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Employee Advocacy

What is Employee Advocacy and How Does It Work?

The backbone of any successful company is its employees. Your employees have a unique insider's perspective as they interact intimately with your brand, your customers, and your company culture. They are your most powerful advocates, especially when it comes to recruiting, building your brand, and shaping company culture. 

Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter provide the space for every employee to become a brand ambassador by sharing their experiences and insights with their network. This is the essence of employee advocacy.

Let’s understand it in more detail.

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy is the organic promotion of a company, or its products or services by its employees through their personal and professional networks. The voices of employees enhance brand credibility and reach to achieve a greater impact than traditional marketing methods often.

Let’s understand with an example. Mia, a web engineer, shared her team's innovative product on LinkedIn and discussed its features and potential impact. This endorsement resonated with her network, who reshared the post, which in turn generated a broader organic reach for the company. This is employee advocacy in action–tapping into employees' authentic passion to promote the company's message. 

Why Employee Advocacy Matters

A team of employees in the office

People trust people more than brands. We're more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, a family member, or even a coworker than a faceless brand. And it's not just about familiarity. Content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content by the company itself.

Positive reviews and word-of-mouth marketing are major plus points for any company, and employee advocacy is one of the most powerful and genuine ways to build that trust and reputation.

Now, you might be thinking, "Hold on, social media use at work? That's like encouraging distraction!" But the fact is that 98% of employees are already on social media, and 50% of them are already talking about their companies online. So instead of fighting it, harness that potential and turn it into something positive for your brand.

Kinds of Employee Advocacy

Employees become brand advocates in a lot of ways, some of which might already be organically happening in your company.

  • Spreading the word with branded merchandise

One tried and tested approach of employee advocacy is using company merchandise. A branded t-shirt, a cool coffee mug–these subtly promote your company whenever they're used. Useful and well-designed merch is always a hit with employees, and it's an easy way for them to put their affiliation with your company out there.

  • Celebrating employees for their contributions

Another powerful driver of employee advocacy is to create a positive company culture where achievements are recognized and employees are celebrated. Happy employees would naturally want to share their positive experiences. Be it an Employee of the Month program, a company-wide recognition platform, or simply taking time during meetings to acknowledge good work, celebrating success translates into advocacy.

  • Advocating through social media

Perhaps the most valuable tool for employee advocacy these days is social media. Social media is more effective with younger demographics, who usually trust influencers more than brands themselves. Both customers and employees are active on social media, so it makes sense to use this channel for genuine, impactful advocacy.

Benefits of Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy brings multifold advantages for both companies and their employees. 

How employee advocacy benefits companies

For starters, it amplifies your brand's message and enhances brand awareness. Beyond marketing, employee advocacy is necessary for employer branding. With employees becoming your biggest advocates, your company culture and values exhibit a certain quality. You begin to attract in-demand talent and enhance morale among existing staff. 

And let's not forget the most obvious benefit: employee advocacy drives sales and generates leads at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing campaigns.

How employee advocacy helps employees

Employee advocacy helps employees in their careers and also in the workplace. It supports them to build their personal brand, expand their professional network, and gain visibility in their industry. 

Sharing knowledge and insights related to their work highlights their expertise and even positions them as thought leaders. Sometimes, it leads to exciting new opportunities both within and outside the company. Employee advocacy, on a personal level, sustains a deeper connection within the company.

Strategies to Improve Employee Advocacy

With the benefits of employee advocacy clear, get started with structuring a proper employee advocacy program at your company:

1. Set up an employee advocacy platform

The first thing to do is to set up a recognized employee advocacy program in your company if it lacks one. Formally initiating the program would involve setting goals around what the program would aim to achieve, formulating incentives for employees who join, and promoting the program and making it known.

Incentivization should also be figured out beforehand. You can implement incentives such as internal recognition, giving out gift cards to any retailer of choice, and encouraging personal branding.

2. Utilize surveys to collect employee feedback

Employee surveys are fast, easy ways to find out why your employees are or are not advocating for your company. One effective tool is the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey. It asks a simple question: "How likely are you to recommend this workplace to a friend?" But what matters more is the follow-up. Employees get to share the "why" behind their score so that you know what's working and what needs improvement.

Additionally, ask them how you can build a successful employee advocacy program. Get their suggestions on what would make them want to share their positive experiences. Refer to these responses while crafting your advocacy strategy.

3. Create curated content for your employees to share

These days, brands publish all kinds of content–blog posts, social media posts, tweets, infographics, you name it. Curated content, when shared by employees on social media, leverages employee advocacy efforts.

empower employees to amplify your voice on social

Highperformr eases this process by providing a platform that enables employees to share company content easily. Highperformr streamlines the content distribution process and makes it simple for employees to become brand advocates. 

content distribution process for employee advocacy

Highperformr curates relevant content that employees can share on social media and ensures that the material is aligned with the company's messaging and goals. Highperformr can also repurpose posts by creating multiple variations of the same posts so that employees from different branches can reuse content relevant to their field.

4. Encourage employees’ social media engagement

Sharing branded content is a great start, but there's much more to employee advocacy. Encourage your team to get personal on professional networks like LinkedIn. Let them share their experiences, their wins, and their unique perspectives on your company culture.

They can talk about their positive interview experiences, the exciting projects they're working on, or the company values that resonate with them.

employee collaboration for employee advocacy

Highperformr is the perfect tool for this job. Highperformr gives employees access to ready-to-publish branded content posts with which your employees can amplify your brand presence among their networks.

Benefit From the Power of Employee Advocacy Today

Employee advocacy is no longer a buzzword; it benefits both companies and their employees. Reiterating the benefits of employee advocacy, Erin Wilson, founder and engineer at Hirepool, says:

When your employees love where they work and share that experience openly and authentically it shows. The feeling is contagious. When someone has been influenced by a current employee and feels the advocacy is coming from a place other than the talent team, whose job is to advocate, it brings an unparalleled level of transparency and collaboration to the conversation.”

Highperformr helps you unlock the full potential of employee advocacy. Our platform empowers your team to become brand ambassadors, amplify your message, build trust, and drive real business results.

Get started with Highperformr today.

Author
Sushma Nagendran
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