Creative thinking that delivers results

21 Jul

Include Employee Advocacy in your Marketing Plan

Category: Digital marketing
employee advocacy, employee, engagement

The advent of social media and digital marketing has resulted in the exponential growth and near obsession of many marketers with two key metrics – engagement and reach. Both of these elements have been enhanced greatly by the internet; marketers are now geared to motivating their customers to communicate with their brand online.

While there is no doubt about the value and impact of these two elements - and of the role of the customer in helping to “spread the word”, more and more smart brands are now turning to their employees for that extra push. They see employee advocacy as untapped and virtually limitless medium to getting their stories and messages out to the world!

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy refers to the ability for a business to tap into the influence and power of its employees to positively share news and information about the company with their circle of influence.

Why Employee Advocacy makes sense

Much like customer reviews and ratings, what makes employee advocacy so impactful is the inherent legitimacy in these messages. It’s expected and assumed that employees are making these statements and sharing this information for no other reason than they believe in it, see its value and likely have experienced it firsthand.

Given the traditional view of the corporate employee as being disgruntled and unhappy, employee advocacy will help to change this perception. The implication is that the employees in these companies, and by inference the companies themselves, have a better relationship with their workers and thus are not your typical corporation.

Benefits of Employee Advocacy

The intriguing thing with employee advocacy is the ability for the employee to put their own personal spin on the company message. In doing so, they can evoke a unique and compelling perspective that would be difficult to replicate through other mediums.

This type of content, again much like customer reviews, can be perceived and conveyed as much more real and legitimate; it can therefore carry more weight and credibility than your typical corporate message.

For the employee, acting as an advocate for your company has its own benefits. It allows you to provide your own take on a topic and thus position yourself as a thought leader on this topic. This will add to your own credibility as a business professional and help you to build your personal brand.

Rules for Employee Advocacy

One of the reasons companies are reluctant to implement an employee advocacy program is the fear of the ‘rogue employee’, the one that will use this platform to direct criticism (real or not) at the company in question.

While we don’t have the time to outline the rules required to create an effective advocacy program in your company, suffice it to say that every company should include elements of this initiative in their overall social media and online communications policy. Without clearly outlined guidelines on this topic, businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to unprovoked attacks by unhappy and disgruntled employees.

We hope the above account provides a good understanding of the many benefits inherent in a well thought-out employee advocacy program. If you’d like to learn more about how you can develop one for your company and craft a social media policy that covers this and all aspects of online communication, we encourage you to contact us now.