With the evergrowing prominence of social media, tapping into employees’ social networks should be considered by companies of all sizes. As with influencer marketing, companies are drawing on their employees to create content and leveraging the power of their employees’ followings to further their reach more organically.
The new wave of employee influence is centered around all social media platforms, where corporate brands are attempting to launch their marketing initiatives through their employees.
What is it?
What is employee advocacy, and what are employee influencers? In its simplest form, employee advocacy is the promotion of a company or an organization through its employees. An employee influencer is one who creates on-brand content and pushes it out via social media.
There are various steps along the employee influencer journey, and not every employee within your organization will be the ideal influencer. Some may not have/use social media, and those that do may not have the social following to justify an advocacy program. However, you should take into account that you may already have your next engagement-driving blog writer just waiting to display their talent!
Step in your most socially active and creative employees. The ones who are already talking about your company and are highly active on social media. Perhaps they are contributing to your blog or Instagram page. These employees are already generating engagement on their posts, and are the superstar employees that will prove to be an invaluable resource. Check out our Slideshare on the ten steps to employee influence to better understand this process.
So you know what it is, but why should you care?
Maximize Content Reach
Employee influence is one of the most effective and organic ways to maximize your brand presence and content reach. LinkedIn 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.
Studies also show that consumers are more likely to be influenced by people they know compared to branded marketing. Thus sharing through your employees is statistically more effective than sharing through your corporate pages. Social Media Today reported that 79% of people say user-generated content profoundly impacts their purchasing decisions.
LinkedIn’s Changing Landscape
Another factor to take into consideration is the rise of LinkedIn and the ever-changing content seen on the platform. Gone are the days of using LinkedIn as a virtual CV that you only used Monday to Friday. LinkedIn has become much more of a social tool and a platform to promote your brand. In 2019, LinkedIn reported that views in the LinkedIn feed are up 60% from 2018.
Hiring is never a cheap nor easy process; a recent report from Glassdoor states that 76% of hiring decision-makers say attracting quality candidates is their biggest challenge.
Having influencers advocating for your company can have significant effects on hiring opportunities. When employees are regularly talking about your company’s culture, your hiring pool expands, and you’re more likely to attract top candidates. What better way to find out what it’s like to work for a company than hearing from the employees themselves?
Employee influencers posting job opportunities directly to their social media communities is a more proactive and cost-effective way of filling a position. ‘Someone like yourself’ is seen as much more suitable than a CEO or board of directors, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018. Don’t just take our word for it, the statistics speak for themselves:
Companies that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to hire quality candidates (Brandon Hall Group)
Employee referrals account for only 7% of all applicants but 70% of all hires (Influencer Marketing Hub)
75% of hiring decision-makers say it’s easier to attract top talent when they know about your organization (Glassdoor)