Over the past few years, employee advocacy has emerged as a powerful marketing and sales strategy. It’s easy to see why: having employees actively sharing content on social media enables businesses to amplify their brand message, by fostering authentic connections with their audience.
It’s become so popular that Gartner predicts that by the end of 2023, 90% of B2B businesses will implement employee advocacy as a key business strategy. Empowering employees to become brand ambassadors builds trust, increases awareness, and even improves employee engagement.
But once you’ve started an employee advocacy program, how will you see the impact? Is it an effective strategy for your business? What metrics do you need to measure?
Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we will explore the essential employee advocacy metrics to track, and explain how they provide valuable insights into the success of your advocacy program.
Do This First!
The metrics you decide to track will vary depending on your program goals, and how this initiative aligns with your overall business goals.
If you’re not sure what data matters to you, take a step back and think about why your program was started.
Is the focus to increase qualified leads? Build your social media presence for brand awareness? Reduce cost-to-hire?
Start by writing down a list covering the results you want to see from advocacy.
Be sure to align with other stakeholders, for example the Head of Sales or Marketing. This makes it much easier to figure out which metrics are important for showcasing the impact.
Internal vs External Metrics
So you’ve written down your advocacy goals, and have an idea of which numbers will be important to you. These are typically results-driven, what we call external metrics. You’ll need to think about internal metrics as well.
The impact of employee advocacy isn’t just external. It’s internal too. So, the metrics you track need to reflect this. Starting an employee advocacy program marks a shift in company culture, and has a huge impact across all areas of your organization. If you’re interested in learning about how employee advocacy impacts internal communications, we cover this in our research on ‘Mixternal Communications‘.
What’s the difference between the two categories?
Internal metrics are things like how many employees have joined the program, and how many are actively participating.
External metrics would be the impact you can see on social media, website traffic, leads, and conversions.
You’ll need to measure both internal and external metrics to see the true impact of your program. If you’re using technology like the DSMN8 platform, tracking becomes a lot easier, but some areas can also be tracked with Google Analytics, LinkedIn analytics, and your CRM.
7 Key Employee Advocacy Metrics to Track for Measuring Success
OK, so what metrics should every employee advocacy program manager track?
If you’re just starting out with employee advocacy, internal metrics should definitely be your focus. Before analyzing the results of employees posting on social, the priority is to monitor how many people are joining and engaging.
You can do this manually if you’re running a small-scale organic program. For larger programs managed with software, the best way is to use your employee advocacy tool to track user adoption and activity.
Here are the top 7 employee advocacy metrics to track for monitoring success:
1. Reach and Amplification
Of course, you’ll want to gauge the visibility of your advocates’ content. To do this, track metrics like the number of employee posts, shares/retweets, and the reach/impressions of employee-generated content. These figures provide insight into the extent to which your brand message is being disseminated through employee networks.
If you’re running a manual employee advocacy program, you can do this by asking advocates to share their post impressions every week or month, then adding them to a spreadsheet. For programs with more than 20 advocates, it starts to get a bit more tricky and inconvenient to measure impact this way. A platform like DSMN8 can provide these statistics for you, with no extra effort required from your advocates.
A great statistic to share with leadership is your total LinkedIn audience size. Our experience shows that the average LinkedIn user has 1,180 connections/followers. When you add up the numbers of all your employee advocates, it will usually be a drastically larger figure than your company page!
2. Content Engagement
Engagement metrics provide a deeper understanding of the level of interaction and interest generated by your employee advocacy program. This one is really important to track, as it highlights which of your content resonates the most with your audience.
Engagement metrics include likes, shares, and comments on employee posts. As with reach/impressions, you can track this manually by monitoring employee posts if you’re running a small advocacy program. But as your program scales, the analytics available in an advocacy platform will make your life a lot easier.
Below is an example showing how you can quickly see LinkedIn comments and reactions on employee posts within DSMN8. You can even delve deeper to view charts on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis! Monitoring this regularly will show how your content engagement improves over time.
3. Lead Generation
To evaluate the impact of employee advocacy on business outcomes, tracking metrics relating to conversions and lead generation is essential. Look at website clicks from employee social media posts, click-through rates, and conversions attributed to employee-shared content.
These metrics showcase the ability of employee advocacy to drive tangible results for your organization. The goal isn’t just to increase reach and visibility on social media, it’s to increase leads and conversions for the business.
Adding UTM tracking codes to the end of links shared by employees is an easy way to see the impact your advocates are having in Google Analytics. This allows you to separate advocacy clicks from organic/paid social clicks. Learn how to use UTM tracking with DSMN8.
