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What Is Employee Advocacy?

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By David Tomas, on 1 March 2022

When it comes to promoting your work, big marketing campaigns can be a great tool. However, the way you promote your product or brand doesn't have to be flashy or rely on expensive campaigns. Instead, you can rely on the people who already work in your company. Consider your employee as not only part of your company, but rather part of your company's larger marketing strategy. This is where employee advocacy comes into play.

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What Is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy refers to the promotion of a brand by employees' personal profiles on social media. This discipline, which has similar roots to word-of-mouth marketing, turns workers into company evangelists and humanizes the brand.

It is estimated that content shared by an employee has 20 times more reach than a regular post by a branded account. Beyond just increasing the reach, this also allows the content to reach a broader audience of users with different backgrounds.

A good employee advocate will:

  • Generate positive exposure and build brand awareness through their own accounts
  • Represent the company's interests, both internally and externally, by sharing his or her own experiences
  • Be a trusted spokesperson for your company
  • Recommend a company's products or services to a friend or family member
  • Improve overall sales

Employee advocacy helps to raise awareness of the values a brand wants to convey. This is why big brands like Meta, Google, and Nike are already making use of this.

Why Employee Advocacy Matters

Utilizing employee advocacy can have many benefits, so long as the employee advocates’ love for the brand and its values are genuine. Remember, employee advocacy should never be forced. When employees believe in what the brand does they will naturally want to promote their place of work and its services or products. This means employee advocacy not only helps you to generate more awareness of your brand, but it also keeps your company accountable to its employees and their happiness and satisfaction.

An employee's own familiarity with the company's products and services adds an extra layer of authenticity to their posts. In fact, it is precisely their knowledge that allows them to speak confidently and offer solutions to certain customer needs. This can build trust in the brand, create a positive workplace environment, and give a true sense of transparency. When employees are happy, it makes the public trust the company more.

5 Tips for Creating or Improving Employee Advocacy

You cannot force your employees to share content on social media, but you can encourage them to do so by offering them something in return. More times than not they will share content by themselves if they feel comfortable and happy with their work. However, we do have a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Set up an employee advocacy campaign: This should be the very first step you take. With a structured campaign, you can share tips, guidelines, and messages your employees can share with their audiences. This allows them to feel more confident and empowered when speaking on behalf of your brand.

  2. Incentivize participation: Although some employees may do it for the sake of doing it, providing incentives is always a good option. You can create contests with virtual badges and special recognition for the most active employees, provide them with free training or specialization courses, or use a game-like procedure to offer actual tangible rewards, like money, gift cards, or company merch. Giveaways within the company can also work very well. Be creative!

  3. Recognize their work: It is important to celebrate accomplishments and give recognition to your employees. The employee of the month is a very common strategy and another way to incentivize participation, too. Making your employees feel their work is valued will make them happier and lead to better performances.

  4. Set attainable objectives: Setting small objectives and accomplishments can give employees a sense of usefulness and a job well done. For example, encouraging employees to share something about the company on social media twice a week using their words could be a simple objective. Setting manageable KPIs can also help the whole company to progress on the goals and check the overall results.

  5. Listen to your employees! It may seem obvious, but communicating with your employees is key. This way you can note if there is something not working as it should. Imposing a series of strategies or objectives may not work for everyone, and some may be reluctant to share work content on their own accounts, which should be respected. It is essential to understand the needs of everyone in order to improve and adjust accordingly.

3 Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Employee Advocacy Campaigns

Once you've established how you'll encourage your employee advocacy campaign, it is essential to decide on the metrics you'll use to analyze the results. To ensure that your program achieves what you set out to do, you need to look at how you measure success, and to do this, you need to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs).

As a starting point, here are 3 metrics you can use to monitor success:

  1. Percentage of employees sharing content: The idea is to see how many are actively participating in the brand's campaign. This gives you a good idea in how active your workforce is being, and will allow you to come up with optimizations to encourage other employees to join.

  2. Most shared content by employees: This metric can help you understand what content resonates most with your employees and their audiences. It can also help you understand where consumer engagement rates are coming from.

  3. Engagement rates of content shared by employees: It is crucial to understand how your content is performing among consumers because it can tell you whether your content is of high value and what content you should create and share more of.

Hopefully, these metrics will give you a better picture of how to proceed and get the most out of your advocacy campaigns and programs.

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David Tomas