Your employees are your greatest asset. This expands beyond their normal scope of day-to-day work; they can also amplify your brand, attracting more customers and better talent. And with the internet – namely social media – making the voice of the individual more powerful than ever, such a statement has never been truer than now. Encourage happy employees to share your brand to achieve greater visibility. Read further on for benefits and for tips on employee advocacy.
Benefits of Advocacy
Some benefits for brand advocacy are as follows.
Gain consumer trust: Each of your employees has built their own network of individuals that trust their opinion why not tap into that? In fact, consumers are 16 times more likely to read a brand post shared by a friend than the brand itself. Further, you’ll humanize the brand, making it more accessible to the general public.
Increase revenue: Companies with an employee advocacy program in place saw a 26% increase in revenue.
Tips for Employee Advocacy Success
Like the idea of employee advocacy? Here’s how to best do it.
Trust Goes a Long Way
Trust needs to go all the way around – your employees’ networks need to trust them, your employees need to trust you, and you need to trust your employees. If your employees don’t trust you, how do you ever expect them to share? And if your employees have a negative impression of your brand, your trust in them may backfire when they something negative online. Further, if their personal accounts aren’t consistent with your brand (controversial statements, party pictures), it may then reflect badly on your business.
Give Employees Freedom in Sharing
First, make sure your content is high quality; once that’s the case, focus on your employees’ freedom to share (or not to share). Make content easily accessible to them so that they can share, but never dictate which content they should or shouldn’t share. Not only may this generate some eyerolls from your employees, but it will make the sharing less genuine – and that may show through to their networks. Further, don’t dictate which networks they should or shouldn’t share. For example, some may only feel comfortable sharing on a professional network, like LinkedIn. Others may love sharing your brand’s news with their Facebook friends. Either way, you shouldn’t force them to post on any particular network.
Make Content Easy to Share
Create some form of technology compiling the branded content you’d like shared, as well as relevant third-party articles worth sharing. Make this content easily accessible to your employees. One example would be to create an employee-only website that comes up every time they open their internet browser. Include share buttons on the content itself and, if you want to go the extra step, come up with a pre-written social post when they click share, one that can be edited as much or as little as they like.
Offer Some Education
Teach your employees the benefits of sharing branded content and how it positively affects them, making them thought leaders in the industry. Also, highlight how it helps foster a healthy workplace culture and attracts better new employees for them to work with. Further, share with them how venting about the company negatively affects both the business brand and their personal brand.
Track your Metrics
You use your metrics for a variety of purposes, but namely, you use it to determine what does well and what doesn’t do well with your target audience. Likewise, use metrics to track which content resonates with your employees, making it likely that they’ll share and generate new views. Also, see which of those articles being shared by employees then resonates with their followers. This will allow you to create better targeted content in the future.
Go one step further and share these metrics with your employees so they can see the results of their work. You can even hold contests offering special prizes to your best influencers.
Working Together to Do Better
Like any goal you seek to achieve in your organization, everyone needs to share a common goal and work with, not against each other. If you’re encouraging your employees to share content that neither they nor their network cares about, it will flop. Likewise, if they’re social presence isn’t consistent with your brand image, it can ultimately hinder your success. Work as a team and take advantage of your greatest asset – your employees.