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Culture Insight September 9, 2020

Employee Advocacy: What It Is and How to Do It Right

 

employee advocacyWhen someone advocates for your brand or business, they extend the reach of your message by sharing it with their network. With employee advocacy, employees are the ones doing the advocating.

 What is employee advocacy?

Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its workforce. This could mean that employees share information about specific products or campaigns. Or, it can mean that employees share the company culture online. This can help boost brand reputation and make recruitment easier.

Employee advocacy can take many forms, from community networking and word of mouth to sharing company content on social media. The most common channel of employee advocacy is social media. Your employees already have social media profiles. They may even be on some platforms where your brand doesn’t have a presence. And they definitely have followers whom you don’t. In fact, LinkedIn found that the employees of a company tend to have 10 times more followers than the company itself. Plus, they may already be sharing business content on their personal channels – especially if they’re passionate about their work or like to share news about their colleagues’ promotions and achievements.

When employee advocacy is done right, it’s not just the company that benefits – employees get something out of it, too. They can both enhance their credibility and position themselves as industry experts.

How is employee advocacy done right?

There are many reasons why employers struggle to get their employees to engage with their company social media accounts. One of the most common reasons for lack of engagement is that employees view social media as their personal space – they enjoy keeping personal accounts separate from work. Yet, there are numerous ways to encourage authentic employee advocacy. Below are a few with which we’ve experienced success.

Establish a strong workplace culture

Employee advocacy and engagement starts with a strong company culture. Employee engagement may sound like some corporate-speak buzzword, but it’s vital to your success. Simply put, employee engagement is the level of commitment and passion your employees have for both your company and the work they do every day. At inferno, our mission statement fuels our team forward every day. It’s a collective message every employee can get behind and use in their day-to-day work.

“To passionately dedicate ourselves to the success of our clients, who empower us to make a difference.”

Additionally, in everything we do, from helping clients succeed to serving our community, we strive to follow our four core values:

  1. Demand Excellence
  2. Care Passionately
  3. Give Respect
  4. Be Accountable

Having core values not only gives current employees guiding principles for how they should do business and treat one another, but it also shows prospective employees what your workplace culture is like and tells them what to expect when they show up for an interview.

Share a peek behind the scenes.

Some of the most engaging social media posts are the ones that share an organic look behind the scenes. And this is the content your workforce is most likely to re-share. Job seekers say current employees are the most trusted source of information about a company. They also rank social and professional networks as the most important resources in their job search. A few ways you can motivate your workforce to engage with your content include:

Employee spotlights.

  • When we started working with Memphis law firm Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, PLLC, we wanted to show the faces behind the business. Our team launched an employee spotlight campaign that recognizes each attorney’s area of expertise, professional accomplishments, and what they do outside of the courtroom. Not only does the attorney receive recognition and feel valued by the company, but it’s an opportunity for Harris Shelton to showcase their service offerings. Employee spotlights result in natural re-shares and spread your business’ name organically.

Company outings.

  • Sharing behind the scenes looks at your holiday parties, mid-year meetings, and company anniversaries are great ways to garner employee engagement and advocacy. Everyone wants to show their network that they work for a fun and tight-knit company. And prospective employees want to know that you work hard but also make time for leisure.

Milestones and achievements.

  • Share your company’s awards and accolades. Employees love to share these types of accomplishments on their LinkedIn profiles. It’s a good way to show local competition how you’re succeeding, and it shows prospective employees and clients that you do good work.

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for employee advocacy and engagement, but there’s a wide range of options you can consider to get your employees more involved. Contact inferno to discuss creating an employee engagement strategy that effectively promotes your business, improves employee retention, and welcomes new employees and clients.