If you’re racking your brain on how to further promote your company, you need not look far. One of the best solutions for your promotional needs are just right in front of you. That’s right! Your employees. They can speak well of your company, brand, and products or services. Plus, they are very trustworthy sources, too. This is what we call Employee Advocacy.
Employee advocacy is a marketing strategy that makes your employees instant advocates of your brand. Seems too easy, if you think of it, but it could be a bit of a challenge along the stretch.
Here, we talk about why employee advocacy can help your marketing efforts, how you convert this to social media marketing, and the challenges you’re going to face when you dive into this strategy.
Why Employee Advocacy?
You might wonder: why do we need our people to speak for our brand when people would barely recognize them? Unlike celebrities, only a few people know your employees and may just see their recommendations as a biased one.
But this has been debunked by online marketing gurus. It turns out that your employees are the best people to carry your name and your brand.
Like we mentioned earlier, nobody knows more about your company that those from inside. Letting your employees talk about your brand have a lot of benefits both offline and online.
Yes, it may seem biased at first, but think of it this way: they won’t just recommend you outright if it’s not true, right? Because that can affect their reputation; a reputation that they could take with them to their next company.
As it turns out, employee advocacy can be your best asset when it comes to marketing. And since these people work for you, it’s as if you got promotion and advertising for free!
Employee Advocacy for Your Online Marketing Efforts
Online marketing is the best form of marketing to apply employee advocacy. It is easier for them to market your brand through their respective social networking accounts.
Just imagine the amount of network and reach you will have from them. According to research, only 28% of a person’s Facebook friends could be considered as close friends. That’s how much organic reach you’ll have. So, if you have 100 employees, and each of them have 100 friends, you instantly get 2,800 market. They may not be your target audience but with your employees’ influence and insistence, they could share or forward you online marketing content to their network as well.
It’s not only about that 28% we’re talking about. The remaining 72%, though may just be mere acquaintances, might be able to read or see the posts your employees make about your brand and company. This increases the chance of a post’s impression and engagement.
Your online marketing efforts would be much worth it if they’re incorporated with the efforts of your people as well. The more genuine it seems, the more organic your traffic will be.
Online Marketing Strategies for Employee Advocacy
Ready to dive into it? Now we give you important tips on how to effectively deliver your online marketing strategies for employee advocacy:
Happy Employees for Believability
The key to an effective employee advocacy is believability. And that would only happen if your employees are satisfied with their workplace and is a believer of your product or service.
First, take a look at your employees attitude towards work or your company. Look into their working conditions, the policies that they adhere to without any question, etc. In short, see how your employees are happy with your company and that they believe in your brand.
Why is this important?
Word-of-mouth has always been the most effective marketing tool; and even now at this age of technology, word-of-mouth through someone’s social media accounts would work best. See how useful Facebook’s ‘Recommendation’ feature is!
So if your employees are 100% satisfied and happy in what they do, it would genuinely show in how they promote your brand. It would be more believable.
Active Social Media Presence
The next thing you can do is encourage your employees to be active in their social media accounts. Some companies would let their employees create a separate dedicated Facebook account for this purpose. However, this counter-productive and a bit of obvious already to those added as friends that their accounts would just be for promotional purposes.
Ask your employees to keep their social networking site as professional as possible without asking them to sacrifice too much of their personal lives. In fact, encourage them to be active on their social media accounts. Being active doesn’t only mean posting a lot about your company. No, it shouldn’t be the case.
Encourage them to engage to their “personal” audience more. Get in touch and interact with friends. Why so? Because this initial social media presence can be beneficial for your employee advocacy efforts. This will prepare their audience for more posts and interaction so it won’t be anything new for them if they share about your brand.
Focus on Your Efforts in Adding Value to Customers
It’s now time to add value to your customers. Know your target audience’s pain points and offer how your brand can help them through it.
This doesn’t mean that you would ask your employees to outright promote your brand and say: “Hey! We got a product for that!” Instead, focus on your content. You can write blogs about it. Focus on one topic that you think your audience would be interested in. Write it in a way that it’s easily understood so the reader would not only find it informative but also enjoyable. That way, it would also be easy to share to others.
You can also create a schedule of daily social media posts related to your brand. Or it could something random that would spark interaction from your audience – be it something humorous, or asking them some questions that concerns their pain points and could possible lead to something that your brand can do to address. Let it be your form of social listening.
The point, really, is to post something engaging and that’s also worth sharing. If you do that, just one post can already have so much reach.
Train Staff on FAQs, Do’s and Don’t’s, Q&A’s
In employee advocacy, each one of your staff is now your liaison. That means, they should all be ready to answer any questions or inquiries from people.
With that, you should train your employees to each be the “front man” for your brand on their own. You can hold a seminar on how to answer questions from audiences especially from those who barely have any knowledge in the brand. You can create a standardized guide book on how to answer frequently asked questions. However, you must remind your employees not to use it too much that it would seem very impersonal.
Remember, one thing you should take advantage in employee advocacy is to make responses and outreach more personal. The guide book would just serve as a, well, guide so they would know how and what to reply. Of course, they can improvise on how they respond especially towards their family and friends, but they should remain professional and believable.
Let Your Brand Speak for Itself
The biggest challenge in any form of marketing for any brand is letting it speak for itself.
It would be impossible to convince people to buy your products or avail of your services if it’s not really up to their standards. Therefore, employee marketing would online work if your product or services work.
Just like how you treat your company, your brand’s performance also could affect your employee advocacy efforts. They would only be believable if you could deliver.
So before pushing into further online marketing, make sure that your product or service is really what it’s worth and what you’re claiming on your social media campaign is true. This would make it easier for your employees to advocate on your brand, and this would make them deem credible to the public. If you get these right, it would spell out a huge amount of success for your online marketing campaign.
Look into each of your product or service and see how it can add value to the consumers’ life especially in addressing their pain points. Also, you can do social listening so you would know what you can improve on so you can work on it.
And don’t just stop when you think your brand is already perfect. Think of ways you can improve and make it more valuable than it already is. This way, you can bring in more loyal consumers to avail of your products and services.
Employee advocacy is never a bad idea. Just remember that what your employees do or say, can and may backfire at you. To make this move a success, always look within your system first before you bring it out to the world.