While employee advocacy programs have many benefits for the company both internally and externally, understanding the numbers can help you fully understand the impact on marketing and ad cost savings.
And the impact for marketing and sales:
- Brand awareness
- Better quality leads
- More social engagement
- Better CPC’s from employee shares
- Increase win rates for sales
- Better deal sizes (more $)
- Improves purchase intent on ads
- Builds your remarketing lists further
Our team dug into some of our own data in 2020.
- Average shares per user per month per active user = 10.8
- Average clicks per share = 2.4
- Average branded clicks per share = .6
- Average user drives 26 clicks per month (10.8 x 2.4)
- Average user drives 6.5 brands clicks per month (10.8 x .6)
If we take the average branded clicks only, per month:
- 100 employees sharing can conservatively net 650 brand clicks per month.
- 500 employees sharing can conservatively net 3,250 brand clicks per month.
- 1,000 employees sharing can conservatively net 6,500 brand clicks per month.
Again, this is purely if using employee advocacy for marketing campaigns and driving brand awareness and traffic.
Based on these clicks and that we know from the previous sections that the average paid ad CPC is around $3.15 — here’s what this would cost in paid advertising:
- To get 650 branded clicks = $2,047 conservatively
- To get 3,250 branded clicks = $10,237 conservatively
- To get 6,500 branded clicks = $20,475 conservatively
98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)
And we’ve found employees have an average of 1,000 social connections. If your organization for example has 1,000 employees creating and sharing content, they have a combined potential average reach of 1,000,000!
We’ve also found employees who are active in their employee advocacy program grow their social networks up to 10% (or more) per year. Increasing reach and influence.
On average, an employee advocacy program involving 1,000 active participants can generate $1,900,000 in advertising value. (Kredible)
So why employees?
Employees are connected to current customers or prospects, partners, alumni, influencers, and future hires. These networks cast a new network of people unfamiliar with your brand, product, or service and many of those who also do not follow your company social handles.
But there is more data around the value of content and recommendations that come from employees in your organization:
- A recommendation from a friend or family member makes 83% of Americans more likely to purchase that product or service. (Convince & Convert)
- Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels. (MSLGroup)
- Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels. (Social Media Today)
- Earned media (press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media. (Bazaar Voice)
And a Nielsen study showed that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing like ads. These and more employee advocacy statistics can be found here.
Small Organizations Can Win Too
While large and enterprise businesses may have the most opportunities with employee advocacy, don’t count out smaller organizations either. Let’s look at an example of a 100 person company and all are fairly active in sharing and creating content.
For this example, conservatively we’ll say those 100 employees generated 1,000 clicks in a month (roughly 10 clicks per employee for the month, very doable). Not only can their own connections see it, but when they get social engagement, people who they aren’t connected with can see it too.
That’s the network effect of second and third connections. As other connections are seeing their networks engaging with others, it piques their own interest and more brand awareness. Again spreads the overall reach.
Based on the average CPC of paid ads combined from earlier ($3.15), the company would have to spend $3,150 per month to potentially get the same click results.
Naturally, there are impressions, video views, conversions, and CTR metrics as well to consider here. But this is giving you a general insight to the common paid ad model of CPC.
And your advocacy program of a company that size, if utilizing the 100 user seats, it would potentially cost 1/2 or 1/3 per month (maybe even a smaller fraction of the cost considering your industry, as CPC’s may be quite high).
Certainly companies with more active users see better results, just like spending more on ads can increase clicks, impressions, and potentially conversions.
Remember: Good social media is not just spamming links, that is not true employee advocacy. So if that is your strategy or your presumption of how advocacy works — then yes paid ads will crush those results. That’s where the education, vendor partnership, and training materials will help those without social experience. Overtime, it becomes second nature and takes less work.