It is no secret that employees are the most crucial resource at any company. But what is often overlooked is that they are also important within marketing and communication strategies: Workers can also be the most powerful brand ambassadors.
Employee Advocacy is itself a marketing strategy used by brands and companies, through which they promote themselves through content generated by their own employees — especially on social networks.
Essentially, Employee Advocacy takes shape when employees use their own social media, or other information channels, to promote the company they work for. And they even go so far as to create their own content based on the experience of working there, with you.
What is the Employee Advocacy for?
Building a real commitment between your company, brand, or organization, and your work team allows you to develop strong ties that speak more about you than you can convey. Well, WOM, or word of mouth, continues to be the driving force of the best type of promotion that exists. And, in addition, nobody knows what you do better than those who work hand in hand with your brand.
A.- Build authenticity
When your employees act as spokespeople for your communication efforts, you sound more sincere. The use of authentic and trustworthy voices for your company, who are even those who make its operation possible, can help improve your brand image, thus increasing its credibility, as you will be honest and show a real face.
B.- Improve employee commitment and company culture
Giving your employees a voice to represent your company can help improve organizational culture. This can make your organization an attractive place to work for current employees and recruit future talent.
C.- Piggyback in employee social posts
Your average employee already spends at least two hours a day on social media. So why not take advantage of it for the benefit of your company? You can do this through an Employee Advocacy program in which he or she can have fun creating. Simultaneously, you can lower the barriers between your target audience and your organization.
Keep in mind that content shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. That means 8 times more likes, more shares, and comments.
D.- Develop thought leaders and influencers
Employee Advocacy can also help create future opinion leaders. Continuously sharing high-quality, curated industry content will show them as knowledgeable experts and help grow your networks.
In addition, Employee Advocacy affects how employees stay connected to each other, and to company management, which can be key to reducing employee turnover.
Believe it or not, several studies have shown that many companies can increase the productivity of their workers by 20-25%. Those numbers do not seem far-fetched because by starting to connect better with your people, you begin to better understand how the interior of your brand works and, of course, improves relationships between work teams.
Build an Employee Advocacy Plan Today in Just 4 Steps
First of all, go get a snack!
We want to highlight that the first thing to achieve is to bring your ear closer to what your audiences and your employees have to tell you. This means that before developing a whole strategy, and putting your employees to “work”, the first thing you have to achieve is: that the relationships are more empathetic between you and your team.
It is imperative to understand that nobody in this life likes to impose anything on us about our freedom, and our person. So, to tell your employees that from today on they are going to start uploading things from the company on THEIR social networks, rather than uniting to your work teams, they will make you seem like a dictator maniac boss. Nobody will be happy with the proposal, and on the contrary they will feel invaded and if they upload something to their networks, it will be complaints.
So before we continue, let’s repeat: nothing in this life is mandatory and if your employees do not want to upload to their social networks, DO NOT impose it. In that case, it’s better to come up with another strategy to make your employees feel more identified, motivated, supported, and belonging to your brand so that they themselves want to show off and feel proud to be part of your team. In the end, if you achieve this, they alone will share things about the company on their networks.
After that, If you continue to consider Employee Advocacy as the next move and already have a more united and motivated team, these are the four steps that can accompany you in the construction of that route.
1.- Align your company’s commercial objectives with your social media strategy
Rather than a casual guess-based approach, create a marketing plan applicable to social media. For example, use yours and those of your employees to get more information about your customers. Collect data such as who they are, what they like, and what they say about your brand.
Social Listening, driven by your actions with employees, provides the opportunity to participate, read and analyze the comments of your customers through the pages of your company, and the profiles of your workers.
2.- Update your company’s written social media policy
A social media policy has many benefits. The first is that it allows your employees to better understand your strategy and the raison d’être of your communication objectives. At the same time, your organization is better protected against security risks and possible legal problems, such as privacy laws and the loss of brand credibility.
At a minimum, your social media policy should include details on how to share information, post images or content, and confidentiality — it is illegal to share defamatory or derogatory information.
3.- Choose the team members that will be part of your program and educate them
Teaching your employees about brand promotion is an important step. Share your social media strategy including why it matters and how to be an influencer for your company through Employee Advocacy.
Encourage sharing and commitment to grow the brand by creating content that is relevant for others to pass on. If necessary, use incentives like a leaderboard, and share the highlights. In addition, you can also share the metrics of the posts with the most engagement of the members of your powerful Employee Advocacy team.
4.- Help your team members establish their own personal brand
Employees must also understand why their experience and external connections are important to the company’s reputation. Their influence, and areas of expertise, can reach a completely new audience for the organization.
In this situation, help them promote themselves through content. For example, with images that show a company event. These types of actions not only show the corporate culture. They also promote an impression and a new approach to what it means to employees.
Remember that the training of your Employee Advocacy team must be continuous. Make it constant and continually update your strategy so that you can collectively meet the company’s objectives.
Also, it would be very helpful if you could provide and display many examples of the type of content you want them to share. Of course, allow it to be organic, do not impose yourself on what they can share and when.
Not letting your team express themselves, is the fastest way to deactivate employees and condemn your program, which will also cease to be perceived as honest, and will lose its meaning.
Don’t forget that A&B can help you achieve greater visibility for your brand on social networks, and other websites. Take the test and contact us.