Did you know that over 50 million businesses have pages on Facebook?
Marketer-bloggers everywhere have repeatedly referred to this increase as “noise” on social media, and they have discussed how critical it is to “cut through the noise” and reach your target audience.
The great news for businesses is that the solution to this very real problem is staring them right in the face, or, more accurately, sitting right in the very same building.
Are you aware of what your employees could achieve for your business as brand advocates?
10 Reasons You Should Get Started Now
Ted Rubin once said that not involving employees in your marketing strategy is like trying to walk with one foot nailed to the ground. The facts that follow demonstrate his stand on the concept:
1. Employee advocates afford you extra reach
On average, your employees have 10 times as many connections on social media as your brand (source: Social Chorus). For a company that has 100 – 200 employees, the increased reach could easily amount to 1,000X or more.
A wider reach allows you to capture larger interest and start off strong on the sales funnel. Extra reach is also great for branding and getting the word out about a new product or event.
2. Advocacy adds credibility to your content on social media
As per Nielsen’s trust barometer, employee advocates (friends and family) rank above brands. Employee advocates are trusted by 90% of consumers on social media. Credibility comes before most everything else in business. Unless you build trust with your audience, you can’t establish your business on social media. When shared by people, your content automatically gains an edge over brand sharing.
3. Employee shares tend to travel further than brand shares
According to this study, promotional content is re-shared 24X more often when originally shared by employees as compared to when shared by brands.
Properly implemented, employee advocacy can turn into a word-of-mouth wildfire quickly, introducing prospective consumers to your brand. The extra mileage is also great for staying on top of these potential consumers’ minds.
4. Content shared by employees attracts increased engagement
Think about it. Would you rather interact with a company or with people? Most of us are wired to discount content shared by brands as “promotional,” especially on social media when we’re on it to engage with friends and family.
As observed by Social Media Today, your content can generate 8X more engagement when shared by employees.
Increased engagement is excellent for a brand’s presence on social media because it drives even more engagement and creates a lasting cycle of valuable social capital.
5. Employee advocacy campaigns show better conversions than regular campaigns
Starbucks is one of the most popular employee advocacy examples. The brand actually refers to its employees as “partners,” which is how you should treat your employees as well. A lot of the traction that Starbucks creates, as on their TweetACoffee campaign, is initiated by its employees.
The TweetACoffee campaign attracted huge participation, concluding at tens of thousands of tweets.
Interest generated through campaigns fueled by employees is more likely to convert into business. As found by IBM, leads developed through employee advocacy efforts are 7X more likely to convert than leads developed otherwise.
6. Employee advocacy actually impacts your bottom line
Consider software giant Adobe’s example: one of their Photoshop ambassadors generates more revenue, in some months, than the official Adobe @Photoshop Twitter account!
Several businesses have claimed that by getting their sales team involved on social media, their sales have increased substantially.
7. Advocacy programs are an excellent means to improve employee engagement
There are studies to prove that engaged employees are more productive at the work place and less likely to leave (sources: Talent Cove and the famous Dale Carnegie infographic). If you approach employee advocacy as an opportunity to improve overall work culture, there’s nothing like it.
8. Employee advocacy is a touchpoint for three important relationships
Relationships are everything in business, and employee advocacy provides ways to impact three vital relationships:
- The relationship between employees and management.
- The relationship between the brand and potential customers.
- The relationships among employees (team work to promote your brand).
Ensure that you focus on each of those, and you’ll achieve much more than increased sales.
9. Branding is more powerful with employee advocacy
With increased reach, credibility, and influence, your branding becomes much more powerful. For social media campaigns, product releases, and event promotions, you can get the word out and do it fast with your employee network.
10. Employee advocacy results in an improved employer brand
What does your employer brand stand for? Companies spend anywhere from 16% to 213% of an employee’s annual salary (based on the position) to replace him or her. By projecting a great employer brand, you could decrease that cost.
Here are Some Platforms to Help Implement an Employee Advocacy Program
DrumUp Employee Advocacy Platform: The most important aspect of implementing anything is the ability to measure its results. DrumUp’s employee advocacy platform features engagement analytics to measure employee engagement and engagement with the posts shared by employees on their social media accounts.
To keep employees motivated, the platform has a gamified system and a leaderboard. To simplify content management, the platform lets you store your content, share it easily with employees, and source industry content.
NewzSocial: NewzSocial has been created to “help optimize your content marketing funnel.” It does this by letting you connect multiple feeds to the app, connect your advocates to the app, and then encourage sharing based on guidelines you set.
Additionally, the app provides advanced engagement metrics to help you track your progress. You can optimize your content marketing funnel because the app identifies the right influencers for you to follow based on the engagement statistics it pulls.
Kredible: Credibility is everything online. Unless you prove you are credible, your business won’t grow beyond a certain point. With employee advocacy, your business page will receive much more attention, and you have to be ready for it.
Kredible calculates a credibility score for any account you might attach to the platform (be it your business page or your employees’ LinkedIn accounts [the platform is limited to LinkedIn]) and suggests fields to edit to optimize the accounts. Apart from this feature, the platform also provides relevant content suggestions for sharing.
LinkedIn Elevate: LinkedIn’s employee advocacy program is seamless in terms of analytics. It is capable of comparing your marketing efforts to page views for better evaluation of your employee advocacy program.
The application’s content is associated with LinkedIn’s Pulse and Newsle, sourcing recommendations from them and allowing your employees to share through them. Focusing on LinkedIn not only helps increase potential sales but also potential hires.
There’s no doubt that employee advocacy is beneficial to a business. The only variable lies in how you implement the program. By optimizing your content marketing strategy and improving employee relationships, you can be assured of improvement in your social media marketing results.
About the Author: Disha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content creation firm. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.