Better together: What is employee advocacy on social media & why does your brand need it?
When it comes to amplifying your brand presence on social media and creating a deep connection with your audience, your company has access to a potent but underused resource. Your very own employees. Did you know that they hold more sway over your prospects’ hearts and minds than official brand communication? And that’s not the only benefit of having your team speak on behalf of your brand.
Read on to find out how you can tap into the power of employee advocacy to elevate your brand, attract new talent and win over prospects.
❓What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy on social media entails that your staff members publish social posts about your brand or industry, using their personal profiles. This can include different types of posts with a varying degree of engagement: from simply sharing your company’s content to mentioning the brand in their own posts where they showcase their professional expertise, the projects they’re working on, their workplace experiences and more.
Why is employee advocacy so important for the success of a brand?
If you’re looking to:
- Build a deeper connection with your audience
- Win over prospects
- Attract new talent
- Enhance employee engagement
- Boost brand visibility
- Divulge a positive brand image
Then turning your employees into brand advocates is a powerful yet cost-effective and low-effort way to achieve your goals. Why is that? Research has shown that in this age of accelerated digitization, humans still prefer to connect with humans. And who better to give your brand that personal, human touch than someone who is intensely familiar with the ins and outs of the company?
💪 Empowering your team to power up your brand
Your employees have influence! The best way to take your brand out of the shadows and into the spotlight is actually by handing over the mike to your staff. Trust them and encourage them to tell your story, from their perspective. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll reap when employee advocacy is done right.
Augment your reach, attract new talent & win over prospects
By having your employees publish on their personal profiles, your brand will show up in front of their audience, their own network. This will vastly augment your reach and multiply your chances of converting prospects, attracting new talent and increasing brand awareness.
When you’re looking to strengthen your team, the social media channels are an important weapon in your arsenal. Potential hires will be skimming social to find out more about your business. Not just to discover your projects and client portfolio, but also to get a sense of your company culture and whether they’d effectively be happy to work for your brand. Current employees are their best bet to figure out whether there will be a good fit.
By sharing personalized, quality content that relates to your brand, your employees are also helping you reach more leads. Their authentic take on the company can work wonders in elevating your brand presence and generating positive brand perceptions among your audience. The voice of your employees, after all, is considered to be more trustworthy by your prospects than the company voice.
Authenticity & the power of the human touch
Authenticity is and will continue to be the name of the game. While more technologies are available to us than ever before to filter photos, create professional-looking videos and generally ‘tweak’ our reality as we see fit, various studies indicate that your audience craves authenticity. They prefer raw, unpolished content that hasn’t been edited to reflect a perfect reality.
This trend is strongly related to the need for human connection. We’re living in a time reigned by the anonymity of the internet and technological advances that automate processes to simplify our lives. However, the pandemic has shown that there is still a very strong need for genuine human connection and interaction. The businesses that flourish in these trying times are the ones who’re not afraid to show their human face.
By putting your employees on the center stage and trusting them to publish brand-related messages on their personal profiles, you’re putting the humanity of your brand on display for all to see. Your employees could share authentic content like peaks behind the scenes, company events or projects they’re proud of. Your audience will appreciate the personal touch and they’ll connect more easily to the people behind the brand.
Engaged & happy staff make for better business
Last but certainly not least, engaging your staff and involving them in your social media strategy is well worth the effort as it’ll lead to an improved performance and an exceptional company culture. When your employees are happy, they’ll be more inclined to post and their positive feelings towards your brand will shine through. This in turn will draw potential hires and prospective clients to your business.
🎬 How to get started with employee advocacy?
So how do you go about turning your employees into powerful brand advocates? We’ve gathered a few tips, especially for you.
Easy breezy does the trick
If you want to engage your employees to speak on behalf of your brand, you’d do well to make it as easy as possible for them. Not everyone will be equally familiar with social media and more than a few might be a little hesitant to take this step.
In order to reduce the barrier, you could provide your employees with a social media workshop or training. You could also make available valuable content and resources that are easy to share and even include captions they can personalize.
Recognize efforts & reward your team
Coax your employees to share on social with incentives like company swag, gift cards or points they can collect and exchange for a gift. Internal recognition also goes a long way. Show appreciation for your employees who’re rocking the social cause in your internal communications. You can also get a little friendly competition going which might inspire other colleagues to join in on the fun.
We like to feel like we belong to a team. Depending on the size of your company, you could take it a step further and create a team of employees that’ll act as social media ambassadors for your brand. Creating such a social media squad can really fan the flames of employee advocacy. You can even include laptop stickers or little gadgets to strengthen that feeling of belonging.
Set social media guidelines
A little concerned about what your employees might share about your brand? If you’ve got a strong company culture with a happy team, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, a brand that clearly trusts its employees will also gain trust from the viewers.
That being said, it’s always a good idea to set some clear social media guidelines. Be sure to remind your employees that they’re representing a brand and should always be professional when expressing their views. Moreover, urge them to stay on topic and post professional content that’s relevant and valuable to your audience.
Use smart tools & scheduling
Is your team not up to the task or are you not ready just yet to pass the social baton to your staff? There are various smart tools you can use to link your employees’ personal profiles and automatically schedule and publish social posts.
Effortlessly tap into your employees’ networks by linking their profiles to Willow’s user-friendly platform.
🎤 Hand over the mic & get your brand a standing ovation
Bolster your social media efforts and elevate your brand to a whole new level by enlisting your team! Your employees are budding social media stars with the potential to enhance brand awareness, attract qualified leads and hook new talent. Hand over the mic to shoot for the stars.
Looking for some extra support to launch a successful employee advocacy strategy? Get started today with Willow’s tools and solutions.