Why Employee Advocacy Can’t Wait

March 2, 2017

Guy working on laptop

Does your organization need to extend its reach and connect with a buyer base that increasingly seeks peer recommendations? If so, then you need a formal employee advocacy program to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Your employees are often connected with professionals in your organization’s sweet spot. An employee advocacy program helps harness your socially engaged employee base to reach this relevant – and already engaged – audience. And that translates into better results across marketing, sales and even talent acquisition. Here’s why employee advocacy can’t wait for your organization.

Your Employees Are Already Sharing

According to the most recent research, 78% of the U.S. population has a social media presence. In other words, at least two-thirds of your employees have profiles, followers, and connections across social media. These connections come from sharing compelling content and building trust with their audience.

Your employees know how to engage on social media. Odds are they’re already posting about the company in an informal way.  You can build on the work they’re already doing with a strategic employee advocacy program.

Through this program, you enable your employees to more easily share relevant content with their networks – in other words, with the audience you’re trying to reach and influence. You’re simply equipping employees to better do what they’re already doing.

It Dramatically Expands Content Reach

With an employee advocacy program, the reach and impact of your message scales significantly. Only 8% of most employees’ social networks overlap with their company’s social networks, and the on average employees collectively have ten times more connections than the company brand does.

When employees share information on social media, their posts go 561% farther than corporate posts. Brand messages distributed by employees are re-shared 24 times more often than if they come straight from the brand.

In addition to increased reach, employee-shared messages are seen as more authentic than company shares. This authenticity helps brand messages cut through the noise of advertising and irrelevant posts.

People are also more likely to engage with content when it comes from someone they know. Employee shares typically see a click-through rate 2 times higher than when their company shares the same content.

You’ll Stay Ahead of Competitors

Employee advocacy gets results for businesses and employees alike. So it’s no surprise that interest in it has grown nearly 200% in the past three years, making it a “top external objective.” That means your company’s competitors are likely already tapping into the power of employee advocacy – or planning to do so. Formalizing your own employee advocacy program can give your company an edge in extending its brand awareness and winning new business.

The Results Are Real and Measurable

By empowering employees to be advocates, companies can enhance their reputation, reach more potential buyers, and attract top talent. In fact, organizations that are socially engaged are 40% more likely to be seen as competitive, 57% more likely to increase sales leads, and 58% more likely to bring in top talent. Not only that, they are 20% more likely to retain that talent.

Many are familiar with the concept of advocacy from a customer perspective. More companies are calling upon their customers as advocates to engage like-minded professionals. Doing so fuels referrals and additional business. Similarly, employee advocacy can boost brand awareness and perception, pave the way for more productive sales interactions, and position the company as an employer of choice.

If your organization has been waiting to dip a toe into employee advocacy, it’s time to take action. Your employees are already sharing—make their sharing organized, purposeful and efficient. Your competitors know that employee advocacy expands content reach and leads to real, measurable results. Take the lead in your industry with a sustainable, strategic program designed to achieve business goals.

LinkedIn Elevate is the smarter employee advocacy solution that leverages LinkedIn data to maximize program success. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.