Do you run a firm?
Are you spearheading a team involved in marketing and advertising?
Well, then you must have someday asked your employees to rate & review products, services or even the workplace itself.
When consumers, partners and other stakeholders share information as well as the message of subjected organisation with their networks and associated forums, it becomes viral. The spread of vision and motifs of firms through word of mouth makes the company appear more credible and trustworthy thereby ensuring good success beside profit.
It is common to see people advocating for particular companies, brands and what not over social media but when the employees of an organisation do the same we can call it as employee advocacy on social media.
This program is beneficial in multiple ways where it provides more assistance to the promotions and marketing methods of the firm.
Employee advocacy on social media in a brief
Be that a campaign, product launch or simply the brand image, the workforce plays an integral part in promoting the information and messages to the world outside.
Moreover, what can be a better place for advocating for one’s company than social media?
I can hardly see another alternate here.
So, all our employees do have their personal ids on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Pinterest etc. where they can easily share content related to the situational campaigns.
Employee advocacy can be practised on many more ways involving both traditional and digital means but social media is effective, faster and more engaging.
Firstly, employee advocacy on social media improves the overall credibility of the brand while ensuring better hiring and market presence.
Secondly, the programs involve your employee’s sense of entitlement as well as belonging to the firm.
Your employees are probably available on certain platforms and social media channels that the brand is not on. They may also have followers that are unique to the brand hence, through employee advocacy on social media you can reach farther demography, extended market corners and tap into places that can turn your revenue returns too.
Organising employee advocacy on social media program for your company will not just create a certain pattern for content sharing but will also ensure the right resources and proper guidelines to equalize the promotion.
It is not just beneficial for the firm but also for the employees involved in the activity. For the ones who regularly share updates and information about the industry, they are working in and or are passionate about will be able to place themselves as experts over the same. Employees advocacy on social media would also help them in learning various methods on advertising and social selling too. This would provide them with more insights and analytics related to the industry they are serving.
Building employee advocacy plans on social media
It is important for a brand to make its employees feel trusted at the workplace that can assist in building the right image for them over the social media platforms. It is proved in many research studies and reports that any brand message shared by the employee gets more engagement & shares than the same activity done by C-level executives, founders etc.
Employees being an asset to the firm are also the best social media marketing tool who are more trusted than anyone else representing the company. A campaign promoted by employees always gets an unexplored audience base that widens the reach and impressions too. They usually have a diverse set of contacts & network that compiled together makes for a large set of viewers from different walks of life and interest.
Here are a few tips using which brands and marketers can develop good employee advocacy programs.
Encourage employee brand leaders
Creating a positive workplace culture that encourages and empowers employees is very important in making them feel genuinely good about the brand. Employees are the spine of an organisation as they are responsible for its functioning as well as are the original brand ambassadors who help establish an initial positive image in the market. Brands need to examine situations and understand that the people inside the office have a world beyond those walls where they share their experiences and carry out discussion involving the company. Therefore, companies must make sure that they recognise the employees who are proactive on social media platforms and promote it organically. Providing them with conscious content, planned strategies and execution methods can bring out wonderful results with almost no cost.
Provide social media usage guide
As a marketer or digital media enthusiast, we are comfortable with posting and sharing content online but it is not the same for all at the office. It is important to educate and train employees about the proper use of social media platform that must include topics like how to post? What to post? Where to share the content? Etc. These guidelines will assist employees while they promote the brand’s ad content with their respective audiences. Social media is a great platform to connect with anyone from the industry whom one might not be able to contact otherwise. Hence, as a brand make sure to train your employees about the general decent ways to build a profile and deal with other connections. Ensure that they have a good profile picture beside a professionally written summary that will make them appear presentable online. As brand pay attention towards letting them know about what kind of posts they should engage with, the content that should be shared and other social media works that they can take part.
3. Curate the right employee content
In a company, we have different teams and departments that work on separate parts of the official functions who require a different set of content for their respective social media actions. When a promotional ad content is created for the brand there are chances that the marketing and sales team may share the matter but the engineers, finance executives and HR team may not vibe with it. Brands must curate content for social media sharing that should mainly align with the goals, interests and field of study of the employees. For an effective promotion, plan to categorize the employees according to the kind of content they will normally be interested in sharing or connect with and then provide content similar to that idea.
4.Collective employee advocacy plan
Make sure that you are not alone in this campaign and recruit the main office influencers such as the higher authorities, C-level executives, social media experts etc. for the purpose. Include the top executives of all department, founders and people who are active over social media platforms into the plan and workout on spreading the word about it. To generate the maximum benefit with an impactful campaign, identify the workers who can influence others into participating. Once they initiate the idea, execution gets easier with the collective effort. Therefore, do share the concept of employee advocacy with the people who can bring about a change & help achieve the set goals.
5. Reward the brand advocates
Recognition and crediting employees is a very crucial part of running a happy workplace. This is same for employee advocates of the brand. One of the best ways for encouraging employees who are promoting brand messages is to assign scores for their work. Crediting scores to workers will amount in a scoreboard that will state the working levels of employees and make it easier to decide who should be awarded at the end of the month, week or quarter. This informal point system will also keep everyone motivated and create a lightly friendly competitive surrounding around the campaign.
