From employee to advocate: why employees are your biggest marketing asset

From employee to advocate: why employees are your biggest marketing asset

Published date: 09 Apr 2018

In today’s ever-evolving, digital world, where social media is rapidly driving brand perception and brand positioning, how can companies use social media to their advantage?

Employee activation is one of the hottest marketing trends of 2018, with content shared by employees receiving eight times more engagement than brand channels (1). Employee activation, therefore, presents an immediate opportunity to build customer trust, strengthen loyalty and ultimately, increase sales.

What is employee activation?

In simple terms, employee activation is the promotion and exposure of a company by its own employees. Nowadays, employees have an extensive online network of followers, clients, fellow colleagues and friends on social channels, all only one click away. On average, a company’s employees have ten times as many connections on LinkedIn than a company has followers (2), which shows that content shared by employees has the greater reach.

Your greatest marketing asset

Employees are the biggest, and often the most under-utilised, marketing asset a brand has. When staff share your company content on their networks, this not only increases your company reach and overall credibility, but also can open doors to wider, meaningful conversations, which in turn could have a positive impact on business growth. People are three times more likely to trust company information from employees than from the CEO (1), which indicates that content shared by employees is perceived to be more trustworthy, authentic and believable.

What are the key benefits of employee activation?

1. Amplification of reach and brand engagement: The extent of your employee networks has the potential to reach far more people than your company platform. Employees also receive two times higher CTRs from their shares compared to company shares of the same content (2). The potential reach of employee advocacy can be calculated using the simple formula below:

Number of employees x size of their networks = potential reach

2. Greater authenticity and credibility: Many marketing studies on employee activation have highlighted that people trust other people more than they trust companies. Employee-generated word-of-mouth plays an important role in digital marketing today, with posts shared by employees cementing trust and bringing a level of humanisation to a brand.

3. Attraction of new business opportunities: Employee advocacy not only boosts reach and engagement, but statistics have shown that it can also be a magnet for generating leads. 64% of companies with employee advocacy strategies accredit employee advocacy with attracting new business (3). Therefore, investing in a valuable employee advocacy programme may yield a financial return.

4. Strengthening of thought leadership and brand perception: One of the most powerful ways for your company to spread thought leadership is to empower your employees to share insightful pieces of content in their own professional networks. Employee- generated content not only contributes to engaging content creation but can also develop an attractive, positive perception of your company – a win-win situation!

In order for your brand to build a strong online presence, you need to tap into and leverage your employees’ online activity. Adopting an employee-focussed social strategy and ensuring staff are fully engaged ‘brand ambassadors’, actively promoting your company content, will help to secure a stronger and more successful online brand position and perception for your business.