Employee Advocacy: Just as Important as Customer Advocacy
91 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making buying decisions (The Incite Group).
We often refer to this well-known statistic when talking about the importance of advocacy marketing with respects to customer advocacy. However, customers aren’t the only ones who make great advocates. Let’s not forget about the advocates who are even closer to your company, brand and products – your employees.
Employee advocacy is nothing new. However, just like customer advocacy, social media and the Internet has revolutionized employee advocacy by giving employees a platform for their voice to be heard by a larger audience. Also similar to customer advocacy, not all employees are advocates. So, the power of employee advocacy is unleashed only when a company builds a strategy around identifying, mobilizing, and engaging with their employee advocates.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its staff members (TechTarget).
Employees can promote their company in a number of ways, including:
- Sharing company job openings with their LinkedIn network
- Sharing blog articles or company content via their own personal Twitter or Facebook account
- Referring a friend or family member who might be interested in the company’s product/service
While these activities seem simple enough, without educating and engaging your employees, you can count on about 5% of them to actually advocate for your company.
Educate & Engage: The Key to Turning Employees Into Advocates
The goal of an employee advocacy program should not be to get more employees to share information about their company online. It should be to educate and engage employees… and make it fun! Employees who are well-versed in what’s going on in the industry and how their company fits in are going to want to share insight with their networks.
A successful employee advocacy program focuses on:
- Education – This could be about your company and the products/services you’re offering. It could also be about what’s going on in the industry as a whole. Position and arm your employees with the knowledge that can help them become thought leaders in the industry.
- Engagement – By creating a positive work environment, your employees will feel more appreciated, satisfied, motivated and productive… All qualities that lend itself to advocacy.
- Fun – All work and no play is just work. Make sure your advocacy program includes fun activities that help you get to know your employees better on a personal level while building a community within your company.
What Does an Employee Advocacy Program Look Like?
An employee advocacy program looks very similar to a customer advocacy program where you share activities (aka challenges) for your employees to complete. In return, they are awarded with points which they can redeem for prizes like gift cards, donations to charity, and more.
The most successful employee advocacy programs post a combination of small, fun challenges to keep engagement levels high along with challenges that require a bit more effort (but also come with a higher point value).
|Fun Challenge||Referral Challenge|
This simple, yet extremely effective strategy helps balance education and engagement, and overall leads to much greater participation levels.