This blog post is part of a series focusing on employee advocacy and how businesses overcome challenges in implementing a program. In this guest blog post, Glenn Gaudet, CEO of GaggleAmp, an employee advocacy vendor that partners with Voce Communications, shares his insights.
Whenever I speak with CMOs and marketing professionals about their content marketing strategies through social media marketing, I hear the same perceptions and questions:
- People are already bombarded with thousands of messages each day on the Internet.
- Why would anybody care what we have to say?
- People are too busy working to spend time writing clever tweets and posts on their social media accounts.
- How can we engage with more customers and on a more personal level?
Here’s the question you should be thinking about: How can my company rise above all the noise surrounding digital marketing to gain the attention and create real engagement with our audience?
The answer may not be as difficult as you think. Look internally, with employee advocacy. If you haven’t heard the term before, here’s a simple definition: Employee advocacy & engagement involves motivating and making it easy for employees to participate in your organization’s digital marketing efforts by performing activities and sharing great content with their personal social networks.
Your employees are a valuable resource and your biggest marketing asset. Employees invested in the company brand bring a passionate and authentic voice to social media that followers trust and respond to with amazing results. Consider these facts:
- Employee social sharing can produce eight times more interaction than content shared by your brand alone, and it can be re-shared as much as 25 times more frequently.
- A study conducted in 60 countries found that 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust brands. Individuals—even when they are employees—are thought to be more believable than the company they work for. And, an employee advocate is trusted twice as much as the company CEO.
- Your employees’ reach on social media is as much as 561% higher than your corporate reach, and leads developed from employee social media efforts are seven times more likely to convert to clients.
- Ninety-two percent of employees’ Twitter followers are new to the brand. Businesses can reach new customers in untapped social media networks with a wide-reaching, collective employee footprint.
To extend your market presence, who better than your own employees (who are truly invested) to lift your company’s digital efforts? Most already have established networks teeming with, friends, prospects and customers who trust their endorsements, especially when it comes to the company they work for.
Let your staff speak openly about your brand, and you will increase your circle of inner and outer fans and followers.
Employee advocacy allows you to compensate for an increasingly difficult organic tactics. In an effort to generate advertising revenue, many social networks made huge algorithm changes in order to throttle organic reach. Consumer and enterprise brands worldwide suffered as they watched engagement fall, month over month. One of our clients realized they needed a new strategy as their social impression figures continued to dwindle. My team and I were able to help them turn things around and achieve the following results:
- One million impressions were reached in just 48 hours when employees shared branded content from an event
- 150 engineers joined and started engaging with content just two days after rollout
- Over 700 global employees were activated as of 2016. That was over 20% of the company.
While our client was excited about the outcome, the results are not isolated to just them. We’ve found that when social sharing and engagement is as simple as a click of a mouse, employees do it. When an employee advocacy and engagement solution is simple and intuitive, very little enablement is needed for adoption. As a result, employees eagerly embrace the tool and spread the word internally about it.
As a side benefit, when our client empowered their people, they saw more involvement from HR, R&D, Sales and Finance departments as they actively contribute to the corporate marketing effort.
By allowing internal brand champions to easily share their expertise, they have been able to increase employee morale while reaching a broader global audience.
I call that a “good news” story.
Still not convinced employees are one of the most valuable marketing assets a business can have? Dale Carnegie reported companies with engaged employees outperform disengaged ones by up to 202%. When you use an employee advocacy and engagement solution, everything your team needs is at their fingertips. With a steady stream of activities and content employees are empowered to be engaged digitally. They now know what to do and how to be successful on behalf of the company and themselves.
Employee advocacy and engagement programs are a perfect way to boost employee participation while driving tangible marketing results in the upcoming year. They will foster better employee-company relationships as well as expand company-client relationships. If you’re not utilizing your employees as a part of an overall marketing strategy you are allowing your company digital marketing efforts to get lost in the noise.
About the Author
Glenn Gaudet, President & Founder, GaggleAMP
Glenn Gaudet is the President & Founder of GaggleAMP. Glenn brings over 25 years of comprehensive experience in both strategic and product marketing for technology and media companies ranging from startups to billions in sales. Prior to GaggleAMP, Gaudet was the Chief Marketing Officer at two different companies including Pulvermedia, an integrated media company specialized in the voice and video industries.