Employee Social Advocacy
Missing out on opportunities to attain more clients is a recurrent concern in business. Companies invest a lot of time, money and effort in a constant quest for more leads and customers. But are advertisements and direct sales the only way to reach customers?
“There must be another way”
And there is! Companies have started to invest in a more indirect approach, which can generate leads faster and drive higher engagement rates, both externally and internally.
This is Employee Social Advocacy: a program that can transform your people into the best advocates your brand could wish for. To accomplish this, you must start by building strong relationships and provide an empowering work environment.
Social Media influence for businesses
Social Media in the workplace
The fast penetration of social media in our everyday lives opened a door for social media adoption in the workplace. Some of us have transferred our private social media habits to the work arena, with the advent of dedicated platforms for professional (LinkedIn, Viadeo, Meetup, and many more specialized options).
The rise in corporate communication through social networks has created many new opportunities, both for employees and companies. At the same time, the responsibility for creating proper communication flow has spread to all parties. Meaning that both individuals and companies grapple with the possible effects any given publication may have. One post on social media can impact an employee in their place of work, but it can also affect the company as a whole. Furthermore, companies should be cautious in their social messaging because nowadays, official social media channels and pages are the new business cards.
Why do we need Employee Social Advocacy
Social media has provided organizations with a great marketing asset, which allows them to reach a larger audience faster and cheaper. It provides a more efficient channel to engage and communicate with customers, while ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Social media also has some drawbacks. It may be a modern easy tool for marketing and advertising, but companies are now shilling millions of dollars solely on social media advertising. Additionally, it takes many months to build a credible online presence and to generate profitable leads. Companies are in a constant battle to manage their reputation in the eyes of customers and to provide the best offers.
“It is believed that the global digital ad market spending will grow from 226.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 464,73 billion in 2022.”
Source: Statista DMO, 2018
To create a positive image and reach high engagement, companies may try to blend in with their targeted audience’s social feeds. (…) Usually, this type of corporate content is less appealing to people, so companies alter their content to be as human and personal as possible. However, no matter how many emojis, hashtags, or familiar phrases they use, a company’s page will struggle to shake off its corporate status and controlled image.
But wait – this doesn’t have to be a problem! A company’s page can and should stay professional and reflect the values of the organization, without sacrificing trust or reliability. And this is when employee social advocacy comes into play: the secret to engaging individuals inside the company. Businesses should focus on motivating and embracing the uniqueness of employees, instead of paying outside actors to promote their brand.
4 Reasons why employee social advocacy is an effective way to reach higher engagement
Trust & Engagement
An employee’s social media network is on average 10 times larger in comparison to their company’s followers. Individuals also tend to grow their audience faster than companies. Multiply this by the number of employees in a company, and you get an idea of the potential brand reach!
A given corporate message will reach a larger audience when shared by an employee. People reshare 24 times more frequently corporate news that comes from employees, rather than content from the official company page.
People often rely on peer-to-peer recommendations and suggestions. An article will have higher engagement when shared by an employee – such as 2 times higher CTR. This means that twice as many people will engage with the same corporate content if an employee posted it.
Reach higher engagement and conversion rates with employee advocacy. Of course, results will vary widely depending on the company, but we know that employee sharing generates 6 times higher conversion rates, which results in higher profits. On average, companies generate six times lower profits when only relying on corporate shares.
*Source: Katie Levinson (2018) ‘What is Employee Advocacy and How Do Marketers Win With It?’ at LinkedIn.com