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[01/17 | Keywords: Marketing, Branding, Employee Advocacy, Social Media]

Having employees like and share content allows for maximum exposure on social media and puts your businesses in a better position to be heard. It also conveys the message that your employees think they work for a great company and want others to know about it.

In addition to building brand awareness and improving company culture, employee advocacy has been proven to have a significant impact on revenue as well. Employee advocacy is an “always on” marketing channel that results in five times more web traffic and 25% more leads (Edelman Trust Barometer Report).01.17-Social-Media-Reach-stats_

At the core of employee advocacy is content. You are asking employees to spread the word about your company to raise awareness and reach new audiences, so you should be publishing great content that they’ll be proud to share. The most successful employee advocacy programs include not just company-related content, but also a healthy mix of industry content.

A successful employee advocacy program also needs careful planning, buy-in and empathy to become habit-forming and rewarding to both employees and the business. It also must be easy to do because if it’s not, employees won’t participate.

Start by making a list of all types of content you create and where it is published. Then, create an email template and send out a daily or weekly email to employees that lists posts you would like shared or retweeted, ones you would like them to comment on and like, brand and industry hashtags, etc. In addition, provide them with messaging recommendations and ask them to create their own posts, or give them pre-approved, auto-filled posts.

Remember that the content you ask your employees to share needs to represent them and carry their voice (not the voice of the marketing department). Understand what motivates them to be advocates for your business and recognize their participation, achievement and enthusiasm in a meaningful way on the individual, team and company levels.

Employees want to know that their efforts are working. Success will happen when your participants are engaged and motivated on a personal level.

Employee Advocacy – By the Numbers

  • Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7 times more frequently than other leads. (IBM)
  • Content shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. (Social Media Today)
  • Employees have on average 10 times more social connections than a brand does. (Social Chorus)
  • Only 33% of buyers trust the brand, while 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know. (Nielsen)
  • Brand messages are re-shared 24 times
    frequently when distributed by employees versus brand. (MSL Group)
  • 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)
  • Job applicants from employee referrals are hired 55% faster than average. (Jobvite)