Why an Employee Advocacy Strategy?
In the past few years, more companies have understood the value of being a social business and encouraging employees to be a marketing and sales extension. This has caused a jump in interest and value in having an employee advocacy strategy, along with a software solution to make the process easier.
But why do the companies that have implemented an employee advocacy strategy value social media so much?
They understand that it’s where their customers and prospects hang out, it’s the best way to reach people directly, and helps the company brand grow further. However, not every business has jumped onboard yet, but more and more are seeing the value.
The challenge is, there is a commitment involved and companies need to be in it for the long-game. Yet, many company leaders are not sure of the value or are expecting immediate results.
If you are one of those people on the fence, looking for more value prop, or just more curious to why you should invest in an employee advocacy strategy we got you covered. Here are 17 reasons you should use employee advocacy to increase your business.
Probably the biggest appeal to employee advocacy is the type of marketing you achieve. Employee advocacy means people are personally supporting and promoting your brand to other people they know via social networks. This has been shown to be a very effective way to get new leads to trust your brand and turn to you for things they need.
33% of buyers trust the brand whilst 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know (Source)
Have you ever called a company’s customer support line and realized the employee on the other end really weren’t into the service? Well, if your employees aren’t engaged, they can actually be detrimental to your business.
Engaged employees are more passionate and productive, giving a big boost to your business.
Currently, 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged, according to Gallup, meaning that many companies are missing out on a big opportunity to improve their efforts. Getting your employees to participate as public brand advocates is a great way to get your employees more plugged in when they are in the workplace and improve their interactions with customers, prospects, and their overall company.
Your employees will find they learn and grow as they share aspects of their professional trade. By sharing company and industry content, your employees are able to further their own knowledge too. This means your company is essentially offering professional development opportunities for your employees just by writing the material they will want to read and share with their own circles.
Your employees will have the opportunity to develop their own personal brand as the professionals they are. This, in turn, helps your brand become stronger. If you are known for having helpful and knowledgeable employees, then you become a more trusted and appreciated brand to audiences.
Are you ready to build your reputation, reach an audience, and accelerate your career? Download the personal brand starter kit.
As you increase the number of brand-carriers through employees posting in support of the company, you create a better brand spectrum. Your brand becomes a multi-faceted thing that takes on a life of its own. The fleshing out of your brand creates a company image that is real. Just look at what Google employees have done for the image of the company as they support a highly desirable environment and professional benefits.
Social media is not going away any time soon. Tap into the platforms where everyone is sharing and accessing information daily. And avoiding social media doesn’t mean your company won’t be mentioned or people talking about it. Realize social media can be a powerful tool and create an approach that empowers your employees to post on your behalf rather than behind your back.
As employees post, you will find that each advocate reaches hundreds (potentially thousands) of leads your corporate profile doesn’t currently have following it. If your company has dozens or hundreds of employees, you could be reaching an exponential amount of new people you wouldn’t otherwise reach. You spend money on advertising to get your brand out in front of new eyes, so make sure you are also spending time and effort on programs that will increase your reach through your employees, who are more trusted by their peers.
The average employee across the companies that use EveryoneSocial has a network of over 1,500 connections.
Increased reach means your brand has an overall larger online presence. You will benefit from word-of-mouth marketing that passes on to third- and fourth-party ears. When a friend of an employee advocate knows someone looking for the product or service you offer, they will be far more likely to remember your brand and direct the lead to your employee for more information.
As employees reach out to those they know and respond to comments to support your brand, the branding efforts become more personalized. Your brand becomes what the customer needs – which is exactly how you boost business. Personalization has increasingly become more important and necessary in the digital age of marketing, and employee advocacy helps accomplish that.
You are already trying to market in an effective way, let your employees apply your brand to real-life situations.
This means your marketing efforts will take on different angles and different voices that support your cause. Rather than hire one professional to come up with taglines, marketing copy, etc. you will suddenly have a team of many. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a unique brand voice already carved out, but that you should encourage your employees to bring their own voice to the table that humanizes your brand.
Just like with advertising, the more times your brand is mentioned, the more memorable it becomes. Let your employees improve your brand name recognition by increasing the number of times it appears to your audience. You can even support this with retargeting ad efforts to reach audiences connected with your employees.
Increased Web Traffic
Of course, with every new link and content share, you will see increased traffic. If you continue to create valuable content that is worth sharing, your new leads will be more likely to engage with your brand themselves. More traffic means more opportunity to move the lead from the initial stage of the sales funnel towards conversion.
Employee Collaboration and Feedback
As employees are engaged, they will help improve your business by providing feedback. Engaged employees that are empowered to participate are the kind of employees that push a company to new levels with collaboration. Make sure your policies are supporting the kind of ideation and innovation that employee advocates can really get behind and you will only see your advocates become more vocal in their support.
Talent Pool Appeal
A company that has many employees all talking about the value of their workplace is the kind of company that has a much easier time getting new talent to apply and accepts open positions. Since businesses without a recognizable brand name often struggle to offer the kind of prestige and upward movement that larger companies offer, they often benefit most from this kind of advertising to potential talent leads. Better talent and new hires mean better business results.
You might not even realize the connections that you will encounter because of employee advocacy. There may be community connections, professors from alma maters and relatives who own businesses that could support your own in the crowds of people who are connected to your employee profiles.
You strive for moral boosts in the workplace, and employee advocacy can help provide the connections and engagement that improves the workplace atmosphere. As your employees become part of a team, they are more likely to appreciate their opportunities and the company that is worth supporting.
Finally, if your employees are happier and your business is more visible, then your customers will be happier. Customers who see employees engaging and talking about their company also feel more trust in doing business with your company. Plus, customers still enjoy reading content from your company and being informed of company news.
In the end, the fastest way to boost business is through happy customers. With happier customers, you just might be ready to move on to making brand advocates out of them as well.
Having an active employee advocacy strategy and solution are worthy investments that boost your company’s marketing, sales, communications, recruiting, and more. The above seventeen ways are very high-level reasons employee advocacy matters, but only scratch the surface.
However, these are perfect conversation starting points you may need to convince others the value or maybe has helped you realize how important being a social business is to your company and brand.
Employee advocacy is here to stay and the future looks strong for the need of having a strategy and solution in place. Getting started now will set you up for success and something you can say your business is ahead of the pack.
Want to turn your company into a social business and transform employees into powerful marketers, sellers, and recruiters? Schedule your demo of EveryoneSocial.