In human resources and recruitments, trends come and go. But the strongest concepts become common-sense practices that survive the test of time.
Employee advocacy is the industry’s hottest buzzword at the moment off the back of several high profile successes and failures with the idea, but it actually builds on something we’ve known for years now—people that love their jobs are a huge asset for your employer brand.
With the explosion of social media, employee advocacy is taking on new forms and is set to be a key priority for organisations in 2020. StaffConnect is a leading employee engagement platform. Check out our guide to employee advocacy here.
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the positive promotion of your organisation and its values by your workforce, most commonly done through social media or word of mouth. This can happen through a structured employee advocacy programme or organically.
- Through a programme: More and more organisations are spearheading employee advocacy schemes to strengthen their employer brand. ‘Advocates’ are selected from existing staff and tasked with communicating messages about working for the organisation online or in person.
- Organically: If you have a highly engaged workforce, employees tend to advocate of their own volition by interacting positively with the organisation on socials, telling people about the benefits of working for you and generally seeming satisfied at work compared to their peers.
Benefits of employee advocacy
Employee advocacy makes use of the oldest and most reliable trick in the advertising handbook: word of mouth. Even in an age dominated by digital, word of mouth still reigns supreme as the most effective and trusted means of promotion. Social media users are 16 times more likely to read a post written or shared by a friend compared to one from the brand.
Most people working for you will have a few hundred social media followers on average. For example, if you have 50 employees, each of whom has 200 friends on Facebook, a post shared by everyone in your company has the potential to reach a whopping 10,000 people.
Factor into this that social media is one of the least expensive channels for brand awareness and you’re making use of your existing workforce to promote the company, employee advocacy is a cost-effective and successful means of boosting your employer brand.
Top tips for employee advocacy
There are a few simple steps you can take to improve employee advocacy within your organisation, including:
- Merch! Branded corporate merchandise—such as free T-shirts, keychains, water bottles and tote bags with your logo on them—instantly turns your workforce into walking and talking brand advocates. It doesn’t matter if they’re only using the products out of necessity, their use alone is an endorsement.
- Find your influencers: If you’re opting for a structured advocacy programme, make sure you pick people with a pre-existing following on key platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Even something as simple as putting your company handle in their Twitter bio will make a difference.
- Focus on engagement: It’s important to engage your entire workforce, not just those you’ve chosen to advocate for you. Everyone in your organisation will talk about their jobs—make sure they’re not contradicting your employee advocates!
StaffConnect can help you effortlessly turn your workforce into employee advocates through authentic engagement. Our mobile employee engagement solution reaches your entire workforce—whether in-office or deskless—and improves your company culture from the inside out.
Discover some of our case studies to find out more about the transformative power of StaffConnect.