What if we told you that you may be missing out on one of your business’ most valuable marketing assets – one that has the power to build brand awareness and help you recruit valuable talent? What if those marketing assets were accessible to you right now, perhaps within your arms’ reach?
If you haven’t considered the power your employees have in spreading the word, or acting as “advocates” for your brand, it’s time to take note.
Thanks to the rise of social media sites and blogging platforms, everyone is a publisher and marketer. With a single post or tweet, your employees can reach hundreds of connections that your marketing efforts could be missing.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is defined as “the promotion of an organization by its staff members.”
An employee advocate is someone who:
- Generates positive exposure and raises awareness for a brand through digital media or offline channels
- Recommends a company’s products or services to a friend or family member, or word-of-mouth
- Represents the best interests of the company both internally and externally
- Can help build employee ownership of the organization
- Is an expert on your product or service and can be a credible spokesperson for your company
While tapping into this opportunity may sound promising, it’s also cause for consideration. Are you confident that what your employees are sharing is flattering? It’s your responsibility to create an environment that employees will want to favorably post about.
4 Ways to Encourage Employee Advocacy
Make company culture a priority
Building a positive work environment should be your first priority. Good company culture results in a more productive work environment, where employees look forward to going to work. A company with great culture has happy employees; and happy employees share the love.
Make it easy
According to this LinkedIn study, employees generate twice as many click-throughs from content they share compared to company shares of the same content. To get your employees to share content from your corporate blog and social media channels, make it easy for them by directing them to the content, and providing pre-populated comments to include in their posts.
Educate them on the impact their effort has, and provide them with social media guidelines and expectations.
Take on charitable initiatives
…and include your employees in your efforts. Let them have a part in choosing the organization and allow them time to volunteer for the cause. By participating in charitable initiatives, you give your employees something to feel good about, and lots to tweet and post about too.
Create a company hashtag
Having a hashtag that is unique to your brand encourages employees to include it when they post relevant, work-related content. Doing this also allows you to easily track the content your employees are sharing. A great example of this execution is Reebok. As part of an employee advocacy initiative, Reebok encouraged employees to share their passion for fitness with the provocative hashtag “FitAssCompany.”
Social Recruiting – The Added Bonus of Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy not only works wonders in promoting your consumer brand, it builds your employer brand as well. When you have a favorable employer brand, talent is drawn to your organization. Employee advocacy helps by giving your company a human element, making it desirable to prospective job seekers – a concept that will please both your marketing and human resources teams.