Employee Advocacy, or an Employee Ambassador Program, is not actually a new concept. The modern term was simply born from the emergence and understanding of social networking. Every employee when they communicated about their company, directly or indirectly, was always representing it. Social networks have simply digitized this approach, making it an increasingly important strategy. There are multiple benefits of Employee Advocacy; users who make professional use of social networks have understood this for a while now. It is up to companies to drive, structure and coordinate this approach to make into a real lever for their social visibility and business generation.
Every employee is already an ambassador
“What do you do for a living?” Everybody has already asked or answered this question. But when you answer it, you inevitably talk about your company and its news, its know-how, the general atmosphere with your colleagues… Whether you like it or not, the company is partly perceived through its employees. They are in the best position to describe the activity and image of your brand. You have to understand that the employee’s professional activity is an integral part of their life.
Employee Advocacy: the power of social media
Employee Advocacy is, in fact, only the digital representation of a social phenomenon that already exists in “real life”. This type of project is possible as a result of the emergence of social networks. But when an employee speaks on their social networks, it can be very difficult to dissociate their “personal” content from their professional shares.
“Views expressed are my own”, “I speak for myself”, “Does not represent my company”… These terms are sometimes found in the personal biographies on personal accounts. The fact that an employee feels the need to disassociate himself from their company when they speak on social networks proves, ironically, the inherent link between the two.
Employee Advocacy: a personal approach to be collectively encouraged
In recent years, the use of social networks has become more and more democratized. Almost all of your employees or colleagues will be using social media. At the heart of their professional experience, each employee has expertise that the company benefits from. This expertise is also being shared online, every day, through their use of social networks.
There are two possible scenarios for the company. Either it lets employees communicate their expertise on their personal social profiles, minimizing the impact and losing out on the possible lead generation. Or it understands the value of these interactions and provides the employees with a tool to facilitate their approach.
Employee Advocacy: visibility and engagement with collaborators
For employees, speaking on professional social networks has many benefits. It allows them to enhance their social profile by sharing their business expertise. It is also an opportunity to optimize their e-reputation and employability with a view to potential future employment. In addition, relaying company publications allows you to be more aware of your company’s news. It allows a better understanding of the organization’s issues, to talk about them more coherently and to feel more involved and concerned.
For sales representatives in particular, it is also an opportunity to practice Social Selling, i.e. to generate sales through social networks.
Employee Advocacy also covers HR issues. Recruiting on social networks has become commonplace. The employee network can also be used for recommendations and referrals. A potential candidate will always be more inclined to apply in a company where employees are proud to show that they belong there.
Employee Advocacy: visibility and business for the company
For the company, this is an opportunity to reach a much wider audience than if it were limited to its own corporate profiles. Indeed, if an employee has for example 500 LinkedIn contacts, 300 followers on Twitter and 450 Facebook friends, they could potentially reach 1250 people. Multiplied by the number of employees, you get a much greater organic reach. Moreover, it is easier to trust recommendations from personal contacts than corporate accounts. Their social sharing gets, on average, 8 times more engagement! Highlighting the value of the employee ambassadors becomes a real social visibility strategy.
The practice of Employee Advocacy, as beneficial as it may be, is still far from being widespread. While the benefits are numerous, there are still barriers and myths about Employee Advocacy that can delay its implementation, that are believed by both employees and management. According to a study by LaPoste Business Solution, fewer than one in 10 professionals have been encouraged by their managers to use social networks for professional purposes. This also means that for 90% of the 383 participants who responded to the survey, they have a personal approach not coordinated by the company. Companies are missing out, it’s time to get started!
If you have any questions about setting up an Employee Advocacy program, please contact us! We will be happy to assist you!