You hear it more and more often and many companies are actively looking for it: a way to utilize employees as an additional online communication channel. Employees are the right people to share stories about their organization. Think of the old-fashioned Dutch birthdays. You sit in a circle next to a neighbor you don't really know, what are you quick to talk about? Your job! At that moment you are actually sharing stories about your work and your organization in your offline network, which (probably ;)) improves the brand image. Drum roll… This can also be done online!
Online we give it an expensive term: employee advocacy. Employees share company-related content in their personal network on social media. That's it! But how do you get your employees to start sharing about your organization on social media? You have to earn that!
Let's go back to that cozy circle birthday I was just talking about. Do you really enjoy your work and do you have good working conditions? 99.9% chance that you enthusiastically tell your neighbor about what kind of nice organization you work for. Don't like it at all? Then there is a good chance that you are not so positive about your organization. So far, I think we all recognize this. How do we translate this free publicity to an online environment?
Paid, owned and earned media
Within the online media landscape we speak of paid, owned and earned media. Paid media includes all paid advertisements that you use online. Owned media are the online channels that are under your control, such as your website or company page on social media. Finally, there is also earned media. This content includes all the free media attention you get as an organization. Think of messages that are voluntarily shared on social media or a review about a certain product. Employee advocacy is based on earned media. Your employees voluntarily share stories and messages about your organization, making them an extra communication channel within your marketing mix. Why is this so beneficial for your organization?
Guaranteed benefits of employee advocacy
Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are limiting the reach of company pages. Only 1 to 2% of the posts from company pages are visible to your followers. With this algorithm, the social media platforms want to guarantee their original purpose, namely communication with peers. This makes your company less visible online. That is precisely why the commitment of your employees as brand ambassadors is so important. Each brand ambassador has an average of 750 connections. When you share a post, 20% to 50% of your connections will see this post. Sharing 1 post is therefore equal to 150 - 375 views on social media. Are there 30 employees who act as brand ambassadors within your organization? Your organic online reach will then be between 4,500 and 11,250. In addition to the followers of your company page, you suddenly also reach the network of your brand ambassadors.
An important plus here is the relevance of the people you reach. Your brand ambassadors probably also have the most relevant network for your organization. Their network also trusts them. Personal messages come across as more reliable than messages posted on company pages. 92% of consumers have more confidence in messages posted by someone in their personal network than in messages from a company. In addition, you also respond faster to a message from someone in your network, meaning Employee Advocacy also ensures greater involvement on your posts.
Benefits of Employee Advocacy for Brand Ambassadors
There are not only advantages for your organization; employees also benefit from employee advocacy. By involving your brand ambassadors in your marketing and social media strategy, the connection they have with your brand ambassadors will increase. In addition, they gain more knowledge about the organization, they feel more connected to it, they become more skilled in social media and they have more interaction with their network. It is also a great opportunity for employees to profile themselves as experts in their field on social media. They can share their expertise and experience within the organization with their network.
Employee Advocacy works
Employee advocacy works for every organization. As long as you have (enthusiastic) employees, you can get started ;). It is important to include your employees in this transformation though! Tell them what benefits it has for the organization, but also for themselves! Apostle helps! With our brand advocacy platform and activation program we help organizations to implement employee advocacy in a good way. Curious what we can do for your organization? Please feel free to contact us!