5 Benefits of Strategic Employee Advocacy to Boost Brand Marketing with Social Media
16th August 2019
Every year we’re all struck with the need to form a new marketing strategy for the next 12-months and beyond. What can we do differently? What did we do that didn’t work? What bought the most return on investment? What have competitors been doing and what do we think their next steps are?
We tend to look outwardly and that’s where many companies are missing out on an opportunity, when really, there’s an entire arsenal of excellent internal assets raring and ready to market your brand. Assets? Yes, but we call them employees and they’re the advocates that live and breathe the company that they believe in every single day.
An employee advocate actively promotes a company they work for with word of mouth referrals and social media sharing. Word of mouth is easy enough to understand, but what effect does social media sharing have on your business?
One of the most important values as a business is to always be seen as credible and trustworthy. In the digital age we live in, that can sometimes be difficult and people are quick to judge the slightest of actions or response. One wrong move and it takes minutes to publically tarnish a brand through a social post or review.
We’ve all seen it, we might have even done it, but employee advocates are perfect mediators and can rebuild trust in a band. By sharing positive posts for your business to their own social networks, they’ve actively and publicly stating “I trust this brand” within a peer-to-peer environment. Connections, followers and beyond, are all synced to see your employees message and this creates a network of people who believe in a brand because, in some sense, they were told to by someone they trust.
Extended social reach
When employee advocates share a post to their own social media networks, they’re extending a companies reach. A business’s social media following isn’t going to match each of your employees and when a post is shared from a personal account, it not only reaches their connections, it reaches their followers connections to as posts are engaged with.
If you’ve ever been on LinkedIn, you might have noticed, “John Doe” likes this post on content that you would have otherwise never of seen and then maybe, actually, you like it too. That’s because peer connections can often relate more to their connections than a business can. If you have 20 employees and each has a 1000 combined connections across their social networks, that’s a potential further reach of 20,000 people to support your brand.
Company and brand values should be embodied by your employees so that a more authentic message is spread, both online and offline. A unified workforce is powerful and sharing those values, both through work ethic and visibility online or through word of mouth, can really prove how much a business is championed by its workforce (and not just that a business says it is with little to no proof from the outside-in).
It’s always important to employ people that align with your company's values and what to do their very best work every single day. People that genuinely want to be at work are your biggest advocates and fans and it undoubtedly increases the championing of a brand, when their customers are as happy as the employees.
Tapping into teams and expertise
Creating shareable content for teams and their specific expertise can really open up a new channel of marketing through their social media networks. Whilst some companies will leave it to their employees to share content, as and when they want to, that doesn’t feed into the strategic purpose of extending reach through social media channels or reinforcing values.
Unified messages that embody brand values and the business's USP will boost more awareness and insight into a brand, when it’s pre-created for teams to share. That means, for instance, that a company could create a series of posts to be shared through their sales department employees. That content could be sales specific, informative, showcasing a core product to market, but be shared to a sales team's connection - who are more likely to be an audience interested in that specific message.
Some employees naturally advocate whilst others can be a little more reluctant to share a company message without some form of acknowledgement or reward. Keeping employees engaged with advocacy can be difficult and that’s why gamifying the process can often keep the challenge and momentum rolling.
Simple rewards from leaderboards to internal acknowledgement to prizes at the end of each month or quarter for social reach and engagement, can really help continue to turn the wheel for employee advocacy.
That’s why Brand Message works so well for businesses with teams that share their company values and connect with their social network. The employee advocacy platform is a simple way for marketing teams to upload monthly content for employees to then share to their business networks on Twitter and LinkedIn.
For every share and for every engagement, points are awarded which build a leaderboard for you employees to engage in healthy competition. It's an easy way for businesses to track performance and reward employees for their on-going loyalty to the company and driving more business and credibility. But it also means that brands are able to control content that's being shared, with the right tone of voice, artwork and call to actions on posts, to ensure marketing is strategically handled.
Interested? Why not sign up for a beta trial of Brand Message and see exactly how easy it is to get started with employee advocacy using our marketing platform.