Employee advocacy has emerged as one of the strongest ways to promote your organization.
Although the concept has been around for years, the internet and social media have multiplied its potential. Nearly every person I know has looked up a potential employer on Glassdoor before accepting a job offer. They look up things like salary, benefits, and what current and former employees say it’s like to work there. And the interesting thing is that Glassdoor has found that people are 75% more likely to apply for a job with your company if you’re active on Glassdoor.
In a recent Edelman Trust Barometer, researchers found that employees are the most trusted spokesperson on how businesses perform, operate, manage crises and treat their people. The study also found that employees who don’t trust their leaders will be less likely to say good things about their employer.
Now more than ever, an employee’s opinion can actually impact whether people even trust your brand.
I had the opportunity to lead an employee advocacy program in 2016, and the results were stunning. We partnered with LinkedIn and found that employees have networks that reach 10x a company’s follower base. We also compared the reach of the same content when posted by the company vs. employee. We found that without a formal employee advocacy program, only 3% of employees usually engage with a company’s content on LinkedIn. The number for non-employees is even more drastic at around less than 1%. When an employee does share the company’s content, their post drives 30% more engagement.
Impressed with these results, we decided to take our experiment a step further and launch an employee advocacy program powered by LinkedIn Elevate in our organization. Participation ramped exceptionally quickly and remained high post-launch. After a few months, here were our results:
- 4x more engagements than our corporate channels
- 34% greater reach than our corporate channels
- 2.8x more job views than average
- 30% of engagements led to company profile views
We quickly learned that employees are the single greatest asset to marketing that a company has. Employee advocates have the power to:
- Generate positive exposure and raise awareness of a brand
- Recommend a company’s product or services to a friend, colleague, or family member
- Elevate their careers while furthering the interests of the company internally and externally
- Build employee ownership of the organization
- Establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry
- Become a credible spokesperson for your company
If you remember nothing else…
- Employees have a vast network that expands the impact of your content and authenticity to relevant connections.
- Employee advocacy benefits the entire organization. A unified approach yields the greatest results and value to employees.
- Success is contingent on a smart strategy and effective ongoing execution.
- Employees stand to benefit. The better the quality of the content, the greater the ongoing participation.
The implication is clear. Employees who trust their leaders will be more likely to say good things about their employer. And consumers will believe them.
By the same token, employees who don’t trust their leaders will be less likely to say good things about their employer. And they too will be believed by consumers.
Your employees are credible sources of information about your company. For better or worse.