Employee Advocacy Programs 101 – Let’s Go!
A lot of people choose to work for a company because they like the brand. That’s not hard to understand. Most of us want to be associated with companies that we feel good about and respect, after all! But what if you could tap into your employees’ social media networks as well?
The idea behind employee advocacy programs is simple: you’re leveraging your employees’ social influence by encouraging them to talk about their experiences at work on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. It makes sense – after all, if your employees love what they do at work (and who doesn’t?), why wouldn’t they want to share that joy with friends and family?
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What are employee advocacy programs?
Employee advocacy programs are a way to leverage your employees’ social networks for the purposes of marketing. Your employees could share content about your brand, products, services, or industry on their personal social media accounts.
You can encourage this by providing them with tools (like e-books) that will help them craft compelling messages and by giving them an incentive (like a gift card) for sharing content from your company.
Who is a brand advocate?
Here’s a fun fact: brand advocates are people who love, are passionate about and loyal to your brand. They’re also customers—but they go above and beyond the average customer in terms of engagement with your company.
If you’ve ever had an encounter with someone who loves what you do so much that they become an advocate for you, then you know how powerful it is to have advocates on your side. Brand advocates can be found anywhere: from customers on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram; employees who actively participate in social activities like contests or promotions; or even those interested in attending upcoming events that involve your business.
Brand advocates are one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. They actively promote your brand; help you gain visibility and increase sales—all with minimal effort from your company. When people love what you do, they’ll tell their friends about it; when those friends become customers, then the cycle continues.
What is the goal of employee advocacy program?
An employee advocacy program is a marketing strategy that encourages employees to use social media as a way to promote the brand. Employees are rewarded for participating in the program and are given guidelines on how to use social media. The company can also provide training on how to use social media, such as what type of content should be posted, how often it should be posted and which platforms the company wants employees using.
Employee advocacy programs can take many forms within an organization depending on its size and needs for promotion within specific industries or across multiple locations. Some companies may choose to implement a formalized system with designated roles and responsibilities while others may opt for more informal methods such as encouraging participation by rewarding those who share company news or information with gift cards or other incentives that increase employee loyalty toward the brand itself.
The goal of an employee advocacy program is to increase brand awareness and build relationships with potential customers. The more people talk about your brand or product online, the better chance you have of being found by those searching for information related to your business. People trust recommendations from their friends and family members more than any other form of advertising so when employees post positive feedback on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram it increases credibility among consumers who may not be familiar with your brand.
Are all employees brand advocates?
Employee advocacy programs are not for every employee. The most likely candidates for becoming brand advocates are employees who:
- Are passionate about their job, believe in the company’s mission and values, and want to help others learn more about them
- Are interested in sharing their experiences with customers
- Have a strong social media presence
Are brand advocates mutually exclusive to influencers?
The concept of a brand advocate is often confused with that of an influencer. Influencers are people who have social media platforms with large followings. They’re usually celebrities, and they are often paid to promote products on their channels.
Brand advocates, on the other hand, are employees of a company and can be anyone from an entry-level employee to a senior executive. Brand advocates aren’t paid for their recommendations or reviews. They genuinely believe in your products or services and want you to succeed over competitors because it helps them succeed as well (i.e., they work at your company).
Brand advocates are the most effective way to reach and engage with your audience. They’re not just a number on a spreadsheet, they’re human beings who can provide real insight into what customers want and how they think. Brand advocates are also usually more influential than influencers because they’re closer to their community. People trust friends and coworkers over celebrities because they know them personally.
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How does an employee advocacy program work?
The employee advocacy program works by allowing employees to share company content. The reward system of the program is based on how many times that content is shared and how often it generates engagement, sales or leads.
For example, if an employee shares a post about a new product your company just released, they may earn 5 points for sharing it once and 10 points for sharing it twice (and so on). If that post gets 100 likes from other users who see the post in their feeds, then the original poster earns another 5 points (for a total of 15). However, if someone engages with your content by commenting on it or liking/sharing it again using their personal account, then you’ll earn even more points—say 20—for the second comment or like/share generated from this particular piece of content.
For companies that have a strong employee advocacy program, the results can be incredibly rewarding. They can help you reach new customers, increase brand awareness and boost sales.
Why you should implement an employee advocacy program.
Let’s face it: people are more likely to share content that is relevant to their job and interests. Employees that work in customer service, for example, will be more inclined to share customer feedback than a marketing manager would. This means that you should always be thinking about what kind of content your employees are interested in sharing when designing your employee advocacy program.
It also means you must pay attention to the types of content they find interesting. If a particular employee loves to read about psychology but doesn’t care about the latest technology trends, then you don’t want them sharing too many articles related to technology on their social media channels. You’ll need to tailor each employee’s social profile with carefully selected content, so they feel comfortable sharing it with their networks and followers on behalf of your brand.
Finally, employees can help spread your message in ways where there aren’t any negative repercussions by being authentic—and that’s something data scientists can only dream of doing!
Employee advocacy programs have the potential to have increased engagement from employees and customers. By leveraging your employees’ social influence, you can encourage positive conversations about your brand on social media.
Employees have a lot of social connections (and so does the average U.S. adult). According to one study, the average employee has more than 200 friends on Facebook, which translates into a potential audience of millions for any information that they share about their employer or job opportunities at that employer.
Employees also have plenty of influence on social media; according to another survey conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital that was commissioned by LinkedIn, 76% of adults say they trust peer recommendations from family or friends when deciding where to eat out or shop for products or services.
This is even more true for younger adults aged 18-34 years old who are most likely to check out those recommendations via their smartphones while out in the real-world making purchases.
Additionally, when employees feel like they are being heard by management then they tend to be more engaged in helping promote their employers online through word-of-mouth marketing efforts such as sharing information through social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Employees are also more likely to share information about their job and employer if they feel like their voice matters. If you want your employees to promote your business through social media, then it is important that you make sure that they feel valued in the workplace. This can be done by making sure that they have opportunities for advancement within their career path as well as providing training opportunities so that they can learn new skills that will help them advance.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and see how employee advocacy programs can transform your brand into one that is both engaged and loyal.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Why not contact us today to learn how we can increase your sales and engagement. Write to us directly at [email protected] or call 833-277-8273.