So, you want to launch an advocacy program into your company, and you are now faced with the familiar and often daunting impasse of approaching your senior management in the hopes of getting it signed off.
This step is never an easy one, and it can take weeks and sometimes months to get everyone in the same room. So, before you try to sell them into the idea of an employee advocacy program, it’s important that you have the theory and the numbers to make a strong case for implementation.
Before you try to explain the benefits of an employee advocacy program to them, we must understand what employee advocacy is.
What is Employee Advocacy?
In its purest form, employee advocacy is the promotion of a company or an organization through its employees. The theory of employee advocacy is that your employees will have an average accumulative reach that is around 10x that of your corporate accounts, So by tapping into your employees’ social networks, you can reach and engage a much wider audience.
So, now that you’ve explained what it is, it’s time to focus on the four key benefits of introducing an employee advocacy program into your organization. Here are the four essential benefits:
1. Amplified Content Marketing
As a department, your marketing team will spend countless hours putting together great content to be shared on social media. Doesn’t it make sense to give it the reach it deserves?
An employee advocacy platform allows you to tap into your number one asset – your employees, to garner more reach and engagement on your content. LinkedIn reports that when employees share, they make double the impact of your brand marketing with an average click-through rate that is twice that of their company.
A study from MSL Group found that, on average, brand messages are shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees. This is likely because 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising, while 77% say they are more likely to purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust.
LinkedIn also tells us that in 2019, just 3% of employees share company content onto their LinkedIn pages, but these posts alone drive a 30% increase in engagement. The average percentage of employees that sign up to an advocacy platform is somewhere between 20-30%. When correctly implemented, there’s vast potential to expand this organic reach.
2. Maximize Social Selling
In the ever-evolving field of sales, you’ve probably seen the term ‘social selling’ floating around. Social selling is effectively harnessing the power of social media to listen to, engage with, and build rapport with prospective clients, ensuring that you are the first person that comes to mind when a prospect is ready to buy.
An employee advocacy program is brilliantly useful in maximizing your employees’ social selling capabilities. By sharing your company content, they are visibly exercising their knowledge of your company to their networks. In doing so, they are establishing themselves as industry experts in the eyes of their prospects.
Creating company content is another fantastic way for your employees to be recognized as thought leaders in your industry. Advocacy platforms like DSMN8 allow employees to do this by writing blogs, taking photos at events, and creating videos, among other things.
Here are some statistics that will amplify your point:
92% of B2B buyers are willing to engage with a sales professional who is a known industry thought leader (LinkedIn)
63.4% of Social sellers reported an increase in company sales revenue (SalesforLife)
There are 45% more sales opportunities on social media (LinkedIn)
Read our article on the benefits of social selling here.
3. Crowdsource Content
Employee advocacy is a great way to crowdsource quality content, which will save on both time and costs. It’s no secret that companies and even customers use social media to find out more about your organization and your company culture.
Most companies rely on their social media manager to take pictures and videos, but naturally, they can’t be everywhere at once.
Products like Lens allow employees to capture and submit those special moments within your organization, and provide a more authentic snapshot of what it’s like to work within the company. You may have influencers within your company who are already using social media to document life at your company. An advocacy platform gives them a chance to feature and be credited on company pages.
Having a great blog is vital to boosting your SEO ranking, and also helps strengthen and develop relationships with existing customers. However, creating authentic content at scale has always been a challenge for organizations big and small, as often freelance writers are brought in who simply don’t know the company/industry well enough to add value.
Content creation tools like Author are a great tool for sourcing authentic content from your employees. Create a content brief through the platform and assign a reward. You can then select employees who you think would be up to the job and ask them to submit their chosen ideas.
The reason these tools are so effective is that they’re beneficial for both the employer and the employee. As an employer, you’re getting high-quality authentic content that you can share, whilst the employee will be gradually building their personal brand and garnering a reputation as an industry expert. In a recent report, Edelman found that 82% of buyers say thought leadership had increased their trust in an organization.
Empowering your employees by allowing them to create content on behalf of your company gives employees a sense of responsibility, it creates a sense of belonging and builds on company culture.
4. Advocacy Benefits Your Employer Brand
Employer branding has never been more relevant than in the age of social media. Every successful company will have accounts on most major social networks that allow them to display their company culture, and there’s no better or more organic way to showcase your company culture than through your employees.
Positive employer branding helps both attract and retain quality employees, who are crucial to the success and growth of the business. It’s also essential for how customers and prospects view your company. CareerArc found that 96% of companies believe employer brand and reputation can positively impact revenue.
For many top candidates, company culture is a crucial factor in the decision-making process. Not only does it attract top candidates, but it also reduces the cost of hiring altogether. LinkedIn reports that Companies with strong employer brands cut their cost per hire by as much as half.
Ultimately, an employee advocacy program will do much more than just expand your reach. It will: save costs on and improve the hiring process; develop your employer brand; maximize employees’ ability to social sell; expand your pool of content contributors; and inundate you with content. Is now the time to pitch the idea to senior management? With this list in mind, we certainly think so.
If you’re thinking of starting your own employee advocacy program, get in touch! You can book a demo here.