Employees talk about their companies online. By introducing employee advocacy programmes, organisations can help shape the conversations employees are having and ensure they help the brand, rather than hinder it.
Employees post Glassdoor reviews, share work and office photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook throughout the day from their working locations. This content contributes to a company’s employer brand for better or worse and organisations have no control over it.
Here are the top 3 benefits of encouraging employees to be recruiting advocates:
1. Using employee advocates gives you A LOT of extra reach
On average, employees can have 10 times as many connections on social media as a company (source: Social Chorus). For example, a company that has 200 – 400 employees, the increased reach could easily amount to 2,000 times or more.
2. Advocacy gives you credibility
As measured by Nielsen’s trust barometer (a survey of trust and credibility), company’s employer brands rank below employee advocates. Most candidates would prefer to hear from current employees when they are considering a company; they are seen as being more genuine than the accounts portrayed by the company themselves.
3. Employee shares tend to travel better than brand shares
According to an employee advocacy study, content can be shared up to 24 times more often when originally shared by employees. 52% of the content they share is trusted by candidates.
When properly implemented, employee advocacy can turn into a word-of-mouth wildfire quickly, introducing prospective candidates to your employer brand.
How to achieve it?
Companies need to create an environment where employees are well equipped with not just the knowledge but the tools and inclination to share positive company sentiment and experiences.
Giving your employees the motivation to become brand advocates you are creating an environment where they feel comfortable sharing.
Ask yourself if your employees know your company culture? Have a review of what is happening online, take a look at your Glassdoor reviews and google your employer brand (beyond your website). Do you need to take action?
How to build a successful employee advocacy programme:
1. Set your goals: Figure out the specifics of what you want to create with employee advocacy. For example to boost the number of positive Glassdoor reviews or to create buzz around a specific team that you’re recruiting for.
2. Keep your brand’s identity consistent: It’s important to ensure that your employees’ brand shares follow a certain tone that you set. Decide and reinforce how you want them to represent the company. For example, circulate through an internal email an established hashtag relating to the project, which will combine marketing content and organic staff content.
3. Establish metrics to measure results: Massive activity demands justification. Make sure to closely assess the numbers.
4. Be the right amount of flexible: Give them choices, and of course they’ve got to have personal shares, but set firm guidelines for brand related shares (do’s and don’ts, words to use and not use, etc.)
5. Remember that a sustained growth of organic social media engagement will appear much better in the long run than a short unsustained burst. Promote engagement to support this grassroots system, so make it fun: keep your motivators, incentives, and spirit up and running. It’s a team effort, so you’ve got to make it fun for everyone.