With more and more business activity (both discussions and decisions) taking place on social media, all departments – not just community managers and marketers – need to be engaged in order to reach overall aims and objectives.
The key implication of this is that the daily use of social networks as a business tool needs to be something that is not only actively encouraged, but also embedded in a company’s culture and workflow. Social media communication must be embraced by senior management, and spread in such a way that all employees recognize the benefits – for them as well as the organization – , are trained in best practices, and as such have the confidence and know-how to make social media an important part of what they do.
The Impact of Employee Advocacy on Online Reputation and Business Objectives
As far as audiences are concerned, social networks act as a window into a company; a window that is all the more pertinent because as well as official communication, it allows audiences to see what is being said about that company by customers, partners, influencers and, of course, employees. When employees communicate about their company on social media, it can have a significant impact on the brand’s online reputation, as well as the achievement of key business objectives.
These objectives include lead generation (employees communicate with their own connections who, in turn, are more receptive to the information being shared), recruitment (employees who communicate positively about their employer indicate that the company is worth working for) and client retention (by encouraging employees to communicate directly with clients on social media, a stronger relationship is formed).
Social media is where an increasing amount of business conversations take place. However, social media audiences value user recommendations over official brand communication. So while being present on social media is essential for companies moving forward, so too is engaging employees (and other brand advocates) in online communication activity. The conversations employees get involved in – and the insights they provide – reflect well not only on themselves, but also on the company as a whole.