Why every company should have an employee advocacy strategy
In this article I explain, in simple terms, what ‘employee advocacy’ is and the benefits of a company adopting an employee advocacy programme on LinkedIn to grow their business.
What is employee advocacy?
Employee Advocacy is a system whereby the employees of a company proactively go out and promote the company..
LinkedIn is the ideal platform to establish an employee advocacy programme. Using their personal profiles, employees can talk about the company, their colleagues and the work they do. To read more about ‘What is Employee Advocacy?’, please take a look at my blog here.
Why should a company endorse a system of employee advocacy?
1. To support the work of the company page
Using a company page alone, community building is difficult. People buy from people. People would prefer to engage in conversation with individual employees than with an anonymous company page.
If used effectively, employee advocacy will help build relationships with potential clients and customers with a view to creating communities of loyal followers and fans.
Business is about developing relationships and communities. This simply cannot be done using a company page alone, it needs the personal touches of the people within the company.
2. To democratise communication and make it more accessible.
Those at the heart of the company are well placed to talk about the product or service at grass roots level. By using language which unenlightened members of the public use, employees can resonate much more closely with their audience.
When a company looks at the demographics of their customers, they may realise they match those of some of their employees. A 2019 report from the Edelman trust highlights that the most trusted voice from a company is a technical expert, and even the regular employee is more trustworthy than the CEO and Board of Directors. With stats like this, a company is doing itself a disservice by NOT engaging in an employee advocacy programme.
3. To encourage customer retention
Customer retention is key in business, it is much cheaper to retain a customer than to keep having to find new ones. An effective system of employee advocacy will help that process.
Customer loyalty is one of the most important KPI’s. It’s hard to overstate the value of customer retention for any organisation, as research shows that a modest 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits anywhere from 25% – 95% (Source: Harvard Business School). The cost of acquiring new customers far exceeds the cost of retaining existing customers. Investing in a programme of employee advocacy could save a company thousands in sales, marketing and onboarding costs.
4. Relationships aren’t just about business.
Employee advocacy is about sharing your stories, listening to others stories and finding other commonalities outside of business relationships. It is these relationships that build trust and ease of doing business with people.
By posting about their personal stories, and showing the side of them that isn’t just about business, employees are more likely to resonate with their audience and, in turn, build genuine relationships with them.
5. Familiarity builds trust.
Regularly popping up in other people’s feeds is a powerful way of building familiarity.
If your colleagues keep themselves hidden and quiet, they will drift to the back of peoples’ memories. By staying present in people’s feeds, commenting on posts, sending DM’s on a regular basis, employees will be front of mind when those people are ready and willing to buy what the company has to offer.
6. To spread the message further on LinkedIn
Studies have shown that we need to hear or read something 7 times before it sinks in (Source: Kruse Control Inc). With different members of the organisation as well as the company page talking about the same thing, more people are likely to come across that content in their feeds, and potentially some of those people may see the content more than once. Thus further embedding it into their minds.
With these 6 powerful reasons to set up and maintain a system of employee advocacy, it has to be worth exploring, don’t you think?
If you’d like to talk to me about how this system works, please feel free to comment below /complete the form below or connect with me on LinkedIn. This system works and I would love to help you get it started.