What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy occurs when your employees voluntarily decide to promote your company or share their positive thoughts about it publicly. This can be as simple as sharing a post on social media thanking your company for the cake you bought them for an employee’s birthday. Employee advocacy is a great way for your target audience and potential job candidates to better understand your company’s values and see what it’s like to work there. It also raises great brand awareness for your company.
Benefits of employee advocacy
There are many reasons employee advocacy is a great program for your company to implement. Common benefits of it include:
- Building brand awareness: Employees who share and tag your company in positive and appreciative posts are sharing these not just with your followers but with their own as well. This allows you to build your brand awareness as you reach a wider audience.
- Increasing your revenue: Customers are searching for businesses they trust and can build a strong relationship with. Seeing how much your employees enjoy working for you tells potential customers that you’re a valuable company to collaborate with, which causes them to purchase more products or services from you.
- Bringing in more quality candidates: Many candidates apply for companies that care about their needs and practice values they’re passionate about. Seeing current employees’ positive posts about you makes your company stand out to these candidates over the competition.
- Improving your retention rates: When employees advocates for your company, they’re usually having a pleasant time working for you and want to tell others about it. This means you have a strong company culture and a great work environment, which leads employees to stay with you longer and improve your employee retention rates.
Types of employee advocacy
Employee advocacy comes in various forms and strategies. Common types of employee advocacy for you to practice include:
Social media shares
Sharing on social media is one of the strongest employee advocacy tactics to implement, as your customers and target audience will spend a majority of their time on these popular channels. There are many ways your employees can voluntarily share their positivity and appreciation for your company on social sites.
When your company does something special for employees, like offering a free lunch, employees will be excited to tell others, so they’ll share it on their social media pages. Other ways to get employees to post about your brand is by creating blogs, company announcements and other content pieces that they’re able to easily share with others.
Recognition and incentives
Employee recognition should be a key element of your employee advocacy program. Taking time to thank employees or share their impressive performance results with others makes them feel proud of their achievements and encourages them to continue contributing valuable work.
One way to share this recognition internally and externally is through an employee of the month program. Feature an employee each month who has excelled in their role. Post about them on social media or in an email newsletter. This makes employees more excited to be a part of your company, and they can also share posts of their employees’ impressive achievements.
Videos and employee testimonials
Give employees an opportunity to share their experience with your company through engaging opportunities like videos or employee testimonials. Ask them why they enjoy working with your company or invite them to complete an optional questionnaire about their time at the company.
Share this company pride on your website or social media channels. This helps candidates and audience members better understand what it’s like at your company, and they’ll see the positive company culture you promote.
Tips to establish and maintain a successful employee advocacy program
Follow these tips to help you establish and maintain a successful advocacy program your employees will be proud to be a part of:
Determine the goals you’d like to hit
Meet with your leadership team to determine what you’d like to accomplish by implementing this program. Make your goals clear and ensure they’re challenging, but reasonably achievable. These goals will help you develop an effective strategy for your advocacy program. Examples of possible goals include:
- Earn more shares on social media
- Increase retention rates
- Bring in more traffic through social media
Communicate this new program to employees
Hold a meeting with your employees to tell them about this new program and the goals you’d like it to help you meet. Explain to them the importance of sharing content on social media or in other public formats. Try to spark their passion for your company and encourage them to share their love for your business with others.
Assign someone to be in charge of the program
To ensure the program continues to run smoothly and stays on task with its goals, consider assigning one or more people to lead the program. They’ll be in charge of managing the program from start to finish and will answer any employee questions about it. Many of their duties can include:
- Writing engaging content that employees are encouraged to share
- Communicating the program to all employees
- Taking suggestions from employees
- Encouraging employees to continue sharing and advocating for the program as it continues on for the next few weeks or months
- Find ways to improve and enhance the program