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Benefits of Employee Advocacy In The Social Media Era
What is one thing we all have in common that seems to drive our world today? Whether it be in politics, business, or even the entertainment industry, there is one phenomenon that dictates our every move. This phenomenon that has become ingrained in our daily lives can be summed up in the following phrase: Social Media.
In today’s business world, social media has found its way into marketing strategies, sales plans, and even corporate philanthropy efforts. Another way businesses are utilizing social media is through the growing HR trend of employee advocacy. We’ll discuss the importance of employee advocacy, how it impacts marketing, and how your organization can utilize this easy, effective social media tactic.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is an interactive way for businesses to reach potential clients through authentic employee engagement. When a company’s employees promote the organization, it shows they enjoy the work culture and promote a brand image that feels genuine. Employee posts eliminate the bland, fake perception often seen from standard corporate social posts.
When employees feel comfortable promoting and engaging with their organization via social media, businesses see an increase in prospect engagement that can ultimately lead to increased revenue streams. It is important to cultivate this environment and ensure employee advocacy is at its peak.
Why is it So Important for Employees to Post?
Employees Are Diverse
Employees share a love for their organization, however, there is power in everyone’s differences. Your workforce has a large outreach and can connect with a different audience than a typical company. By broadening a company’s social media outreach, businesses can be more successful in cultivating a diverse staff and will outperform competitors by 35 percent. Now more than ever, reaching a diverse audience is essential to recruiting new talent.
Employees Are Trustworthy
Employees are considered your most trustworthy company advocate. When they post to social media, you have a higher chance of attracting potential talent and customers to engage with versus when the company posts alone. Your employees are also more likely to garner interaction because they are promoting to a larger network of family and friends on social media. People are more likely to trust a family or friend’s opinion before they accept a corporate viewpoint.
The people who work for you have a unique role as brand advocates for your organization. They are everyday people who can reach potential clients, but they are also experts in your company and its brand. How could any business pass up an opportunity like that?
Employees Have Greater Reach
Starting out as a small company, you may struggle to gain social media presence, while your employees come in the door with more than double the followers of your business. Employees receive 8 times more engagement than the average business since their posts are rooted in strong beliefs, not advertisements. Your workers have 10x more 1st-degree connections than you have total followers. Utilize your resources and have your employees advocate for their employer to optimize engagement.
How Does Employee Advocacy Impact Marketing?
Starting an employee advocacy program can save your company thousands of advertising dollars because your employees are acting as brand ambassadors and reaching a much larger audience. Some companies noted if 20 workers participate in employee advocacy, it is equivalent to about $5,000 worth of advertising for the month. Advocacy programs are much more cost effective and authentic than hiring an advertising firm to perform the same task.
With low unemployment rates, there is a shortage of potential candidates in the workforce, making it harder to recruit top talent. Employee advocacy allows potential hires to familiarize themselves with the company, making them 40% more likely to apply for a job. When an applicant learns about a company brand from the viewpoint of someone they can relate to, you capitalize on additional talent acquisition opportunities.
How To Capitalize on This Trend
Make a Plan
If you are unsure of how to implement an employee advocacy program, start small. Begin with a select group of employees so you can test which processes work the best. Plan out what messages will be posted and when, so your employees can easily participate in this initiative. It is also important to offer guidelines on appropriate social media posting to protect your company’s brand.
Make it Interactive
The best way to get others involved is to be interactive. Be sure to repost your employees as much as possible when they share your posts. Implement prizes into the program where people can compete and earn incentives like money, gift cards, and other rewards. One way to increase participation is to make it a game, have winners, and spotlight those efforts to show they’re appreciated.
Employee Advocacy Works
Employee advocacy can change the whole scope of your company’s marketing strategy. Not only is it cost-efficient, but it can be fun and build company morale. They offer an opportunity to invest in your company as well as your staff. Employee advocacy is a great way to get your workers involved in promoting their job and continuing to make a difference. Implement an employee advocacy program and watch your company flourish.
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