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Mar 28, 2023 Tribal Impact

Amplify Your Employer Branding Efforts With Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy, also known as social media advocacy, can help employer branding professionals scale their efforts across global businesses. 

Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent (LinkedIn).

During our LinkedIn Live hosted by Tribal Impact’s Justyna Brownbridge, Anna Bertoldini, the Global Head of Employer Branding at NielsenIQ, shared some fascinating insights into the relationship between employer branding and employee advocacy. 

You’ll read more about this interview as we refer to it in this blog to demonstrate how to bring employee stories to life. You can listen to podcast below or watch the recording here.



Why Employer Branding Professionals Should Embrace Employee Advocacy 

While employer branding builds and maintains the company’s reputation as an employer, employee advocacy refers to the promotion of a company’s brand and values by its employees. 

Employee advocacy matters for employer branding because it allows companies to showcase their culture, values, and workplace environment through the authentic voices of their employees. It can also help employer branding professionals scale their efforts globally. 

According to this report by Cliquify, social media advocacy was cited as one of the top areas of focus to help talent branders achieve “best workplace” recognition. 

Employees sharing their positive workplace experiences with their network can attract top talent and improve the company’s workplace reputation. It helps build trust and credibility with potential candidates and improves retention rates among current employees. It’s as good as free marketing in a trust-based economy.

As of January 2023, there are 4.76 Billion (60% of the world) active social media users (Cliquify). As this LinkedIn article highlights, if you multiply the number of employees you have by the average size of their individual networks (approx. 400 LinkedIn 1st degree connections, 420 Facebook friends, 360 Twitter followers), you get the potential reach of such a campaign.

In our interview with Anna Bertoldinin, Anna says, “We want our employees to tell their stories, positioning themselves as industry experts and thought leaders. Our purpose is to shed light on our teams’ work, projects, and mission - so that potential candidates and clients alike have a clearer picture of the type of projects we’re working on within NielsenIQ.”

For this reason, NielsenIQ strongly encourages employee advocacy within its overall employer branding strategy. 


Creating Thought Leaders And Experts With Brand Ambassador Programs 

During Anna’s LinkedIn Live, she shares how NielsenIQ has successfully implemented an employee advocacy program by utilising employee storytelling and brand ambassador programs

NeilsenIQ’s approach to employee advocacy includes:

  • Employee stories being shared around a central theme, reinforcing a narrative and making them an active part of it.
  • Creating a page and training employees to be more online, educating them on the benefits of personal branding.
  • Organising different themed campaigns, sharing stories on webinars, and adding testimonials throughout the candidate journey touchpoints to humanise each step.
  • Encouraging employees to participate without pressure to. They select those already vocal, equip them with resources and training, and watch them inspire others.
  • Initiating employee advocacy programs using internal channels and communities like Slack or Yammer.
  • Content creation, using a mix of design tools such as Canva, agencies, and in-house resources.
  • Building a SharePoint page with guidelines for employees to share safely on social media.


Employee Advocacy Programs: The Affordable Marketing Method

When employee branding professionals embrace employee advocacy, they can leverage authentic, user-generated content. This content doesn’t have to be perfect, high-production videos and graphics. 

According to Cliquify, talent branders cited cost per applicant efficiency as one of their key ROI metrics. Employee advocacy will help drive more organic traffic and build trust in your brand, meaning warmer pipelines and faster applicants. 

“You don’t need deep pockets to do great employer branding. As long as your employees are happy and willing to vouch for you, you can get all that great messaging out there.” Anna Bertoldini.

Anna Bertoldini’s steps to starting your employee advocacy program:

  1. Make sure your employees are happy. You don’t want employees putting themselves out there if you don’t look after them first.
  2. Provide personal branding training and guidelines for your employees.
  3. Identify champions. Those that are happy to share and who may be already sharing. Start your focus with them and use them to inspire others.
  4. Create your #hashtag to track and collate all the content your employees share.
  5. Have an internal way of sharing the content, so you can give them ideas and inspiration on what to share. 

When creating your employee advocacy program, it’s important to remember guidelines are not there to restrict people or control the narrative. People can be scared of speaking up in case they get in trouble. The guidelines give them confidence in speaking up, knowing they have the company’s support behind them. 

Anna uses a great example of a headline test: if you saw that post on a New York Times headline, would you be OK with it?

Your guidelines should give people the confidence to speak up, knowing that if they stay within the guidelines, they won’t get in trouble, and their contribution is encouraged.

How To Measure Your Employee Advocacy Program

As with any marketing campaign, measuring its success will help determine its ROI. Your employees authentically spreading your message is invaluable free marketing. 

You’ll be able to monitor performance by:

  • Tracking social media engagement, such as the reach of your content, engagement, and impressions.
  • Use specific URLs for campaigns encouraging employees to post leads. You’ll be able to measure the volume of traffic.
  • Track the volume of applications for roles shared through employee advocacy. It’s also worth noting the quality of applicants.

Anna shares that what really matters when discussing employer branding and hiring is clicks, applies, and hires. “All of our campaigns are meant to drive awareness but also lead to great hires for the company. They are meant to attract the best talent and keep that talent.”


Focus On Creating Conversations

As a final thought as we wrap up this blog, your employees must focus more on conversations and discussions than vanity metrics such as likes and followers. 

Look at what people are saying, what they are contributing to the conversation, and what type of conversations did the post start. 

As Anna says, ultimately, your community is built within the comments section.

Find out more about building an employee brand ambassador program. 

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About Tribal Impact

Tribal Impact is a B2B Social Selling and Employee Branding Agency.

We're a team of social media strategists, trainers, coaches, content creators and data analysts who are passionate about helping our B2B customers develop and scale their social selling and employee advocacy programs.

Learn more about us here.

Published by Tribal Impact March 28, 2023