First of all I have to be upfront, I am not a big fan of the term ‘Employee social media advocacy.’ If you work in Marketing or comms, you probably already know what it means, but to the average employee (the people you are trying to encourage to join the programme), she hasn’t got a clue what thus means. An important part of running a programme like this, is to make it accessible, and that starts with the name. Thats why we prefer to call it ‘Employee marketing.’
So, what is it all about?
Employee marketing is a form of word of mouth marketing. It is when an organisation asks their own employees to promote the brand using their personal and or professional social networks.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful ways an organisation can promote its brand.
Modern technology now gives brands an even better way of leveraging their own internal teams to act as social media advocates, creating powerful word of mouth marketing campaigns that build brand awareness, improve internal communications, and increase brand reach.
With social media employee advocacy, a company can reach more people than just their immediate followers. Suppose you’re a mid-sized company with a total of 2K followers on your corporate Facebook page. These 2k followers are all you have direct access to. Now, let’s say you have 100 employees, each with an average of 250 friends on their own Facebook accounts. By asking your employees to share your messages, you can boost your audience from 2K to 25K instantly. It’s a stat that is hard to ignore.
It’s not just the numbers that make employee advocacy such an attractive marketing strategy. Any posts that are shared by your own employees are far more authentic than one promoted directly from Marketing. People believe their friends and are 83% more likely to act on a recommendation from someone they know (source Nielsen).
Employee advocacy has many benefits ranging from brand awareness to recruitment, sales, customer support, employer branding, internal communications, PR and employee engagement. It touches every department and if done correctly, can be a great change and transformation tool.