Employer brand: making the most of employee advocacy
Building your online presence naturally involves looking at the metrics of engagement and reach. While much focus is often placed on boosting the brand through the company website and social channels, this kind of communication typically comes through the voice of the business. In reality, businesses are successful because of their people – so it’s essential that your employees are an integral part of the process involved in raising awareness of your brand online.
Employee advocacy is a powerful tool that makes use of the strength of an engaged workforce – it is simply any way that employees promote your company.
Boosting employee advocacy
Make the most of employees’ social networks by encouraging them to:
- Share brand blog posts or articles
- Share photos from company or team events
- Share what they enjoy about being an employee of the company
- Share photos of themselves using the products you sell – ideal for retail
- Share their personal expertise – which can boost their personal brand as well as brand awareness
Many content sharing platforms help you to curate content and make it easy for individuals to share it on social media. Posts can be sent to your employees’ email inboxes, where an individual can choose whether they want to share the post directly to their channel, or if they’d like to add some of their own commentary.
The value of employee advocacy
Attracts new business
- By sharing your content beyond your company-led channels, your brand is amplified across the networks of your employees, boosting brand awareness and therefore the potential to attract new business.
- Employees can adapt what they share to best suit their own audience; they can share the content that is most relevant for them, or that they feel they have good knowledge of.
Attracts new hires
- Giving employees ownership over sharing the unique aspects of your company culture, whether that’s team away days, good lunch spots nearby the office or social events, helps to paint a picture of your overall employer brand. As a result of your employer brand having a more tangible online presence outside of your own Careers web pages, you’re more likely to receive applications from those who are not just a good fit for a role, but a good fit for your company culture.
Highlights your brand as a thought leader
- Content shared by individuals validates it as being useful or informative, as it shows that people are not just reading the content, but actively engaging with sharing it. Securing a strong reach for your content insights further instills your position as a thought leader in your market.
Humanises your brand
- Diversifying your brand’s voice highlights the collaborative effort that forms your business, resulting in making your brand more approachable. It also gives employees more opportunity to make their voices heard when it comes to sharing company updates or project completion posts, highlighting their personal contributions to these business developments.
- Open communication channels are essential to a strong employee advocacy strategy. It’s not purely about what you share externally, but how initiatives, successes and learnings are discussed internally that will further feed employee engagement. Boosting employee engagement can also contribute positively to retention; those that feel listened to and valued are more likely to stay with the business longer.
Considerations when creating an employee advocacy strategy
There is no single way to create and implement a successful employee advocacy strategy, but it is important to remember that ultimately it is an employee’s decision when it comes to how much brand-related content they want to share on their social media channels.
Your employees’ social channels are their own personal platforms. While providing company guidelines so people understand how they can best present the brand, they ultimately have ownership over how they use their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles.
Similarly, being too strict over how they can promote the brand online risks your employees simply becoming an echo of the brand voice that already exists on the company channels. While employees need to align with the company’s tone of voice to a certain extent, it’s beneficial for their own voices to shine through. They should feel able to use their initiative when it comes to choosing how they promote the brand – whether that’s through writing their own statuses, sharing existing content, or commenting on news stories that strike a chord with your business.