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Employee AdvocacyMarketing

New Research Report Links Employee Advocacy to Business Growth

By 19/03/2020October 6th, 2022No Comments
Social Employees DSMN8

A new research report from Hinge Research Institute outlines employee advocacy, its benefits, and much more.

All data and imagery referenced come from Understanding Employee Advocacy on Social Media, a research report by Hinge Marketing, in association with Social Media Today. You can download a free copy of the report.

Employee advocacy – the promotion of an organization or its products and services by one of its employees.

Employee advocacy seems to be at the forefront of marketing right now. Employee advocacy programs are being implemented across organizations big and small, as not only a way to boost their reach and engagement, but to drive new business and build on company culture.

Hinge Research Institute has teamed up with Social Media Today to produce a new study on employee advocacy. ‘Understanding Employee Advocacy on Social Media’ is a research report that explores how businesses are using employee advocacy on social media to grow their brand.

We’re going to discuss some of the key takeaways from this report, and discuss why they’re relevant to your company.

Sales Cycle DSMN8

27% of high-growth companies using employee advocacy reported a shorter sales cycle

Employee Advocacy Programs Lead to High Growth

The main benefits that are typically associated with employee advocacy programs are greater reach and engagement, increased website traffic, and elevated company culture. So, it seems fairly evident that this would lead to faster growth, right?

The report found just this, with 31% of high growth companies surveyed having already implemented an employee advocacy program, suggesting a strong correlation between employee advocacy and rapid company growth. Of all companies surveyed, just 14.7% outside of the high growth margin had implemented a program.

EA Growth DSMN8

Graph shows that 31% of high growth companies have implemented an employee advocacy program

For the report, participants were asked if/how employee engagement on social had benefited their organization. Over 96% of those surveyed identified benefits derived from social media engagement, and 27% of high-growth companies had seen a shortened sales cycle, which is twice that of those slower-growing companies surveyed. This indicates that it’s not just employee advocacy programs that boost growth, but organic conversations and interactions on social can be equally beneficial.

Business Development DSMN8

Graphs from research report show two business development benefits from employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy Programs Maximize Social Selling

If you work in sales, you’re probably all too familiar with the practice of social selling. However, what many seldom consider is that social selling can be achieved by anyone and everyone within an organization, simply by having conversations and advocating for your organization.

Social Selling

Harnessing the power of social media to listen to, engage with, and build rapport with potential customers. Social selling is the most effective way to ensure that you are the first person/company that comes to mind when someone is ready to buy.

The Hinge report found that employee advocates participating in their company’s employee advocacy program saw two main business development benefits from advocacy:

  • Attracting and developing new business

  • Generating new revenue

Or, in a term, social selling! Employee advocacy allows your employees to demonstrate their industry knowledge and establish themselves as thought leaders, and thus they are highly effective social sellers.

Incentivizing Advocacy DSMN8

Graph depicts some of the biggest incentives to become advocates, as listed by those surveyed.

Incentives are a Clear Motivator for Employees

When discussing employee advocacy programs we’re presented with the most common benefits, as stated previously. Most of which, if not all, are company benefits. For this reason, it can be hard to get employees motivated to become advocates.

After all, if there’s no reward, why should they go the extra mile for their company? In an ideal world, a company’s culture would be so strong and positive that employees want to shout about their employers on social media. However, realistically, most employees will need some incentive to participate.

It should come as no surprise then that the report found that motivation through incentives is key to the success of a program. Though it should be noted that, of those using an employee advocacy program, a surprising 30.1% said that no clear incentive was provided. Top employee advocacy platforms will offer built-in gamification features; those like DSMN8 even encourage the use of rewards to get employees sharing.

Employees need to know why they are being asked to become brand advocates, and for many, the benefits that come with social media engagement can far outweigh any prize incentive, which may indicate why the results showed that 41.2% said that communicating the importance of social media was the most significant incentive for them.

Engaged and motivated employees are your most substantial assets, and the benefits of employee advocacy need to be communicated with them.

Advocate benefits DSMN8

Graph from the Hinge report lists the many benefits for advocates from employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy Programs Benefit the Employee Too

Following on from the above, it begs the question, what are the benefits for the advocate? As mentioned, the key benefits are almost always seen for the employer, but employee advocates are often unaware of the benefits that come with advocacy. As the report emphasizes, “employee advocacy programs don’t just benefit firms, they help the advocates, too.”

As previously mentioned, using social selling techniques, or simply by sharing and engaging in industry conversation, can quickly establish your employees as thought leaders, which can do wondrous things for them as professionals, and lead to advancements in their career.

Social media benefits DSMN8

68.9% of those surveyed said social media engagement had a positive effect on their career

As is shown in the graph above, 68.9% of employees from companies that had implemented an employee advocacy program said that their engagement on social media had had a positive effect on their professional careers.

Thought leadership on social comes as a result of learning and mastering your industry, and then exercising your knowledge publicly. Two of the key gateways to thought-leader status were listed as the top benefits of social media engagement. These were expanding professional networks and being able to keep up with industry trends.

Download your free copy of the research report. The Hinge Research Institute is a fraction of Hinge Marketing, that conducts and publishes independent research. They are dedicated to providing B2B companies with the data and insights they need to understand and thrive within their industry.

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