The importance of influencer marketing, working with external influential profiles in social media and on the web, has become a widely used strategy for marketing departments looking to build their brand online. A lot of effort is put into identifying and working with the right blogger, YouTube-profile or other digital star that can help your brand reach and engage new target groups. What a lot of companies tend to forget however, is that the best ambassadors are usually hidden within a company’s own four walls; and are also known as employees.
This fall, I started the initiative Branding’em together with Emma Lindgren. We are convinced that companies can reach a whole new level of success and online influence by working strategically with engaging their own employees, and letting them be part of a company’s external communication.
What is Employee Advocacy Marketing?
Employee Advocacy Marketing entails letting your own employees take a bigger role in your online communication, both for a company’s official channels but also on their own, private channels. This helps create a more personal brand, and also helps increase the employee engagement internally as you are recognizing your employees in a new way.
According to a study from Weber Shandwick, 33% of employees are already sharing links, photos and videos of their employer on social media without anyone asking them to do so. This proves that people are willing to act as brand ambassadors voluntarily.
Some statistics that prove the power of advocacy marketing:
- Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source: Social Media Today)
- Employees have on average 10x more social connections than a brand does (Source: Social Chorus)
- Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels (Source: MSLGroup)
- Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees vs brand (Source: MSLGroup)
- 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often. (Source: Aberdeen Group)
[To see more statistics supporting Advocacy Marketing, check out this great article by Sarah Goodall: 40 Employee Advocacy Statistics To Build A Case For Social Business]
Case studies: Companies doing it right
Dell works actively with engaging their employees in order to attract new talent to the company. Over 10 000 Dell employees have attended a course to become certified in social media, to be able to communicate for the company online. Check out the article: How Dell Turned Its Workforce Into an Army of Recruiters
IBM has chosen to recognize 500 of their employees as thought leaders as part of their program IBM Voices. On this section of their website, the employees are given a platform to share their thoughts of the world today and where to company is heading.