What Is Employee Advocacy & How Does It Work?

What is employee advocacy?

Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its staff members. A business may ask employees to actively promote the organization, often through social media, as an element of their jobs. However, the most compelling employee advocacy consists of freely-offered communications on the part of the workforce.

If you work anywhere near the social media marketing space, you’ve probably heard of “employee advocacy” in the past few years. You know – the buzzword you may have heard at a conference, or seen in marketing and sales trend reports.

But what does it really mean?

Employee advocacy refers to the promotion of an organization by its workforce. It’s activating your employees as the voice for your organization.

There are endless organizations out there doing fantastic work to stand out in their industry, to improve workplace culture, or just to give back in their own communities. So how do these companies spread the word? How do they make sure that exciting news isn’t doomed to the office newsletter?

This can be done in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most common method is through social media. Think about it – all of your employees’ friends, acquaintances, and relatives are most likely connected to them on social media. That’s a huge network! And what’s more, this network trusts your employee.

Messages shared by employees went 561% further than the same message shared on a brand owned channel. (MLS group)

Employee advocacy is a way for organizations to keep their workforce informed, excited and engaged about the company while empowering staff to share content on social media.

And it delivers real ROI to your organization.

How Can Employee Advocacy Work For Your Organization?

But employee advocacy isn’t always as simple as having employees post a Facebook update. There are tons of factors that impact whether employees want to share content on social media – ranging from disengagement to lack of proper social media training.

The key is to remember that an employee advocacy program should be opt-in, with proper support offered along the way.

Here are some of the ways that an employee advocacy program will benefit your organization:

Increase Your Brand’s Reach on Social

With the reach of organic media dwindling, and brands competing for impressions and clicks, providing your employees with strategic brand and industry content ensures that your company’s message is communicated in the appropriate voice and on diverse channels. Keep your content relevant, engaging, and on target.

The balance here is allowing your employees to be themselves while still maintaining your brand messaging. In addition, when an employee advocate shares an update, their network trusts that information is accurate, instead of getting the feeling that they’re having a brand “sell” to them.

Increased Sales

Employee advocacy programs make it easy for your frontline staff and sales force to access company content that they need to stay informed. In today’s landscape, the majority of customer acquisitions and relationship building is happening outside the brick-and-mortar stores, on digital and social channels, where consumers come to search for information, look at reviews and provide their feedback.

It’s crucial for your sales reps to be active on social media, as this is likely the first interaction your customers will have with your brand. Why not ensure that your sales reps are seen as “go-to” people for information about your industry? Not just a faceless brand page, but a real person.

Equipping them with the right content is an easy way to ensure that their social presence is kept up-to-date, positioning them as a thought leader.

Improved Employee Engagement and Company Culture

Corporate culture is one of the most important and misunderstood pillars of any organization. It’s is the glue that keeps the organization together and helps employees stay engaged.

Your employer brand is also a key differentiator for talent acquisition. Millennials and Gen Z place company culture of one of the top reasons for working at a company. Communication is key to maintaining this culture and aligning employees to company’s mission and goals. Employee communication has evolved and employees now want to stay informed

Employee communication has evolved, and employees now want to stay informed on what’s happening at their organization outside of their department in real-time. Engaged and informed employees are more likely to talk about their jobs on their personal social networks, which helps set you apart as an employer and attract new talent. An employee advocacy solution makes it easy for an employee to stay up-to-date about their company and easily share out information on their networks.

Is your organization considering employee advocacy? If you’ve already implemented a program – what were the results? How has your program evolved?

Let us know in the comments!

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