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Improve social media influence through employee advocacy

by | Oct 14, 2015 | Social Media

It’s no secret that social media is a necessary part of any brand’s marketing strategy today. Given the explosion of social media in recent years, brands that treat social as an afterthought are missing out on an opportunity to engage with the right audience worldwide. However, while a truly engaged audience is the ultimate marketing goal for most brands, some have difficulty finding the right audiences and interacting with them in a meaningful way.

The number of users across all social channels has reached more than six billion globally, and today’s consumers are becoming increasingly numb to overly promotional, branded content. As brands seek new ways to form relationships with consumers on social media, the savvier ones have turned to a valuable resource that is often overlooked: their own employees. By empowering your employees to speak publicly about your brand you can expand your business’ reach and influence across social media channels.

When paired with traditional digital marketing tactics like email, display advertising, content development and PR, employee advocacy programs can extend the reach of your campaigns and create meaningful relationships with key audiences for your company. More specifically, brands that successfully motivate employees to share branded content on social media are likely to see to the following benefits to their social marketing efforts:

Amplified reach of branded content

Your employees have an average of 846 connections on social media1, meaning that one post from each employee has the potential to reach hundreds of consumers. One of the biggest challenges brands face on social is expanding their audiences. Given the number of people using social media, it can be difficult for brands to find and interact with the right consumers. Employees have personal connections with hundreds of consumers at their fingertips, making it easy and organic for them to spread content and brand messages quickly. To streamline these efforts, brands can use an employee advocacy platform which makes the curation and distribution of content easy for the company and its employees.

Improved word-of-mouth marketing

Consumers generally trust recommendations from people they know more so than they do from brands. In fact, according to Nielsen, 84% of people worldwide said that recommendations from people they know are more effective than branded advertising. So when your employees post content about a relevant topic or even directly sell your brand, consumers are likely to find it more genuine.

However, this doesn’t mean you can skimp on your own branded efforts. Employee advocacy is an excellent word of mouth marketing tactic when it complements your traditional digital marketing and branded social media outreach.

Enhanced industry reputation 

Cultivating a position as an expert in your industry makes your brand reputable and trustworthy, but it’s difficult to do this on your own. Employee advocacy shouldn’t always involve content that directly sells the brand. The most successful programs involve a mix of thought leadership and branded content. Employees are encouraged to read and share posts on relevant industry topics to spark social conversations with peers. Not only does this practice help educate your employees about your brand’s space, but it demonstrates that your company and its team are experts on relevant current events and industry news.

The benefits of social media marketing are clear, but companies that rely on branded outreach alone fail to effectively leverage its potential. Reaching the right audiences with your brand’s message can be difficult, but with the right strategy and use of technology, employee advocacy programs can help expand your brand’s reach, execute word-of-mouth marketing and develop your reputation as an industry expert.

1 2015, Statista & DMR

Guest contributor Greg Tirico is Senior Manager of Advocacy Solutions and Services at Bambu by Sprout Social. He has spent the majority of his career leading digital marketing initiatives in Fortune 500 organizations. When not espousing the benefits of employee advocacy, he can be found searching for the perfect Pinot Noir. Find Greg on Twitter @GregTirico. Read the original article on BulldogReporter.com.

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