they are proud of?
Employees are becoming more and more valuable in marketing, sales and HR strategies with their considerable ability to impact business results, and especially since the development of social media. So given all the advantages, why wait one more second to start developing your company’s social media employee advocacy program?
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