Did you know that customers perceive staff as more trustworthy than corporate marketing?
With customer trust more vital to brand survival than ever before, putting in place a programme of employee advocacy could be a significant driver of sales for your business.
What is employee advocacy?
In simple terms, employee advocacy is the marketing of a business by those who work in it.
The ultimate goal of employee advocacy is to make it simple for your staff to participate in your business’s marketing efforts.
One example of employee advocacy is staff sharing company messages on social media.
According to a study by Entrepreneur magazine, social media content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared through a business social media account.
Businesses and staff benefit from employee advocacy.
A successful employee advocacy programme helps a business to boost its brand awareness and reach. It can help to generate more leads and sales.
Employees benefit too. Acting as an advocate for your business can enhance your career prospects and expand your professional network.
In a world where ‘influencer marketing’ is becoming more popular, you likely have an overlooked but ready-made stock of ‘influencers’ already within your business.
When we get down to the brass tacks of encouraging advocacy, transparency is vital.
Here at Bear Content, we preach the importance of authenticity in marketing. An authentic approach extends to your team so they understand what you are doing and why.
Specifically for employee advocacy, you should explain what you expect from them, whether sharing content or their stories.
Celebrate their stories
One source of employee advocacy is to celebrate your people.
Recognising the achievements of your staff, which could include their work anniversaries or contributions towards important deals, demonstrates their value in your culture.
Putting employees on a pedestal to recognise their expertise, experience and qualifications is an essential pillar of an employee advocacy programme.
We often make executives and managers the ‘thought leaders’ representing a business when a great deal of expertise is present throughout a team.
While presenting ideas or opinions might not be an appealing prospect for everyone in your team, make it as simple as possible to share their points of view.
An approach that has worked for our clients is to record conversations about recent experiences, and then write these up on their behalf as blog posts.
When the business produces content, ask employees to share it, where relevant, within their professional and personal networks.
Assuming the content you create is engaging, your staff are likely to want to share it on their channels.
You can formalise this approach with an employee advocacy programme, which includes training to understand the broader marketing plan.
Support your employees to bring their online profiles up to date, both on your website and their social media profiles.
You can help your staff look more professional online by providing them with access to headshot photography.
We all know that customer trust is more vital to the success of a business than ever before.
These days, those who can harness their employees as advocates for their brand will generate sales and increase customer loyalty like never before.
Employees are an untapped resource when it comes to driving up your company’s sales – so why not implement a programme of employee advocacy?