Major benefits of Employee advocacy on social media for brands
Many of you may find this new but employee advocacy on social media creates an impact over the regular business and influences the profit flow.
With properly planned employee advocacy programs, a company can achieve greater goals provided they organise their requirements and missions accordingly. The method of promotion supports many major objectives and teams that can change the way business happened earlier in the organisation.
Let us emphasize certain parts of a business that can benefit the most from employee advocacy on social media programs in organisations.
Human resource and recruitment
Acquiring the cream layer above the pool of talents in the relevant market is not an easy task. HR and marketing can be completely different departments but when it comes to attracting capable and top-level resources, developing a laudable company profile is mandatory. That is where marketing teams can help with the brand reputation building.
Employee advocacy on social media paints the right brand image because most of the audience tend to trust the employees at a firm more than any other advertisement. Above all socially active employees help spread the good note amongst their peers and network which works in favour of the company. It brings in more engagement and attracts the right talent thus providing more leads to the recruitment desk at a company.
Marketing and advertising
Multiple types of research have claimed that most of the organisation have employees with more extensive social media reaches than the firm itself. Moreover, if the company has a diverse employee spread than the reach is more variant. This certainly indicates that using employee advocacy on social media programs can expand the base of audience to a greater height.
When we talk of marketing then we must also note that shares and engagements are moreover an employee’s profile compared to that of the company’s. A common employee sharing a piece of information about the brand is taken more personally and treated original than the other counterpart. Statistics indicate a higher Click Through Rate(CTR) on employee posts over corporate posts which makes employee advocacy more practical. Employee advocacy is a real booster of the brand reputation and quick carrier of brand awareness that can assist other teams in gathering respective leads and business opportunities.
Sales and Business development
Nowadays. Social media constitutes a basic stage for salespeople to crack bigger and better deals because most of the market is there surfing the internet, looking for upgrades, connecting over professional networking sites and socializing over stories. It hardly matters what kind of business model you hold because all the B2B and B2C models have buyers and sellers who depend on social media for guidance over their decision making.
When sales team employees are actively working as advocates of their organisations then it makes them more trusted. The engagement is real and consistent as salesforce attends to it actively online hence creating a sense of loyalty and ensuring association of buyers with the brand. This helps the sales team share more relevant content, spread the right information, generate ideas from users and solve problems dynamically. Such connections built better rapport, bring in new business opportunities, widen the scope, improve revenues streams, and shorten sales cycles.
Top examples of employee advocacy on social media
As we have already discussed what employee advocacy on social media means and its benefits, we must now discuss successful ways with examples of how to uplift the same in an organisation.
The telecommunication company has provided proper employee advocacy on social media guidelines to its workforce for a systematic share of content. They utilize the social media handles of their employees to broadcast their new plans and products to the larger audience and that works in their favour. Vodafone employees advocate for the organisation by using their personal photos, memories, snippets, news, articles and more to make the engagement more human.
No wonder they have a team that is always happy to help. Thanks to employee advocacy on social media due to which the word of mouth spread quicker than before and got them more users on board. Vodafone returns the favour with gratitude by publishing employee stories and posts on their company blog.
The wildlife and travel-oriented brand are well known to the world but most of its advertising happens when their employees are out. Amazing photographers, bloggers and vloggers record and snap breathtaking frames which they post on their official accounts tagging in the brand’s official hold.
It also involves influencer marketing to a bigger level where employees with a huge number of following attract more eyes for the company. Here the employee gains a professional position, increased credibility on personal profile and more engagement while NatGeo gets to reach more distant audience thereby becoming closer to omnipresence.
The professional networking and career-making social media platform have set different grades when it comes to employee advocacy. They are professional themselves before making it popular for the rest online. LinkedIn recognises the importance of employee advocacy on social media due to which it also launched a tool of its own called LinkedIn Elevate.
The brand uses a social media megaphone instead of relying on personal accounts of their employees to avoid any kind of error. The main broadcaster is a senior executive who associates with fans and followers over matters and ensures organised channelling of employee advocacy on social media.
They are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the best content ever. The senior managers at different locations update life at the Starbucks with quirky in-café pictures, group activity clicks and more. The headquarter staffs are not behind and make sure they have put up all the updates, news and campaigns on the accounts.
The management has created a dedicated employee “partner” account using which they can upload blurbs, articles, snaps about the brand. They also hold events where all the employees come together to celebrate their job at Starbucks (yes, They’d be getting all that coffee for free) which improves the trust quotient and helps in recruitment.
Premium shoe brand has always looked in its employee satisfaction and well-being. Reebok floats some of the sassiest hashtags as #FitAssCompany to make their content viral.
Their employees uploaded their best pictures with the reebok shoes on along with the hashtag which made it more viral and talk about the topic in town. They carry out regular employee advocacy on social media programs efficiently to make sure the influence is real and dynamic in the market.
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