Employee advocacy can set brands apart. Brands must provide the best employee experience to make sure candidates consider them to be the first choice when applying for jobs.
When it comes to products & services, word of mouth and UGC (user-generated content) are the most influential factors to get sales and leads. Similarly, when it comes to brands hiring the best talent they need to focus on employee experience to generate demand. The concept of employee advocacy has existed for decades however, it has now transformed and become a highly influential factor thanks to the internet and social media. Brands must restructure their approach to employee advocacy in order to cultivate the best talent.
The basic definition states “Employee advocacy is a method used to promote your brand and initiatives through people who work for your organization in an authentic and trusted way, typically on social media or other digital channels.”
The hiring market has become increasingly competitive and should be treated like shoppers purchasing products. Employee advocacy can set brands apart. Brands need to provide the best employee experience to make sure candidates consider them to be the first choice when applying for jobs.
The Business Impact of Employee Advocacy
- Strategic Marketing Tactic
Social platforms have proven to be the most effective avenues to cultivate employee advocacy. Initially, brands didn’t even believe in the marketing benefits of social media. Today, this has changed – social media is a huge part of every marketing strategy. Likewise, employee advocacy should be included as a strategic marketing tactic. Drive recognition, boost organic reach, referral traffic, and source prospective new hires, all with the help of your trusted employees. Content shared by employees is capable of receiving up to 8X more engagement than when brands share it.
- Bring in New Business
Two facts on the effectiveness of word of mouth. 92% of social media users will trust content shared by people they know. 90% of internet users consider consumer recommendations to be the most credible form of advertising. Simply put, people listen to, trust, and follow people they know. Bank on your employees to spread the word about your brand and market your products for you. Even if your company has 50 people, each will have a network of approximately 500 people. If they share brand-related content 10 times a month you would have collected 250,000 touchpoints.
- Attract New Talent
Anyone looking for new opportunities will look for a great experience and an environment where they are taken care of, where they can learn, grow, where they feel safe and secure. An effective employee advocate is a happy employee. An employee whose experiences and achievements at work are worth boasting about. A productive and well-balanced environment will lead to new talent naturally coming to you as a result of your company being what they want and not the other way around.
What to Include in your Employee Advocacy Plan
a. Ensure a Constant Flow of Relevant Information
Employee advocates cannot be effective if they are not properly engaged. Active brand ambassadors are engaged employees that have come about as a result of being well informed. Make sure the content you share with your employees is regular, helpful, informative, relevant, and shareable. Most importantly, it should all be accessible on one platform.
b. Keep it Local and Personalized
International brands have employees spread all over the world and must connect with each one in their local languages. Curate all information and content to be relevant as per where they are located. Dynamic segmentation of your content will help you stay local and go global at the same time.
c. Promote Further Knowledge Sharing Beyond the Brand
The effectiveness of employee advocacy is evident when it goes beyond the internal brand domain to the larger online universe. In order for this to happen brands must help employees become more confident in their work, their words, and knowledge base within their industry. It’s the steady stream of touchpoints that shows results. Maintain a constant flow of helpful information to enhance their skill set. Rewards and recognitions boosts confidence and a healthy environment for knowledge sharing. Even sharing simple things like images of employees from events count as touchpoints. Keep a healthy balance of different content to keep pique their interest. The more engaged they are the more they will share it further out into the larger internet space.
Employee advocacy is applicable to businesses of all sizes no matter what country or industry. Take time to develop an employee advocacy strategy that will help your brand harness the power of the people to boost internal organizational goals. The potency of this concept is just being realized. More and more brands are considering this as part of their overall growth strategy. Be one of the few early adaptors to stay ahead of the curve.