Encouraging Employee Advocacy
Your best advocates are right under your nose. How are you encouraging your employees to be your company's biggest fans?
Your employees should be your greatest asset in promoting your business, highlighting your products and services, and explaining why you’re a good company to work for and do business with.
According to research conducted by Edelman, Altimeter Group, and LinkedIn:
- 67% of customers say they trust content created by a company’s technical expert.
- 34% say employees are the most trusted resource of information about a company’s integrity.
- Yet, only 13% of companies have “engaged” employee advocates.
- Another 24% are actively talking down your company.
Think about that: The majority of customers view your employees as trusted experts and consider their opinions as a way to measure your company’s trustworthiness.
What your employees say for you and about you is important...really important.
As mentioned above, only 13% of companies are actively engaging their employees as company advocates. If you have employees, engaging them as your advocates is your competitive advantage.
So how do we engage our employees to be good company advocates?
Here are 4 things you can do to encourage employee advocacy:
1. Educate Your Employees
Are your employees even aware of your company’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page? If not, simply asking them to like those pages is step one. Having your employees add your company to their Facebook page helps promote your business to their personal network. In addition, having employees like, share, and comment on company posts from their personal accounts can have a tremendous effect on the number of people who see your posts.
2. Have Your Employees Write Articles and Blogs
Your employees know your industry better than anyone else. Why not share that knowledge and expertise by creating industry-related articles or blogs that can be shared across your networks? Brainstorm topics that help answer pain points your customers may be facing. Encourage participation from various groups within your organization that showcase the variety of your company’s products and services.
3. Employee Recognition
Everyone likes to receive praise or a shout out from a colleague, right?! By recognizing and thanking your team members, you in turn can help promote your company’s unique culture both inside and outside the company. In the process, you may even encourage others within your organization to join the discussion and become brand advocates themselves.
It can be easy to forget about the easiest way to promote your brand, and that's through good, old-fashioned networking. In addition to traditional networking like joining your local Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce, there are a number of online networking groups depending on your industry and skills. LinkedIn is full of groups to explore. New to LinkedIn groups? A good place to start is with your college alumni association. Then kick it up a notch and join some industry related groups!
Encouraging employee advocacy doesn’t require a huge budget or a detailed strategy. Ultimately, the goal is to get your people talking. This will create a culture of advocates who have a vested interest in the company, are willing to promote it, and will work hard to ensure it succeeds.
Get your team on target by going through a positioning statement exercise. This will help get you all on the same page and working toward the same goals. Plus it sparks conversation and helps define WHY you do what you do!