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Are Your Employees Your Biggest Advocates?

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Are Your Employees Your Biggest Advocates?

Written by: Jessica Rutkowski

Employee advocacy is happening everyday, on every social platform, whether your company realizes it or not. 
 

Your employees are sharing details with their networks on everything from long, tedious meetings to petty office drama.

But if you’re lucky, they’re praising the company and its leadership for its encouragement and progressive views (like this woman who tweeted an email from her boss).

Taking full advantage of this naturally occurring trend is a great way to harness positive promotion for your company, attract new talent, and even generate sales. However, a complete understanding of how employee advocacy works is essential for success.

What Can Employee Advocacy Do?
 

In today’s digital age, where our lives and businesses are constantly under the microscope, authenticity is more important than ever. 

Customers want to buy from likable companies and potential employees want to know what it’s like to work somewhere, beyond viewing the company culture page on its website. Furthermore, they all want to get this information from peers, not the HR manager or CEO. 

By allowing employees to post on behalf of the company, it shows a level of transparency and authenticity within the company culture.

Employee advocacy can also help extend organic reach, which, thanks to news feed algorithms, is no easy task. Together, your employees can reach more people and spread the wealth by sharing news, events, thoughts, and content. This will undoubtedly surpass the reach of just the company’s individual page.

Are Your Employees Equipped to Promote Your Company?
 

Understanding how employee advocacy can fit into your business requires planning and organization. Yes, it should be natural and organic, but if you want more of your employees to be engaged and become advocates for the the company, you need to set them up for success.

In order to encourage employees and help them to feel comfortable speaking out for your company, they need three things from management:

  1. Goals
  2. Internal Communication
  3. Positive Company Culture
     

Let’s dive deeper, shall we?

Goals

Why do you want your employees to advocate for you? What do you want them to say? Are your trying to promote a healthy, energetic company culture? Do you want to encourage more people to apply for jobs? Or do you want people to buy a product or service?

The goals you set for employee advocacy should be clearly defined. Determine what you want to achieve and what will determine success. They should also match your current business goals, whether they be awareness, sales, recruitment, etc.

Internal Communication

Once goals are defined, they need to be clearly communicated to your employees. Otherwise they’ll be posting to social with no real purpose or consistency. Creating an internal mission statement is one easy way to communicate what you aim to achieve through employee advocacy.

You should also make it easy for employees to share news, events, and other content from the company by directly sending assets to them. If you give them a new blog post, video, or image, they will be more likely to share it than if you just tell them that there’s content in a folder somewhere.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Targeting Millennials is a Mistake

Positive Company Culture

Your employees will not advocate for you if they are unhappy.

Let me repeat that.

Your employees will not advocate for you if they are unhappy. 

Creating a positive company culture is so important for every aspect of a business, not just from an advocacy standpoint. A positive company culture = happy employees. Happy employees = productivity, loyalty, engagement, and, you guessed it, advocacy.

Company culture comes from the bottom up and the top down. It’s crucial that the leadership team create an environment for their employees to speak freely, suggest ideas, and be themselves. And it’s crucial that employees share their honest opinions in order for the business to grow.

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