A good company culture starts with good management. How does Employee Advocacy kick in? In several ways, actually. Employee Advocacy isn’t just the latest marketing trend or just a social media phrase to gain more traction on LinkedIn – it's just good management. Not sure? Here are some proven reasons why advocacy helps your company and employees, by using channels that you already use every day.
1. There's a Boost for Your Social Media Marketing
Employee Advocacy is about enhancing your company’s social media reach by recruiting your employees (or at least some of them) to help out: this should then lead to improvement in your social numbers, right? The problem is that the idea is often vague, with little or no expectations for ROI and just a general hope that these new brand ambassadors are going to do a good job.
Well, "general hope" doesn't make for a good strategy. If you're worried about ROI here are some amazing numbers for you. When employees develop their own leads, those leads are 7 times more likely to close. Any content that your employees share tends to receive 8 times more engagement than when it comes from somewhere else – and about 52% of consumers surveyed report they trust employees more than messages from CEOs. Those are real numbers!
2. You are Using Resources Effectively
It's every manager's job to ask if they are using resources to their fullest potential – and one of the most important resources of the business are its people. Employee Advocacy costs very little on all sides. It taps into the natural activities and habits of employees and typically uses social channels they're already active in. It also uses brand campaigns and marketing pushes that your company was already going to make. In other words, it takes very little effort to jumpstart Employee Advocacy, but you get a lot of benefit in return – that's a common sense decision.
3. It Allows You to Spread Brand Guidelines
How well do your employees know the company? We're not just referring to general facts or production processes; Do your employees know how the company talks? Do they know how it responds to complaints? Do they know why it’s supporting a particular product or service, or what colors it uses? Sure, some of this information is in the employee handbook, but most of it exists in the ether somewhere above most employees' heads – they don't think they need to know that stuff. But by moving brand guidelines out of the marketing department and throughout the organization, you ensure that all employees have a better understanding of the company's unique value, along with how to talk to any customers they may come into contact with. As a result, everyone's expertise grows.
4. You Can Pinpoint Your Own Trendsetters
Employee Advocacy allows a company to recruit specific employees for specific tasks. You may want to choose those employees with notable social media skills. This provides several benefits. First, your marketing now benefits from the new resources that employee brings to the table (i.e., access to several hundred new Twitter followers, witty Facebook jokes etc). Second, that employee now has a new path to advance and develop on. Both sides are enriched. Note, of course, that if you give specific Employees Advocacy duties, it's important that you also give them extra time to during the day to work on it!
Technology to Unite Your Team
At 21 Handshake, we've recently experienced the advantage of technology in a very practical way: A significant number of our team members work remotely and don't get a lot of face time with each other. That lack of communication can feel a little awkward sometimes, so we decided to take a page out of our own book on social media team advocacy and adopt the team messaging app Slack as a method of easier communication. Not only did this helps us collaborate more effectively on projects, it also unites our team more closely when it comes to spreading news, brainstorming, and generally feeling more connect. Our workplace has benefited far beyond social media strategy!
Sarah Heyes works as Project Manager at 21 Handshake, which serves as a relationship assistant, working to capture the attention of your target audience both online and offline.
The company’s physical roots may be in West Michigan but their digital reach extends far beyond state or international lines to help you create that trusted handshake experience with customers, prospects, and influencers in your marketplace.