Social media is an integral marketing and growth tool when it has a supportive team behind it. Employee influence can have a positive impact on a company’s marketing efforts – that is why we encourage employees to take an active role on social media and to be social media advocates for their company.
What is employee advocacy?
The concept of employee advocacy has been around for some time. Once upon a time companies utilized company outings, free swag, and incentivization programs to encourage employee advocacy. With more pressure for companies to be active and successful on social media, employees are one of the most valuable marketing assets for a company. Employees are often the most credible sources on subjects like company culture, brand awareness and business goals and therefore can serve as strong advocates for their company. An employee advocate can generate positive exposure to their company and brand, make recommendations to their network of friends and family, and can speak credibly about their company and its products and services.
Why is employee advocacy on social media important?
Employee advocacy can help attract and retain new customers, spur higher levels of internal employee engagement and increase consumer trust. According to the National Business Research Institute, a 12% increase in brand advocacy generates a 2x increase in revenue growth. It has also been found that socially engaged companies are 57% more likely to get more sales leads. This can be attributed to increased reach and trust that is the result of employee advocacy on social media.
Let’s talk about reach and trust on social media:
According to Pew Research Center, the average number of friends an adult has on Facebook is 338. If you were to multiply this number by the amount of employees your company has you would get a big number. (If you are curious about actual numbers, check out this tool that calculates your company’s potential reach.) Cumulatively, your employee’s have far more reach on social media than your brand does. With the recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, content that comes from a friend is prioritized higher than content from brands, meaning that content from an individual page will perform better than content coming from a brand or business page. Therefore, tapping into your employee’s social media connections will grow your company’s social media reach exponentially.
People tend to trust information that comes from a family member, a friend, an expert or an influencer before information that comes directly from a brand. In fact, 92% of consumers around the world said they trusted “earned media,” such as recommendations from family and friends, above any other form of advertising (Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report). Because of your employees knowledge of their industry and brand, they can serve as a credible spokesperson that encourages consumer trust. This combination of reach and trust is the basis to why employee advocacy is essential for successful social media marketing.
How to encourage social media advocacy:
There are a few guidelines that need to be put in place before social media advocacy can be successful. First, we encourage companies to establish social media standards and train employees to represent their company well. Creating an internal communication system for employees to find resources and view brand standards and expectations is a simple way to implement this. Once you have established guidelines you can begin to encourage your employees to become advocates on social media by:
- Following your company on all social media platforms and inviting their friends and family to support the company as well.
- Adding your company to their personal page as their workplace and adjusting their email signature to include social media links.
- Asking their friends and family to leave reviews and check-in to their business on social media.
- Interacting with social media content that is published on the company’s accounts by commenting, sharing and liking content.
Social Media is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up-to-date with the new tactics that can help grow your brand. For more information on creating a social media strategy for your business, visit: www.hubbardinteractive.com.