There's no doubt that 2018 was the year when organisations woke up to the power of employee advocacy. As organisations face lower organic social reach, banner blindness and increased paid media spend they're seeking alternative ways to reach their social savvy customers.
Employee Advocacy has always been an internal hot potato sitting across different parts of the organisation and led by internal communications, marketing and even sales! It just goes to endorse the cross company impact that social advocacy can have.
However, during the last 12 months we've observed a noticeable shift with marketing assuming a natural ownership for social advocacy, quite possibly for a number of reasons:
- They have the ability and visibility to measure the impact via automation platforms
- They are closer to sales and attributing advocacy impact on revenue growth
- They have more budget
- They already curate content for the brand social media channels
- They want to humanise the brand with authentic stories
At Tribal we're always reading content around social advocacy and have collated, what we consider to be, some of the best articles from 2018. So, if you're considering adopting an Employee Advocacy program in 2019 make sure you browse the article below first.
How Participation Marketing Elevates Your Social Media Strategy - @MichaelBrito
Michael Brito is an amazing contributor around the topic of brand advocacy. This article digs deep into why employees have a role to play within your content strategy. We believe Employee Generated Content is going to be big in 2019 - enabling employees to be part of the authentic brand story will further endorse and culture of trust with your customers.
This article also links to some incredible studies including Harnessing The Power Of Employee Advocacy by the Boston Consulting Group.
A great post from Kitty Borelli exploring the impact of employees sharing content. Content shared through Hewlett Packard's employee engagement program has been known to receive eight times more engagement than content shared through a branded account. There is no doubt that activating employees on social media is beneficial...but only when done correctly and with the employee in mind. Love the reference to Dell's Social Media University.
How to Get Employees Comfortable Contributing to Social Media Marketing - @OhSoFreshMusic
If you're slightly nervous at the prospect of letting your employees free to use social media, check out this overview post about the key elements you need to consider. As long as you ensure you have guidelines, training and support for your employees you can't go too wrong.
Finally, make sure you explain what's in it for them. Too often advocacy programs are brand centric rather than employee centric. Don't make this mistake.
Catchy title, right? Another great post from Ryan Erskine focused mainly around the most important part of an socail advocacy program - content. Your employee community has the ability to cut through the algorithms designed to hold back brand content via social channels.
However, employees should only share what's relevant to their network otherwise they risk turning their followers away. If you don't curate the right mix of content then, might cause a downturn in your Employee Advocacy Program. Check out what kind of content your employees want to share.
Celebrity Influencer Marketing Is Dead, Report Says--Real Employees And Customers Are Better - @CherylSnapp
Consumers are almost twice as likely to consider a product recommended from a friend rather than an influencer or celebrity. Brands are fast realising that spending money with popular influencers might generate noise and reach but questioning if it generates direct revenue growth?
This post by Cheryl Conner explores the 'celebrity' influencer and how brands are seeking out more authentic micro-influencers via the voice of employees.
Starting an Employee Advocacy Program? Focus on Your Company Culture First - Influencer Marketing Hub
Whether you like the term millennial or not, we have to face facts. This generation is forcing a change within company culture. In 7 years time, the millennial generation will make up 75% of the workforce. They are also a generation that are will take a $7,600 pay cut for a new job with a better quality of work life. It's time to focus on culture.
Without culture, you won't be able to recruit let alone retain talent. This post explore the impact this has on employee advocacy and how mindful you need to be of this generation when building a program.
How Can Employee Advocacy Boost Brand Marketing? - @nikki_gilliland
Packed full of insights and statistics, this is the post for you if you want a summary of why Employee Advocacy isn't just good for marketing. Research by Hinge found that almost 86% of advocates in some kind of formal program said that that being involved has had a positive impact on their career.
A formal social advocacy program can impact sales, marketing, recruitment, brand and engagement. Nikki Gilliland does a great job of exploring each of the benefits in more detail.
Now it's your turn! We've shared the posts that got us talking at Tribal but what were your favourite posts? Just pop in the comments below and share with the community.