Social media platforms are rapidly becoming an essential business development tool. Research shows that 83% of Canadian businesses are already connecting and engaging with audiences through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks.
One of the best business development tactics you can employ using social media is employee advocacy.
What Is Employee Advocacy?
At its core, employee advocacy is about empowering your people to share valuable information and resources with their social networks. This practice not only builds awareness, trust, and credibility with target prospects, but also enables your employees to develop their own personal brand and set themselves apart as thought leaders.
When implemented strategically and consistently, employee advocacy can work for companies of all types and sizes. In the US, the typical internet user has 200 Facebook friends and over 60 followers on Twitter. Even if your company has only 10 employees, that’s still a potential reach of over 2,500 people.
Is your business using social marketing to generate leads? Read our blog to learn more!
How Employee Advocacy Benefits Your Business
- A brand’s message will be re-shared 24x more when the sources are employees as compared to the brand itself.
- Leads generated through employee advocacy are 7x more likely to close than others.
- The rate of retention is 37% higher among customers who are referred by an advocate.
How to Encourage Employee Advocacy
Before proceeding, plan your approach by setting the specific goals you want to set for your business and how you can measure them.
Consider things like:
- Who your target audience will be.
- Whether you want to reach new prospects, strengthen relationships with existing customers, or a mix of both.
- Whether you want to drive more direct leads or focus on increasing brand awareness.
Have employees share engaging content and resources like product spotlights, demonstration videos, or case studies. If you want to be known as a thought leader, encourage employees to post thought-provoking resources to connect and engage with potential buyers.
2.Establish Sharing Guidelines and Standards
To be effective, your employees need to know both what your message is and how they should communicate it.
When developing directions, think about:
- The tone your employees should take, whether formal or conversational.
- How often you would like them to post and share content.
- Whether or not they should personally respond to comments and messages.
Defining these guidelines will ensure that each individual’s messaging is aligned with the company messaging.
3.Educate Your Employees about What’s in it For Them
Benefits for employees who actively engage in employee advocacy activities include:
- Establishing themselves as industry thought leaders.
- Generating quality leads.
- Expanding their network of influencers and referral sources.
- Staying in tune with the needs of the target market(s).
- Maintaining a value-based relationship with the existing customer base.
Ultimately, staying visible with customers and prospects is what employee advocacy is all about. Using social networking tools strategically is a smart and efficient way to do just that.
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