What Is Employee Advocacy on LinkedIn?
It’s 2023. Your B2B social strategy is finding its feet. You need to leverage your LinkedIn to succeed in a wave of influence, voices and brands. How can you compete with thought-provoking pioneers and push your brand to the front of the feed? The answer? Human connection. Well, the honest answer in this article is Employee Advocacy. But let’s touch base on human connection first.
We’re all looking for a sense of human connection. Creating awareness, building an interactive network and driving demand generation are all generated through meaningful connections. The business people on LinkedIn are just that, people. They trust people and ultimately want to connect on a human level. So your brand needs to sit in the centre of its people - your employees - because that is where the best connections are.
Here is the real shock and awe figure; 52% of consumers trust employees at a company more than the company or brand itself. The people behind your business are the most effective voices you can use. They are the people that your prospects are looking to for answers. They can help provide an authentic perspective and interact in a personal way. Employee Advocacy is a golden opportunity for your social output. And this article will help you achieve it.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is one of the most effective ways to boost your brand image and employee engagement. It is the promotion of an organisation by its workforce. Typically conducted on social media, employee advocacy includes sharing social content from the brand - blogs, job opportunities, resources, company news - or creating original content that offers a glimpse into your company culture. It can also include company posts celebrating its employees; new starters, employee awards or accolades.
Your team have the power to develop brand awareness, build strong connections and even drive sales, all at their fingertips. For a corporate entity, employee advocacy humanises your brand by connecting it with real people, with names and faces. It makes it personal and provides a trusted source. A network of numerous advocates gives you a huge increase in reach and engagement.
The benefits of employee advocacy also go beyond its marketing value. Improved employee engagement and corporate culture, employee empowerment and the potential to recruit top talent… The list goes on. Allowing your partners and employees to represent your brand and speak on behalf of it offer a plethora of benefits. Let’s dive into companies currently crushing their employee advocacy programs.
Companies that are Crushing Employee Advocacy
Electronic Arts (Video Game Publisher) Electronic Arts launched its employee advocacy program, called “EA Insiders” in 2014. Within a very short time, employees from around the globe were writing to the program managers about how much more connected they were to their coworkers. Dell (Tech Company) Dell is truly a pioneer in the world of employee advocacy. In addition to having top-level Executives support their program from its inception (a key to any program’s success), they were the first to encourage employees to find and share their own content in addition to what the Dell team provided them.
As the former head of Dell’s program, Amy Heiss, put it:
“One of the big tenets of our social media and community training is that we want people to post 80% about topics that are informative, helpful and relevant to our customers or are personally interesting to our employees, stuff that reflects their own interests. Only 20% of the content they share should actually be about Dell.”
Google is a giant with over 100,000 employees across the world, and they are doing an excellent job of empowering employees to be brand advocates. Their employees are excellent at creating and sharing their own content, which makes it more credible, authentic, and attractive to potential job seekers. Employee-generated content is shared by advocates and posted on Google’s @lifeatgoogle page – an Instagram page designated to employees’ stories and work experiences.
Employee Advocacy: Benefits
Do you want to join these innovative pioneers and push your marketing to new levels? Implementing an employee advocacy program offers many benefits that go beyond the brand. Let’s break down the benefits between your company and brand, and for the individual employee.
Company & brand:
Greater awareness of your brand: Organically grow your brand and boost awareness - 561% greater reach when messages are shared by employees rather than by the brand’s official social media channels. Recruit the top talent: Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract, and 20% more likely to retain top talent. An active online community goes further for your recruitment efforts. If you’re a growing business, use this program to speak directly to people, provoke thought and be transparent. Lead generation: 76% of individuals surveyed say they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands. When employees post positively and consistently about workplace culture, it activates a broader community so you are seen and heard online. This can help drive lead generation. Company culture: Celebrating your employees' social posts - commenting on their posts and highlighting employee achievements - can help to foster a supportive workplace culture. This will encourage your team to speak positively on your behalf, driving awareness and humanising your brand.
For the employee/individual: Company content: Providing quick and easy content for your employees - articles, resources or links to company services - allows them to effectively share it on social media. Depending on the individual, they may want to add a personal touch to their posts, but company content should be a simple process that saves time. Supporting new social users: This program can act as a support tool for people who are new to the world of social media but still want to be a brand advocate. Providing content and helping with their experience will remove any nervousness around building an online profile. They will hopefully become more familiar and comfortable once they get used to using social media. Make your employees your thought leaders: Utilising your employees in this program will help establish them as key thought leaders that represent your business. This will look great for your brand - especially if you boost the social commentary around your employee and business posts! Networking and awareness: Having an active presence online will be effective for networking opportunities and keep them at the top of people’s minds. It also shows a huge effort, responsibility and understanding for their field. The more they interact, the more humanised and connected people will feel to the business as a whole.
How we can help
Building, implementing and managing a successful employee advocacy program is a challenging job. However, when done right, the results are incredible. Our Employee Advocacy Coaching programme is ready to plug into your team plan, to empower and build confidence across your organisation. Become a leading Industry Voice for your sector online and make employee advocacy a must-have strategy for your business in 2023.
Our additional services are designed to evolve your B2B marketing strategy. Industry Voices amplifies the human side of your business, to establish greater authority and engagement by empowering your internal experts to step forward online. Our Community Activation service identifies the strength of online communities - 68% of branded communities report that the community has helped them generate new leads - so you can activate core audiences and stakeholders with an aligned vision.
If you’d like to learn more about our Industry Voices programme to power up employee advocacy for your business, book a free 15-minute discovery call now: