In an all-digital age, being able to effectively connect with your customers through social media marketing is imperative. And yet, it isn’t enough for businesses to simply have a social presence. Audience engagement is essential – and that’s where many brands struggle.

However, many businesses also overlook a secret weapon at their disposal when it comes to social media engagement. There may be a group of people – who might also be your biggest fans – that you are underutilizing as an asset in your social strategy: your employees.  

Most people trust recommendations by friends or colleagues rather than promises from billboards. Advocacy marketing is an opportunity for companies to take advantage of that fact by making customers or employees brand advocates.

According to research by Inc. an employee advocacy program can result in 5x growth in web traffic and generate 25% more leads. Despite this great outlook, not many companies have an established strategy on how to activate these external communications through social media. 

It is estimated that there will be around 4.41 billion users on social networks around the globe in 2025. The majority of these people are somewhat socially savvy and have built up decently-sized audiences of their own. However, getting employees to engage with your company’s posts remains a challenge for many brands. But it is a goal that every brand should be pursuing

With this in mind, let’s dig deeper into what an employee advocacy program is, why you need it and how you can get started with one at your organization.

What is an Employee Advocacy Program?

An employee-led social advocacy program has the power to amplify your social marketing efforts by enlisting the support of your entire organization. You can empower your employees to be a champion of your brand and become thought leaders within their own social networks by calling on them to share relevant and insightful posts that are pre-written by your marketing team.

Why Do I Need it in My Social Strategy?

An employee advocacy program not only engages your employees with your marketing efforts, but also amplifies the social reach of your organization beyond its direct followers. Here are the top five reasons why you need to add an employee advocacy program to your social strategy:

  1. Increase your reach. Reaching as many people as possible through your employee network means more brand awareness. This increased awareness also comes with a higher level of trust because your advocates act as influencers in their network and have endorsed your company by sharing content on your behalf.
  2. Increase your leads. A wider reach garners more leads, which means more opportunities and also more business won. At the end of the day, understanding and implementing a social strategy that contributes to your bottom line is not only beneficial, but necessary.
  3. Raise employee awareness. You can enable your employees to become brand ambassadors by sharing and learning from company content. Creating more engaged employees who are in tune with your company’s content will motivate them to help achieve your company’s objectives.
  4. Become a credible voice. Providing your audience with valuable, accurate information on a consistent basis earns you credibility. Your customers will trust you and feel like you have given them something of value, making them more likely to choose your business over a competitor.
  5. Attract high-quality talent. Your employees are influencers – if they are happy in the workplace and sharing news about your brand, it demonstrates that your company is a good place to work. These endorsements won’t go unnoticed within your industry and your employee brand ambassadors can assist in attracting new talent to your organization.

The time is now for business leaders at all levels to create a culture where employee advocacy can flourish and their organization can start engaging its greatest asset — people.