Employee Social Media: The Driving Force Of Your Employer Brand

What’s the most inspiring brand you know?

You’re probably thinking of a few. Either their mission is something you admire, their product is something you can’t live without, or maybe it comes down to having a funny ad campaign.

Now think about the places that you’ve heard are amazing to work for. Great benefits, cool office, unreal culture. I’m willing to bet there’s some overlap with the first brands you thought of and this list of cool workplaces.

The best employer brands exist because employees genuinely love them and want to talk about them. This leads to a ton of benefits, including better employee engagement and talent acquisition:

  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires (Source: Jobvite)
  • 67% of employers and recruiters said that the recruiting process was shorter and 51% said it was less expensive to recruit via referrals (Source: Jobvite)
  • 47% Referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies (Source: Jobvite)
  • Employees of socially engaged companies are… (Source: Altimeter & LinkedIn Relationship Economics 2014)
    • 57% more likely to align social media engagement to more sales leads
    • 20% more likely to stay at their company
    • 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future
    • 40% more likely to believe their company is more competitive
  • And yet, disengaged employees make up 74% of the average company’s workforce (Source: Tower Watson)

So why are candidates naturally attracted to certain companies?

Your Culture Is Infectious

We’ve all had friends at some point that worked for a “cool” company. And – let’s face it – we were probably a teensy bit jealous of them at some point, and wanted to work for that company.

The best employer brands all have one thing in common: a clearly defined culture.

People are the life of your brand, and you need to invest in their wellbeing. Work is like a second home. And to keep people engaged, you need to go beyond the paycheck. When you enter the office, you should get an immediate vibe that you belong.

The best places to work always have the nicest people to work with. Your customers appreciate them, but more importantly, your employees appreciate each other.

And when you hire pleasant people, the word gets around.

Your Communications Oozes With Culture

When you have the right culture and people in place, your employer brand starts to develop. People start talking about you. Your mission and vision are clear in the way you communicate. You can start to tell what your culture is like based on different behaviours.

Once this starts happening, your employer brand really kicks off. And your employees can help accelerate and amplify your culture through social media.

culture content employee communications

Your Employees Are Your Channel For Employer Branding

Your employees are the ones who make your culture great. Which is why they’re an integral part of your communications strategy when it comes to employer branding.

The most credible source for sharing content related to your brand and culture comes from your employees. Each team member is connected to hundreds of people, who are connected to hundreds of people, and so on.

Your employer brand is an aggregation of your employees’ personal brands. So it’s important to equip your employee advocates with the right tools and content to amplify that brand culture through their networks.

Implementing social business infrastructure in your company will help set up the right processes and technologies in place to propel content sharing to your employees’ personal networks.

When planning an employee advocacy program to help showcase your employer brand, think of the following:

  • Recruit Volunteer Advocates First: The employees that are already passionate about your company will make the best advocates. For example, when Molson Coors first introduced their Beer Post program, they aimed to recruit 500 advocates in 6 months. When they announced the program to their employees, people were so excited that they recruited 500 advocates in 2 weeks. This really helped the program at its initial stage.
  • Strategic Content Library: Create a content library that can be accessed by your advocates that showcases your company culture. Add videos, articles, press releases, blog posts, job posting, etc., that really represent your mission and vision. Make sure this content library is easily accessible, centralized, and has sharing options for employees.
  • Put Your Employees Front And Centre: Your employees are what will make your program successful. Ask them to suggest or create content. Encourage them to participate. They’re the life of your brand, and culture stems from them.
  • Measure The Impact: By having a centralized infrastructure, you can measure the impact of employee engagement on your employer brand. Measure how many employees are signing up, the frequency of content shared, the contribution of ideas, and your overall brand health (mentions, sentiment, impressions, etc.).

A Healthy Employer Brand results In Better Customer Experience

In the end, you want to invest in your employees so they can better represent your customers.

Prospects and customers want to work with delightful people. Building the right culture helps keep employees engaged, which then translates to better interactions with clients. A happy employee means a happy client.

And your employees sharing this happiness to their networks helps build brand awareness, generate leads, and source the right candidates.

  • Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source: Social Media Today)
  • Only 33% of buyers trust the brand whilst 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know (Source: Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey)
  • Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels (Source: MSLGroup)
  • Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees vs brand (Source: MSLGroup)
  • Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM)

So reflect back. Does your company have the kind of culture that employees want to showcase to their networks? And if so, is your company equipped with the right infrastructure, processes, and technologies that make it easy for them to share?

It’s time to invest in your company and your people. It’s time to upgrade to the modern business stack.

Do your employees share content about your company initiatives? Does your culture encourage sharing? Why or why not? Please leave a comment below and share with your colleagues!

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