If you’re in the professional services industry, you know how busy partners and consultants are. Your business relies on their expertise and service so time is of the essence. Generally speaking, time spent away from client-billed activities is frowned upon making almost all marketing initiatives – including employee advocacy – tough to push within an organization.
While it may be a challenge to implement, social sharing is far too important to overlook.
When you pivot your focus to capitalize on the thought leadership status of your employees, it creates messages with more credibility that reach broader audiences and drive engagement for your brand.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why Sharing on Social Matters
Here are a few statistics to demonstrate precisely how important sharing on social media can be for your brand:
- Brand messages are reshared 24x more frequently when they’re distributed by an employee. Because of their valuable position inside your organization, employees garner a high level of confidence when they share posts on social media.
- 45% of companies now call employee advocacy a top social media strategy. This represents a 191% growth since 2013.
- 70% of adults trust recommendations from friends and family. Meanwhile, only 15% trust a company’s social media post. With this in mind, encouraging your employees to share on social can go a long way towards making your organization appear more reliable and trustworthy to potential clients.
- Organizations with high employee engagement outperform competitors. In fact, they outperform low-engagement companies by about 202%.
- 31% of high-growth firms have a formalized employee advocacy program. These programs create more engaged employees and highly effective marketing campaigns.
How to Make Social Sharing Work
Recently, IBM reported that leads generated through employee advocacy and social selling programs are 7x more likely to close than leads gained through other tactics.
If you’re looking for a way to make employee advocacy a part of your company’s social media marketing program, here are a few smart tips to help you get started:
1. First, Attain Executive Buy-In
Before launching an employee advocacy program, you need executive support. There are many reasons for this.
Not only will your CEO set the tone for sharing on social and encouraging long-term engagement, but they also need to be on board with the costs of launching a social advocacy program.
Once you have full executive support, you can move forward with stakeholders, subject-matter experts, and your new marketing superpower – employee advocates.
2. Train Employees
Unless employees were hired by your social media or marketing departments, they probably won’t become social media influencers overnight. You’ll have to provide training to help them reach their goals.
In some cases, you may need to educate employees to increase their comfort level with social media. In others, you’ll need to provide training for new employee engagement tools or modules.
3. Keep the Content Fresh
If you want your employee advocacy program to perform well, provide employees with fresh content to share consistently. If you don’t do this, you’ll see spotty engagement and random results.
Avoid this by dedicating resources to content sourcing and creation. Lighten the load on the marketing team by holding regular “all hands” meetings and encouraging employees to suggest content that marketing can review and approve.
4. Keep Tabs on Engagement and Reward Leaders
One of the standout employee advocacy practices is to reward employees for their thought leadership and commitment.
With this in mind, create a few employee reward programs designed to give some generosity back to those who make a large impact on your program.
Once you’ve established the employee advocacy program, be outspoken about what your employees can achieve by helping you grow. Examples of rewards include sweatshirts, branded mugs, gift cards, and bonuses.
Why Professional Service Consultants Need Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy presents many benefits for consultants. Some of the largest include the following:
- Build and Show Off Thought Leadership. This is one of the largest perks of employee advocacy programs and is essential for consultants.
- Attract New Clients. Because employee advocacy is such a large confidence metric, it can help attract new clients.
- Continually Engage and Nurture Client Relationships. Keep putting your organization’s best foot forward with intelligent employee advocacy content.
Benefits of Employee Advocacy Programs
Employee advocacy offers many potential benefits for your brand. In addition to building brand awareness, it can help improve your website traffic and customer retention.
Once a program is set up, it should become the source for thought leadership content and help your organization produce trust and credibility in the market. This is essential for service companies that live or die by building trust and engagement. Employee advocacy is essential for companies looking to overhaul their social media marketing, without introducing dozens of new hard-to-follow practices.
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