Employee advocacy is a buzzword that has been gaining traction in recent years, and for good reasons. Employee advocacy is one of the most effective ways to boost your brand’s reputation and increase your reach. When your employees share positive content about your organization, it carries much more weight than any other form of advertisement.
Why? Because people trust people.
We are constantly being bombarded with ads and marketing messages. Every brand is competing for a slice of the pie. By leveraging the power of your employees’ personal networks, you’ll have a better chance of getting that pie. People are more likely to trust the opinion of someone they know and respect, rather than a faceless brand.
According to research from Hinge Marketing, employee advocacy can generate 8x more engagement than company channels and 10x more connections than your brand network. Can you imagine the impact and cost savings of even a fraction of your employees talking about their experience working for you?
Beyond brand awareness: Building loyalty and relationships inside out
The benefits of employee advocacy go beyond just increased brand awareness. By encouraging your employees to share their life at your company, you can also build loyalty and nurture your relationships inside out; with both your employees and customers.
When employees feel like they’re part of a team that’s doing something meaningful and impactful, they’re more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. And when candidates see that your employees are passionate about their work and committed to delivering great service, they’re more likely to trust you and want to join your organization.
The truth is, your employees are already talking about you. They talk about their experience, their work, their colleagues, and most importantly your internal culture with their peers and networks. By giving them the tools and engagement tactics to do so, you can take advantage of your employees’ natural inclination to talk about their work, and turn them into micro-influencers of your employer brand.
2 simple tactics to get started with employee advocacy
Now that you know the importance of employee advocacy, you may be wondering where to start. While creating an ambassador program can be a great way to empower your employees, there are also some simpler tactics you can use to get rolling right away.
Identify the types of advocates
Identifying the different types of advocates within your organization can be helpful in creating targeted support initiatives. There are generally four types of advocates:
- Accelerators: These employees may not create their own content, but they regularly engage with their colleagues’ posts.
- Spontaneous creators: These employees create content when they have something to say or share.
- Influencers: These employees actively share content and personal stories related to a variety of topics on their social media profiles.
- Thought leaders: These employees have a strong personal brand and share their expertise on a particular topic or industry.
Chances are, your company currently has a mix of accelerators and spontaneous creators as advocates. To turn them into influencers, it is important to provide them with the right support. This could include training on how to effectively use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram, helping them to grow their networks, and providing an idea bank to lower the threshold for writing content.
For thought leaders, offering training on personal branding and giving them opportunities to showcase their expertise can help them become effective brand ambassadors.
Divide your voice for a targeted approach
In order to maximize the impact of your employee advocacy, you can divide the voices within your organization. Tailor your messaging and content for different audience segments to ensure that you’re providing the most relevant and valuable information for them. By empowering your employees and giving them the tools to become advocates, you can amplify your message and reach a wider audience. For example, management may have a wide audience, while specialists within the company have a more niche audience that would benefit from a targeted approach.
- Management voice: As decision makers and influencers in the industry, they can share for example about company results, embody the vision, mission, and values, and share the company’s expertise. Management can build thought leadership and establish authority and credibility in the eyes of peers and followers. By leading by example, they create a snowball effect and encourage other employees to share their own perspective and experiences. Overall, management plays a vital role in employee advocacy and their support and encouragement can make a difference in the success of employees’ engagement.
- Specialist voice: Specialists have unique insights and expertise that can be invaluable when it comes to creating targeted content. For example, they can share company news and product information with a more detailed and nuanced perspective. They can also offer insights into specific industries or areas of the business that may be less familiar to other employees or outsiders.
In addition, specialists can help to promote open positions with their own network. By creating content such as recaps from company events or “Day in the Life” videos that portray the office culture, specialists can also help to humanize the company and make it more relatable to a wider audience. By harnessing the power of specialist voices for employee advocacy, companies can build a more authentic and engaging brand that resonates with both employees and external audiences alike.
Ultimately, by identifying the different types of advocates within your company and providing them with the appropriate support, you can transform your employees into effective brand ambassadors who can help boost your brand awareness, improve your online reputation, and drive sales and growth for your business.
If you want to learn more about employee advocacy, don’t hesitate to contact Karelle Bélanger or book a training session for your organization!