The Power of Employee Social Media Advocacy For Your Business
Have you unleashed the power of your employees as brand advocates on social media?
If not, you’re missing out on higher trust, further reach, and valuable word-of-mouth marketing for your small business.
How often do your employees share things about work online?
If you don’t know, you may want to find out. If you discover the answer is not much or not at all, then it may be time to consider implementing a social media advocacy program. It could be a powerful tool for your business.
In a world where likes, shares, and viral posts can sometimes determine the success of a business, harnessing the power of employee social media advocacy has become a strategy too important to ignore.
Think about it, as a small business owner, when your employees share your brand’s content, they’re not just expanding your reach. They’re lending their voice and trust to your business. That’s a level of endorsement that money can’t buy, but a smart digital marketing strategy can certainly harness. Let’s dive into how this can amplify your business’s online presence and ultimately, your sales.
Consider this: social media is a bustling marketplace where every interaction counts—especially those that come from genuine, personal accounts. For small to mid-sized businesses, the importance of being present and active on these platforms can’t be overstated.
Your potential customers are there, with a staggering 30% being less likely to engage with businesses that lack a social media footprint. Women, who make up a significant portion of the consumer market, find consistent posting on platforms like Facebook incredibly effective, with 47% citing it as a key factor in their decisions.
When your employees actively share positive brand content on their personal networks, it sparks a ripple effect that exposes your business to new demographics and drives tangible results. In fact, employee social posts see 25% higher click-through rates and convert at 2x the rate of brand-shared content.
Here’s where the collective power of your employees can make a real difference. When they advocate for your business on their personal social channels, they exponentially increase your content’s reach. Not only do they have the potential to attract new customers, but they can also help retain existing ones by reinforcing your brand’s message through their own networks.
If you consider that the typical Facebook post reaches somewhere around 6% or less of your fans, every business needs ways to increase the number of people who see their content. That’s where creating a system of employee social media advocacy can really boost the exposure your business gets.
If you’re running a business today, you’re probably aware of the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) services in getting your brand noticed online. SEO agency strategies often focus on optimizing your website and content for search engines, but employee advocacy on social media can complement these efforts beautifully. By consistently sharing and engaging with your business’s content, your employees help to build a web of relevance and authenticity around your brand that search engines value highly.
Tips For Implementing A Program Of Social Media Advocacy
How do you encourage your employees to become brand advocates on social media without it feeling forced or inauthentic? Here are some helpful tips:
Foster a Company Culture of Shared Success
Empower your employees by making them feel part of the brand’s journey. Celebrate wins together and acknowledge their contributions, which can motivate them to spread the word about the amazing work your business is doing.
Make advocacy part of your culture. Highlight social sharing at meetings, provide sample posts for staff to use, and gamify engagement with monthly leaderboards.
Provide Valuable Content to Share
Create content that your employees are proud to share. Whether it’s an insightful blog post, a case study, or even behind-the-scenes footage, give them content that resonates with their professional and personal networks- especially their potential customers
Arm employees with shareable content. Produce posts and visuals specifically designed to resonate with your employees’ followers. Infographics, listicles, and behind-the-scenes photos tend to drive the highest engagement.
Offer Training and Resources
Not everyone is a social media savant, and that’s okay. Provide your team with best practices for posting on social media and make sure they understand the dos and don’ts. After that, it’s about trusting your people to do the right thing.
Set clear social media guidelines. Define what is and isn’t ok for employees to post about regarding your business. Also provide guidelines around frequency, visual branding rules, legal compliance, etc.
By providing “guard rails” for behavior on social media, you can help protect your company. You don’t want to risk any missteps that could damage your brand’s reputation.
Incentivize and Recognize
Implementing a system to reward those who actively engage in social media advocacy can help. Also, publicly acknowledging their efforts can reinforce their actions and inspire others to follow suit.
Incentivize and reward top advocates. Consider providing small rewards or recognition for top-performing employee influencers. Shoutouts in company meetings or gift cards are popular options.
Other Factors To Consider
Let’s not forget about the power of web design in this equation as well. A seamless, user-friendly website is the cornerstone of your digital presence. When your employees share links to your site, you want to make sure it’s optimized to convert leads into customers.
You’d be amazed at how often we hear people saying, “I never send people to our company’s website because…..it’s awful!” Every business needs a culture where it’s safe to say that the website needs improvements.
Working with a digital marketing agency that understands the nuances of employee advocacy as part of broader online marketing efforts can be transformative for your business. They can help you strategize and implement a comprehensive plan that includes SEO, social media, and web design to ensure that every touchpoint with potential clients reflects your brand’s excellence.
Let’s be clear, personal recommendations are prized, and trust in brands is hard-earned, leveraging social media advocacy among your employees can give your business the edge it needs to thrive in the marketplace. Harnessing the collective power of your team’s networks can help personalize your brand and broaden its appeal—a strategy that’s not just smart, but essential for growth in today’s hyper-connected world. So encourage your team, provide them with the resources they need, and watch as your business grows on the digital stage, one share at a time.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.