Have you ever wondered if Employee Advocacy is a fad or whether studies can back up the almost-too-good-to-be-true claims? You’re not alone. Companies are beginning to experiment with Employee Advocacy and are generating results that raise brand awareness, increase trust and drive revenue.
Let’s dive into the statistics to find out what’s working well in Employee Advocacy and how you can apply those insights to your own Employee Advocacy programs.
1. Content performance
B2B content performs 16% better during business hours, whereas B2C content performs 17% better on weekends. [CoSchedule]
Social posts are not evergreen. After you share a post to an account, 73.8% of the potential engagement happens during that first hour. That’s why there’s so much fuss about the best time to post on social media.
When using a tool, like Smarp, to share pre-written posts with your employees, they will naturally share social posts at different times, often over the course of 24-48 hours. This significantly increases the engagement lifespan of a piece of content.
Takeaway: Pay attention to social media scheduling. The goal is to maximize the lifespan of each piece of content. Be strategic about the pieces of content you share with your employees and the time that you roll out each update to employees. You can segment your employees into groups of 5-10 within your Employee Advocacy tool, and then roll out different updates to each group daily and/or weekly. You should also encourage employees to schedule their posts on the tool. This approach makes social sharing appear more authentic across social channels. You don’t want every employee sharing the exact same social post at the same time.
2. Social recruiting
73% of recruiters have made successful hires through social media. [Jobvite]
Social media channels provide quick ways to find relevant candidates for open positions. Furthermore, Jobvite reveals, 59% hires made through social media are considered to be of the “highest quality”. This is because social media allows an easy way to connect with people who already possess an interest in your company as well as the relevant skills for it.
By allowing employees to share job ads and spread the good word of your brand, you need to spend less money on expensive ads. It’s also a more credible way to get traction and sustain a strong employer brand.
Takeaway: Encourage employees to share job ads and positive experiences with your company. Invest in the content employees put out there and inspire employees to start discussions around your company as an employer. The focus should be building relationships, not spamming.
Employee advocates have 420 Facebook friends, 400 LinkedIn contacts, and 360 twitter followers on average. [Smarp]
How much work goes into building your company’s following? You likely run Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads and use a variety of social growth hacking tools to build your social presence. Consider the individual networks of your employees. Your social influence could greatly increase without ever needing to get the people in their networks to follow your company account. If they engage with your content on an employee’s social account, you are still raising brand awareness and engaging them.
While Facebook friends may not be as interested in your company because Facebook is more of a personal, inner circle network, their LinkedIn and Twitter followers could very well be interested in your company news, posts and content. By leveraging your employees’ LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, they get an opportunity to interact with your content.
Takeaway: To fully tap into your employees’ networks, you not only need to provide them with great content to share, but you must also do some social media training to help them begin building their personal brands and thought leadership. Teach them how to grow their networks, and your influence will grow.
33% of buyers trust brands, whilst 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. [Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey]
This is a no-brainer. How many times have you asked your social networks for help in finding X product to solve your problem before delving into serious comparisons? All the time.
Your employees are the “people they know” referenced in the Nielsen survey. This means your employees are one of the most trusted sources of information about your company. Potential customers and potential hires will be more interested in your company when they see your employees sharing good things about your company on social. It shows they are engaged at work and believe in your company’s product, services and mission.
Takeaway: If you want to build trust with prospects and buyers, invite your employees to join your Employee Advocacy program. Give them the resources they need and incentives they want, and they will become your best advocates.
5. New business
Nearly 64% of employee advocates in a formal program credit Employee Advocacy with attracting and developing new business, and nearly 45% attribute new revenue streams to Employee Advocacy. [Hinge Research Institute & Social Media Today]
Employee Advocacy is the ultimate tool to create discussions around content. Sure, salespeople can go out and find content to provide to prospects, but do they have the time or interest to find the right company or industry content that they can post on social?
A steady stream of relevant content is a great discussion booster. When salespeople need to spend less time on finding content and more on identifying opportunities online and adding value to existing discussions, they can be more effective in spreading the good word.
Takeaway: Provide a solid stream of both company and industry content that is beneficial for creating new business. Encourage all departments to share posts and accompany them with genuine messages.
Investing in an Employee Advocacy program does require a thoughtful allocation of time, resources and training. But statistics prove that companies who make that investment will generate these results: increased engagement, better-qualified leads, improved brand awareness, buyer trust and empowered sales teams.