Employee Advocacy has become more than just a buzz word. Time and again, the numbers show just how beneficial a well-designed Employee Advocacy program can be. Don’t believe us? Here are our favorite 10 Employee Advocacy statistics that prove its impact.
Two of the most frequent questions we come across from companies looking to expand their online reach: What is Employee Advocacy, and does it actually work? Companies wonder if it’s worth the investment and time, and what positive results might actually look like. We’ll answer both of these questions and more below, but to begin with: yes, Employee Advocacy is extremely effective!
In this article you will learn:
1. What is Employee Advocacy
2. Why EA is important
3. How do you measure Employee Advocacy
4. How Sociabble can help
What is Employee Advocacy?
At its root, Employee Advocacy is simple: it’s when a company harnesses the enthusiasm and authenticity of its own employees to spread their perceptions of the brand across their own social networks. Ways to facilitate this can involve providing a digital platform, offering ready-made content to share, and rewarding the sharing of that content with recognition and prizes. For example, a company launching a new product might provide its employees with graphics and demonstrations of the product to share on Twitter, and offer a special prize for the employee who receives the most retweets.
Specifically, Employee Advocacy is effective because it:
• Allows you to combine the aggregation of brand, third-party, and employee-generated content
• Helps your employees to position themselves effectively on social media
• Most consumers trust their online peers more than brands today
• Builds trust: employees speak for themselves, so it creates a positive impression
• Enables employees to become thought leaders by sharing interesting content, making insightful contributions to online discussions, and forming opinions on relevant subjects
• Plays an important part of any company’s employee branding strategy: when employees talk about the company on social media, it increases positive brand awareness online
Why EA is important: 10 Employee Advocacy statistics
Now that we know what Employee Advocacy is, it’s time to take a look at statistics that show how it can actually make a tangible difference for companies that use it.
1. 84% of consumers’ value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising – additionally, 77% of consumers are likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust.
The basic principles of Employee Advocacy are fairly straightforward: people trust in personal connections. This means that they are far more likely to trust those they know, over those they do not. While your brand may be recognized, it is unlikely that it will attain the same level of credibility that is generated from personal connections. Your employees are already connected online to hundreds and even thousands of people. It’s also been found that 20-50% of purchasing decisions are made through peer-to-peer marketing. Tapping into these pre-established relationships will help you win credibility and grow your reach.
2. Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads.
Getting leads is only part of the sales battle, a much larger issue is converting these leads into deals. As Employee Advocacy helps you establish a trust base before the sales process even begins, your leads are more likely to be primed and ready for conversion.
3. Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
Engagement is king. You can produce amazing content, at dizzying speeds, and pour money into its promotion, but it will all be for nothing if your audience doesn’t engage with it. Content that is shared by your employees, rather than your brand voice, has greater impact as it seems to come from real people. Its impact spreads with the credibility and voice of your employees. Consumers feel more comfortable interacting with content that feels more personal; so, having your employees speak for you humanizes your voice.
4. 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people
How people view your brand is largely based on the interactions your consumers have with your employees, and those who represent your brand. Arming your employees with relevant and interesting content helps them develop a personal brand; and by extension helps to develop your employer brand. Help shape your brand identity by giving your employees the tools they need to position themselves as trusted experts in their field.
5. Sales representatives using social media outsell 78% of their peers.
Social media has incredible power. Helping enable your sales force to tap into their incredible potential reach can pay dividends when it comes to your bottom line.
Even advocates themselves can see the tremendous impact of social media, making them willing and ready to jump in and start. The Aberdeen Group also found that 44.5% of respondents felt more likely to apply for a job if someone they knew shared the information on social media; and LinkedIn’s results show that companies with employees sharing their brand’s content causes an increase in views for their job openings. Enabling your employees with a voice allows them to create new revenue streams, reach out to new prospects, and develop your business.
7. 79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility once implementing a formal Employee Advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition.
Think about it this way:
If you have 100 Employee Advocates, and each has a social network of 500 people, 10 shares a month can hold the equivalent to 500,000 potential audience touch-points, generating an incredible amount of reach and visibility with resources that are already at your disposal.
8. Messages shared by employees went 561% further than the same messages shared on brand owned channels.
It’s simple. Your employees have more trust, and greater potential reach. LinkedIn also reports that employees have about 10 times more connections than the company that they work for. This leads to more interaction and greater engagement than what you receive on brand channels. With continual decline in visibility for brands across social media, employee advocacy offers a simple and built-in solution for effective brand communication.
9. 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50 percent are already posting about their company.
As it is, your employees are already on social media, and half of them are already sharing about your company. Initiating an Employee Advocacy program ensures that what your employees are saying is reflecting your true brand image; which allows you the chance to tap into a resource that is already in place.
10. Employees of socially engaged companies are more likely to stay at their company, feel optimistic about their company’s future and believe their company is more competitive.
Employees who feel optimistic about their company, and are engaged at work are more likely to stay with their company. Being able to believe in the future of your work is a powerful motivator that can reduce turnover, and ultimately help build your bottom line.
Numbers don’t lie; there are countless other statistics that demonstrate just how powerful Employee Advocacy truly is, and the impact it can have. Employee Advocacy is one of the greatest marketing resources available today – not to mention it’s usually 1/10th the cost of paid advertising. The only question is, are you ready to tap into the incredible potential of your employees?
How do you measure Employee Advocacy?
A major challenge companies run into, is that they aren’t sure how to measure the effectiveness of their EA program. How do they determine the ROI? What tangible results can they see, to know that it’s working? Well…
First: Have an EA tool to share content & measure its impact
Having a tool for your EA program helps you to create shareable content and then observe results. A platform like Sociabble, for example, will be useful for the creation of posts by your ambassadors/employees, and the management of your EA program thanks to:
• the power to easily create content, easily share content, and communicate with people no matter where they are in the world
• an intuitive and visually appealing UX
• the ability to create targeted channels for your different types of ambassadors and custom newsletters, push notifications that work across mobile devices (this is especially important given mobile use nowadays)
• A translation feature that will adapt to the language of your ambassadors if they are located in different areas
• CSM support with launch assistance, which can make a huge difference in adoption
Second: Measure the performance of your EA program via analytics
Analytics allow you to see what works and what is generating shares and engagement. Your digital EA tool should come with comprehensive analytics, that allow you to measure the effectiveness of your program. With Sociabble, you’ll be able to:
• Know what types of content are the most engaging, thanks to number of shares, likes, comments and so on
• Know how your ambassadors react to certain incentives (badges, challenges, etc.) and adapt your ambassadors’ motivation actions
• Measure the impact on your brand’s overall reach. Thanks to website page consultation, leads, and increase in followers on social media, for example.
• Have an equivalent paid media feature (Sociabble offers this as part of its analytics dashboard) which allows you to see the amount of money saved through EA, versus the comparable paid media spend for the same amount of online exposure (helps to maximize ROI).
Ways Sociabble can help
Sociabble offers a cutting-edge Employee Communication and Advocacy platform, but it comes backed up with expert consulting, launch assistance, training, and CSM support. We’ve already helped industry leaders like Coca-Cola CCEP, Primark, and L’Occitane perfect their communications and advocacy, and we’re always happy to chat.
Want to learn more about how to set up an effective Employee Advocacy and engagement initiative? Drop us a line to schedule a personalized demo today!