Employee advocacy becomes stronger when it involves every department, team and business unit. Why? Because everyone on the staff is (or should be) invested in company outcomes. And each employee’s voice and story add to those outcomes.“Isn’t that marketing’s job?” Some people might have this type of impression of employee advocacy before they start to feel its value firsthand, but employee advocacy isn’t only for marketers. Far from it.
Your employees ultimately determine the trajectory of your company and, in parallel, are key stakeholders in the perception of your brand. Fact is, the best marketing outcomes come from those who know the brand. With employee advocacy, each employee has a role to play to help the company reach its goals.
Let’s take a closer look at why employees from every department should get involved in your employee advocacy program.
1. Share Authentic Stories
When your whole company is engaged in employee advocacy, genuine experiences shine through. It provides transparency in your process that can’t be manufactured by the marketing department alone.
Customers and future employees have been known to look at how your brand is represented by your current and former employees. With teammates from those departments sharing their experiences, your customers, prospects, and potential future employees get to hear from authentic voices.
Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Twitter and others, often favor posts from individuals over official corporate presences. With Glassdoor, that’s baked into the site’s DNA, with employee experience reviews being such a vital part of its community. On Instagram, it’s also been shown that individual, personal accounts have higher engagement than business ones.
Participation in employee advocacy should not be mandatory. You are aiming for authenticity. Each participant should have a real interest in sharing their experiences. The mandatory ones will sound rote and phony. Genuine pride in your organization, its culture and its products can’t be falsified.
2. We’re All in Sales
Business expert and author Daniel Pink likes to say that “We’re all in sales now.”
And why is that? How is the business analyst and the developer also in sales?
They’re not closing deals or finalizing the contracts.
However, each of your employee voices are amplified in the digital world. This means that the influence of your employees is greater than it has ever been. The opinion of every one in your company is influencing how your prospects and current customers view your brand. Take advantage of this increased visibility.
Remember, your customers and prospects are conducting more research than before. In fact, some 41% of B2B buyers will spend up to three months researching your company online before they actually reach out to start a conversation with you. Potential customers are finding your employees’ opinion anyway. A dedicated employee advocacy program adds to the research that prospects are doing.
3. Establish Greater Trust
Thanks to the authenticity of your employee-originated messaging, your advocacy program allows you to establish trust and transparency with your audience.
Even if the messages aren’t perfectly crafted, the truth, honest desire and intent will shine through. Sharing employee stories also creates a transparent environment – for successes and lessons learned. Every company will have missteps, but those with great employee advocacy programs are better positioned to address them honestly and forthrightly.
What will cut through the clutter? Is another clever banner ad going to do the trick this time? Or what about employees sharing posts related to their latest projects and innovations? Prospects get a glimpse of the work that’s being done by the people who are actually doing it.
4. Share a Diverse Range of Experiences
When employee advocacy encompasses all departments, the company is able to share real-world examples from different job functions and roles. These shared examples will be more tangible and specific than the ones marketing will generate.
The technical expertise, knowledge and tactical suggestions will be more evident.
By incorporating more than only the voice of the marketing department, each business unit will have a voice in shaping the company’s narrative.
Whom Should You Recruit for Employee Advocacy? Everyone.
You’re trying to build authenticity and trust.
So there isn’t a certain profile or demographic for your employee advocacy program.
Instead, you can build confidence. Offer solid guidelines to shape the conversations from your employees. This will help with the organic nature. Even though there may be challenges along the way, each employee has a valuable contribution to offer.
Management has to be on board to create a strategic plan that is sustainable. This can’t be done by the marketing department alone. Your brand is too important and meaningful for that.
Download the free eBook below to learn more about employee advocacy and how your employees can support your marketing strategy!