The benefits of employee advocacy can support many key business goals.
It can help drive more revenue and profit. It helps generate enthusiasm for your brand in the market and – as importantly – within your company. It helps attract the talent you want – while also retaining talent you already have.
In other words, there’s more to employee advocacy than seeing your employees share blogs and other company content on social media. Rather, a well-tuned employee advocacy strategy can unlock a serious marketing edge for your company.
With the world entering economic uncertainty, you’ll be pressed for resources and people. And the traditional go-to marketing channels, like paid ads, are getting more expensive. Employee advocacy could be the smart investment you need to drive results, but on a tighter budget.
1. Get Authentic and Relatable Voices Behind Your Brand
93% of audiences trust friends and family when it comes to getting information for a purchasing decision. People want to hear from other people – not ads or slick messaging.
For example, we read reviews from previous customers when looking at a product. Likewise, we check Glassdoor whenever we’re interested in working for a particular company. We’ll even take a look at existing employees on LinkedIn to get a glimpse of their experience with that company.
Your employees have cache with their networks. They can give an authentic window into what it’s like working for your company. They can draw on their expertise and guide conversations – and their audiences listen to them.
In fact, even company posts shared by employees can drive 8X more engagement compared to the same posts shared by company accounts.
The benefit of employee advocacy is that it gives you a vehicle to be relatable and trustworthy to your audiences – but through the voices of your employees. This credibility will make audiences resonate with your brand and support your thought leadership, sales, and talent acquisition.
2. Drive More Brand Reach Without Paying for More Ads
Another benefit of employee advocacy is that it can amplify your brand reach on social media – but without the need to up your ad spend.
This works through the organic reach your employees can generate through their own networks on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others.
Metrics like earned media value (EMV) let you measure the value of that added reach if you had bought it using ads. In fact, we’ve seen cases of companies generating over $140K in EMV with employee advocacy. So these gains can be significant, but with relatively minimal spend.
Forrester ran one of its Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) studies on a PostBeyond customer, and found that one can generate $2M+ in revenue over 3 years using our platform. The TEI report shows that earned media through employee advocacy plays a key role in profitability.
3. Builds an Original Content Generation Engine
This might be a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario, but strong employee advocacy needs strong content, but employee advocacy also creates strong content.
The key is building this idea into the heart of your employee advocacy strategy. Encourage your employees to create their own content. In fact, employee-generated content (EGC) is really the best for driving authenticity since it comes directly from the thoughts and voices of employees.
As your employee advocacy program matures, your employees will start writing their own posts on social media, produce their own videos, and post their own images.
To unlock your EGC potential, offer incentives to employees who create their own content, or even tailor your pre-written content into their own.
You’ll also see that the discussions employees drive on social media can also evolve into blog posts, webinars, and other formal content. Basically, follow their activities to mine lots of solid, audience-driven content ideas.
4. Push More Relevant Traffic to Your Website
When shared by employees, branded content gets over 5X more reach compared to your official company accounts. This can translate into more relevant traffic to your website.
In fact, Forrester’s TEI study found that employee advocacy (using PostBeyond) can potentially generate over 40,000 more website visitors. In turn, this can drive over $2M in revenue and over $200,000 in profit over a three-year period.
The benefit of employee advocacy here is that it’s a great way to augment your organic traffic strategy. Besides opening up another traffic channel, it can also support your search efforts by exposing your website to others. This could result in valuable backlinks.
5. Close More Sales
Leads can see 7X more conversion frequency when developing from employee social media networks. This can happen in several ways, most notably through social selling.
Basically, the benefit of employee advocacy in this case is that it positions your sales team members as the experts. They share useful content and drive conversations on social. In turn, prospects may start to look at your sales people as problem-solvers.
Building this dynamic lets you engage a prospect long before they reach out to your brand. Not only that, but in a world where 70% of the buyer’s journey is done before they speak to a sales rep (Forrester), this early engagement is critical.
6. Boost Your Brand Recognition
According to Hinge Marketing, 79% of organizations reported more visibility after launching a formal employee advocacy program. 65% also said that they got more brand recognition.
This makes sense as employees generate more reach and engagement on social than official brand accounts. If you’re only relying on your official accounts, you’re leaving brand exposure potential on the table.
7. Improve Employee Engagement
Finally, employee advocacy is an effective way to drive more employee enthusiasm in your brand. Show them that engaging on social helps them build their personal brands as thought leaders and makes their personal social media accounts visible to industry leaders.
You can also use leaderboards, contests, awards and other incentives to drive more activity and grow your employee advocacy program.
As you can see, the benefits of employee advocacy cut across many areas. As the world enters economic uncertainty, marketing leaders and teams need ways to continue achieving their goals, but with fewer resources. Employee advocacy is one such way.
Check out our guide if you’re launching an employee advocacy program. You’ll get actionable insights on how to create buy-in, enroll brand advocates and pick the right employee advocacy tools.