Employee advocacy is one of your best marketing tools. Most of the time it’s hidden as we pay attention to things like Facebook retargeting and expensive PPC campaigns.
However, it’s employee advocacy that consumers trust. 76% of people trust other “normal” people more than brands. You may have a shining campaign with a good headline, but the content shared by other individuals will resonate far more with your audience (social advocacy).
Employee advocacy is just another extent of social advocacy, and it hides a huge marketing potential due to its word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer roots.
We don’t have to look further from numbers to understand the marketing impact of employee ambassadors:
- Brand messages’ reach increases by 561% when employees share them (Source)
- Content shared by employees gets 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source)
- Leads attracted through employee advocacy convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source)
- An employee advocacy program costs 1/10 of paid advertising (Source)
Employee advocacy is incredibly beneficial, and it’s affordable, as well. That’s why 82% of companies in the US had employee advocacy programs in 2017.
And to understand how you can leverage employee advocacy for your marketing efforts, we’re taking it over to the pros.
Let’s take a look at 17 best tweets of all time that accurately sum up how to use employee ambassadors and boost your marketing efforts.
We’re starting off strong to really pick up what Sarah Goodall’s laying down. As a marketer with experience working for companies like IBM and Hitachi, she understands what employee advocacy is really about:
Amplify your employee’s experiences so they can amplify your company.
This means that it’s not just enough to have your employee ambassadors share your content. Instead, encourage them to create their own.
Their content can be blog posts, tweets or images. What matters is that you shouldn’t treat your employee ambassadors as another marketing channel and cross-promote your company. Instead, treat them as your customers and let them voice their own unique experiences.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/SydniGreen/status/1063184031720697856 ]
“Customers don’t relate to a logo” is a powerful line that shows the value of employee advocacy when it comes to marketing.
Yes, good ads that stimulate emotional responses are great, but consumers want to understand what brands stand for. In fact, 52% of Millennials think it’s important for brands’ values to align with their own.
And when we put our employees forward as a part of our employee advocacy program, we’re actively telling the story of creating our products.
We’re showing the people behind the business, and that’s what customers relate to.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/tedbauer2003/status/1059854443225800705 ]
This is not a very positive tweet, but it’s still one of the best tweets of all time when we’re talking about social advocacy because it shows one of the main mistakes companies make.
Asking your employees to post about your company’s successes is not social advocacy. It’s a duty, and it’s not going to bring you the marketing results you want.
When you ask your employees to manually share your brand’s messages, that doesn’t produce the social proof that consumers (or future employees) can relate to.
Even though it’s not a bad tactic, sharing should come from a different place of company culture’s values instead of just saying: “Share this so we get more impressions.”
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/ValereDesmaz/status/1073486264022827009 ]
Translation: “There has always been and always will be employees passionate about their job and ready to talk about it.”
We spoke about what employee advocacy isn’t, and now it’s time to look at what it is.
If you want quality employee ambassadors who’ll amplify your brand, you need to find people who are passionate about their field of work and what your company gives them.
They’re the employee ambassadors who will truly be sincere when speaking about your company and their experiences in a positive light.
Find the passionate ones in your teams, and ask them to step forward if you really want to excel at employee advocacy.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/PeytStefanova/status/1065211083647082497 ]
Just like we create audience personas to understand who’s going to buy and enjoy our products in silence, and who’s going to be vocal about loving them, we should do the same when it comes to our employees.
Crafting internal employee personas is one of the most important things you can do for your employee ambassador program.
This will help you understand which employee is best suited for which part of the program. For example, thought leaders among your staff will create incredible content, and broadcasters will know how to curate and amplify it.
Accept the differences among your staff, and that’s how you’ll reach marketing success.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/SanabriaJav/status/1073235846831226881 ]
Best employee marketing programs don’t just help your company get more influence and raise brand awareness – they help employees create their own brands.
Marketing manager at Millman Insight, Javier Sanabria, shares a very important statistic that shows how employee ambassadors don’t just grow their company’s influence. This can be a good thing to discuss with your employees and keep in mind when creating your employee ambassador strategy.
Get something from your employees, and give them something in return.
Saturation is real, and so are false promises. If it’s tough to manage a company today, imagine how tough it is to be a consumer. There are marketing campaigns everywhere, but there’s no way of knowing who to trust.
