Your Employees: Your Secret Weapon for Sharing Great Content

Empowering employees to advocate for their companies while achieving their professional goals

April 9, 2015

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Penry Price's LinkedIn profile. Learn more about publishing long-form content to your own LinkedIn profile here.

It’s no secret that the way to professionals’ hearts is through powerful content. Content that inspires. Content that educates. Content that helps them shine at work. This is why content marketing as a practice has flourished in recent years.

Additionally, the newsfeed has simplified the way information is presented and has minimized the need to manually seek out information. It’s through this experience that consumers now learn about products and services that enhance both their personal and professional lives.

Unfortunately, creating brilliant, insightful material isn’t always enough to garner a sizable audience. Getting it to go viral is a little bit like producing a hit record -- there’s never a guarantee. Amplifying through social and native advertising is a good start, but, as my colleague Dan Roth noted in his recent post, there is another opportunity that chief marketers consistently miss out on. And that’s tapping into their employee base to broaden their content’s reach.

I realize that companies are taking a risk when they let down social media guardrails. It means relinquishing some degree of control to let employees comment and share freely. I also realize that this can be particularly challenging in highly regulated industries like financial services. The difficulties of ensuring consistent messaging and defining ROI are just a couple of the factors that give marketers pause.

However, I believe that great strides have been made in the last few years to define what is and isn’t the right way to engage on social media. This should be reassuring to marketers who are now considering bringing employees into their content efforts. The growth of LinkedIn is a testament to how professional content and thought leadership can be effectively – and safely – shared. More companies will start to see that empowering employees is a great exercise in freedom and responsibility that can bring a halo effect to their brand.

We’ve been piloting a new LinkedIn product designed to empower employees to share company-related content across their networks. So far we’ve seen positive results for both our members and customers.

But to be clear, social media guidelines for employees still need to be in place, and they will vary from one company to the next. The goal should be to educate employees on how to be effective advocates for their companies while achieving their professional goals.

I’ve seen a small number of visionary companies like Dell mobilizing their employees to drive content, but it’s not a broad-based effort yet. However, I think the momentum is building. When employee advocacy is done right, it can humanize your brand and spur lead generation -- the Holy Grail for any marketer I’ve ever known.

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