For tracking lead generation, use your CRM. If you have any opt-in downloads or forms on your website, add a self attribution field to them, asking where visitors found you. This isn’t the most accurate way to track, but it gives people the opportunity to say they saw your employees posting on LinkedIn, for example.
Advocacy program managers can view website clicks from employee posts at a glance in the analytics suite, and a breakdown of clicks per social channel.
4. Content Performance
So, you’re tracking the reach and engagement of your advocates’ content. But how is it actually performing?
What are viewers doing once they click onto your website?
Google Analytics is the best way to monitor this activity. Track metrics like content dwell time (how long viewers spend on the page), downloads, and form submissions.
This data helps identify your highest-performing content. Use it to inspire future content ideas. Create more of the content that resonates most with your audience, and drives the highest impact.
Find out more about how employee advocacy can help generate new content ideas in this podcast episode! 🎧👇
5. Employee Participation and Adoption
We’ve already briefly covered this, but it’s integral to the success of your program. Always keep an eye on how many advocates you have, and how many of those advocates are actively participating. Do they create or contribute their own original content? These figures show how enthusiastic and interested employees are in your program.
While there will be a spark in activity when you start your program, the last thing you want is for it to dramatically fall off after a few months. To combat this, make sure that you’re continuously recruiting, especially with new starters!
Want to find out how active your employees are currently on social? Get your free employee advocacy health check.
6. Earned Media Value
Earned media value is how much it would have cost for this reach and engagement on social media if you paid for advertising.
It’s not the only way to measure ROI, but it’s a good indicator of how your advocacy program is performing, compared to paid social. If you’re trying to demonstrate the impact to get more of your company on board, this is a number you can show them.
Use the free ROI calculator to get an idea of how much an employee advocacy program could save you. Simply enter how many employees your company has, the percentage that would be joining your program, and your average cost per click. Then instantly see the estimated impact an advocacy program would have for your organization.
The DSMN8 platform analytics suite shows your earned media value at a glance, like this:
7. LinkedIn SSI (Social Selling Index)
Here’s one for your sales team, marketers, and recruiters.
The LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), is a score given to you by LinkedIn, to show how effective you are at building your professional personal brand.
A variety of factors contribute to your social selling index score, including finding the right people, engaging with insights, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and building relationships.
Your SSI score updates daily, and also shows how you compare with others in your industry and network. Needless to say, employee advocacy has a huge impact on this score. As your advocates become more active, they’ll be generating engagement on their posts, and growing their networks.
Here’s an example of what your Social Selling Index Score will look like:
Seeing SSI scores rise is a great motivator for advocates, particularly those working in a sales function. Get your team to check their score each month and compare results! There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition.
Want to improve your score? Check out our step-by-step guide to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index!
Best Practices for Tracking and Analyzing Employee Advocacy Metrics
Now you know which employee advocacy metrics are the most important to track, what next?
There’s no point looking at numbers without doing anything with them! Follow these best practices for getting the most from your analytics:
1. Set Clear Goals: Define specific goals and align them with your overall business objectives. This clarity will not only guide which metrics you’ll be tracking, but also help define what employee advocacy success means to your organization.
2. Establish Benchmarks: Establish benchmarks to measure the success of your employee advocacy efforts. Regularly track and compare your metrics against these benchmarks to identify areas of improvement. In the early stages of your program, start by comparing statistics with your company social media pages. As your advocacy program matures over a few months, you’ll be able to create benchmarks for the numbers you expect to see.
3. Contextualize Metrics: Interpret your metrics within the context of your industry, audience, and campaign objectives. This contextual understanding helps derive meaningful insights. If you want to see how your employee social media presence compares with your competitors, grab a free employee advocacy health check to find out!
4. Report and Share Insights: Regularly report your findings and share insights with key stakeholders. Use visualizations and storytelling techniques to make the data more accessible and actionable. The DSMN8 analytics suite helps with this, by presenting data in an easy-to-understand way.
Final Thoughts & Additional Resources
Tracking employee advocacy metrics is crucial for measuring the impact of your brand champions. By monitoring reach, engagement, conversion, content performance, and employee participation, you’ll gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your advocacy program.
Leveraging the right tools and following best practices will ensure your metrics measurement is accurate, actionable, and drives continuous improvement. Embrace the power of data-driven decision-making!
To streamline the process and see all your advocacy program metrics in one analytics dashboard, book a demo with DSMN8 today.
Need more help?
We’ve created a bunch of resources and templates to help get your employees more active on social media.
Here are some top picks:
SEO and Content Specialist at DSMN8. Emily has 10 years experience blogging, and is a pro at Pinterest Marketing, reaching 1 million monthly views. She’s all about empowering employees to grow their personal brands and become influencers.