All consumers see is what brands want them to see.
Employee advocacy helps amplify transparency, and consumers notice it. If your employees use their social influence to show they trust your company, so will the consumers.
A good way to use this is by incorporating employee advocacy into regular award events, or being more vocal about your company’s perks. Employee the same thinking as with consumers: what makes your company different?
Then make sure your employee ambassadors know it, and share it.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/CeceliaTaylor/status/1072900651192147970 ]
Why just think about consumers with employee advocacy? Focus on new employees, as well.
Employer branding is important today, especially with prominent companies. You want to attract and retain new talent (it ensures sustainability and lower costs).
Why not use your employee ambassadors for that?
Cecelia’s tweet shows another advantage of social selling. Even if it’s to future employees who’ll be excited and passionate about their job. And that directly translates to employee ambassador potential and B2C success.
There are two important things that make this tweet so vital to understanding employee ambassadors:
1) Internal knowledge sourcing – No one understands your company like the people who work for it.
2) 100 employees support Societe Generale’s social media activity. This means that you should put a number on your employee ambassadors program, and formalize it.
Select a certain percentage of people within your company who will make quality employee ambassadors, and formulate a program that will help you share information with them and get feedback.
You don’t have to hold additional meetings. With DrumUp, you can create a feed and broadcast updates to your ambassadors.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/Rima_Design/status/709693171530338305 ]
This tweet shows exactly how employee advocacy is a two-way street.
Sharing information and discussing feedback with your employees leads to higher levels of alignment with your company’s values, and that automatically translates to job satisfaction.
Once you’re ready and give your employees the go-ahead, there are higher chances of them being interested in helping you raise awareness.
Finally, employee advocacy makes employees feel important and vital to the organization. That, in turn, creates more loyalty and enthusiasm.
We pay a lot of attention to the content we create for our brands, but that doesn’t mean our employees like it. Sarah Goodall makes a great point again, and that’s to help employees create or curate content related to our brands.
Additionally, you don’t want your employees to be robots. You want genuine messages.
It’s good to select professionals enthusiastic about their industries as employee ambassadors, as they have more authority.
For example, your employees can use DrumUp to easily find related content for content curation, and then post about your company every once in a while.
Having established themselves as knowledgeable, their recommendation of your company will go a lot further than just a retweet of branded content.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/RealAmirE/status/1050481439613976576 ]
This tweet may seem like Amir is just trolling us, but he’s really not.
One of the main advantages of having employee ambassadors is getting fresh marketing ideas.
This can be useful for content creation, or even improving customer experience. After all, your employees know your company, and every individual sees it in a different light.
Don’t be afraid of testing out new ideas, and recognize the marketing potential of your ambassadors.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/iSocialFanz/status/1058052793708232704 ]
We’ve already covered relatability, but employee empowerment is a major advantage both for your employees and for your company’s marketing.
One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging feedback and helping your employees develop. Additionally, your investment in their development is a positive thing they can share.
It can be as simple as keeping them informed about industry news.
Customers love gamification, and so do employees. The crucial thing may be aligning your company goals to your employees’ goals, but gamification is what makes things so much fun.
Why not use that for your employee advocacy program?
You can organize contests, give awards, and set up leaderboards to keep everyone motivated to participate in social advocacy.
If setting it up manually is a hassle, take a look at DrumUp and how we automatize gamification to make your employee advocacy program even better.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/tombuchheim/status/1047947476005675010 ]
When you’re establishing your employee advocacy program, don’t forget to discuss all the professional benefits your ambassadors will experience.
Tom here explains only a few of them, but there’s a lot of professional development perks your employees will get.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/JeanieKathie/status/1039232466089922561 ]
80% – 20% is a well-known social media content formula, but it’s very hard to talk about personal things when you’re a company.
However, with employee ambassadors, you can highlight the people and their experiences in your company. From discussions during the lunch break to development opportunities.
We’re wrapping things up with a tweet that says it like it is: your employees are already talking about you.
But if they’re enthusiastic, and you give them the right tools and guidelines, there are no limits to what you as a team could achieve.
And that’s the true meaning of employee advocacy.
[TWEET LINK: https://twitter.com/SarahGoodall/status/1073581220242571264 ]