Employee Advocacy ~ 23 min

A New Employee Advocacy Definition: The Ultimate Guide

Employee advocacy definition : What is employee advocacy and how can a structured program help you achieve good results in your business?
Marketing Team, Experts in Employee Advocacy, Sociabble
Marketing Team Experts in Employee Advocacy

With the recent health crisis, online marketing is changing, and understanding the notion of employee advocacy is obviously crucial for any company. What is employee advocacy and how can a structured program help you achieve good results in your business? These are the topics we will cover in this guide.

It’s 2022, and the term “employee advocacy” is used now more than ever when it comes to online marketing strategies.  And the numbers prove the impact of employee advocacy.

After two years of dealing with the health crisis, and with so many employees working from home and marketing budgets being drastically cut, finding ways to encourage the workforce to use their social media presence to promote brand awareness and company insights is absolutely crucial.

As noted in Forbes, studies have shown social media engagement has increased by 61% since the crisis began. Employee advocacy is an obvious solution. 

employee advocacy

But it’s not always clear what exactly the employee advocacy definition is — let alone how to get an initiative like that off the ground. At Sociabble, we understand these questions, and we have the answers.

We’ve worked with companies in over 180 countries all over the world to launch effective employee advocacy programs, including brands like SNCF, Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, Renault Group, and BNP. Because we know how much uncertainty exists when it comes to the term, we thought it might prove helpful to create a concise employee advocacy guide. In fact, we’ve refreshed our earlier guide with our updated vision for the year ahead.

Below, you can learn more about the importance of employee advocacy, as well as how to plan and launch a program of your own.  If you already have an employee advocacy program in place, you can also discover our white paper about boosting your employee advocacy program in a changing world. 

1. What is Employee Advocacy?

So what exactly is the employee advocacy definition? It’s no secret that employees are the most crucial resource at any given company. But what is often overlooked is that they can also be a brand’s most powerful ambassadors.

Simply by using their own enthusiasm and influence to spread awareness across their social networks.  “Employee advocacy” has been a hot topic as of late, and with good reason—it’s seen as an essential part of any marketing platform in the digital era.

But what is it, exactly? What is the employee advocacy definition?  Essentially, employee advocacy is what happens when employees use their own social networks or other information channels to promote their company.

By sharing the right content, liking updates, and even creating company-related content of their own, they spread positive brand awareness and become online ambassadors of the brand. Because this word-of-mouth publicity is more authentic and organic, potential consumers tend to trust it more.

After all, wouldn’t you trust a friend’s recommendation far more than an advertisement you saw online?  And then there’s also the question of reach. The nature of social media means that even a relatively small number of online supporters can result in a tremendous amount of reach. And if you get a substantial percentage of your workforce on board, the possibilities are endless.

For example: if your company has 100 employee advocates with a social network of 500 people, with just 10 shares a month, you’ve already created 500,000 touchpoints. That potential for reach is why employee advocacy can be so effective, even if you start out relatively small. A little employee advocacy can go a long way.

To summarize :

exemple of what is employee advocacy

2. Why is Employee Advocacy Important

We’ve covered the employee advocacy definition, but the question remains, why does it matter? Well, as Jules Schroeder explains in Forbes, “the content you share represents who you are and what you stand for – it is your digital footprint.”

The advantage of an employee advocacy program is that it allows you to combine the aggregation of brand, third-party, and employee-generated content with the provision of dedicated training. Ultimately helping your employees to position themselves effectively on social media. 

The content you share represents who you are and what you stand for – it is your digital footprint.

Why does this matter? Because today, most consumers trust their online peers more than brands. And as stated by a recent article published in the Harvard Business Review, a key component of brand credibility is employee advocacy.

One study found that only 19% of employees feel that their work experience is matched by how their companies promote themselves publicly. And only 12% of employees put a lot of trust in what companies say about themselves (webershandwick.com).

Those are hard numbers to go up against. The best way to build trust in this landscape, though, is by letting your own employees speak for themselves. To use their own voices to create a positive impression as thought leaders. This is why it is so important that employees do not simply share content, but create it themselves.

The right employee advocacy strategy will encourage employees to actively engage in content creation.

Why engage in Thought Leadership activity?

Developing a professional presence on social media is a mark of confidence, as well as a sign of someone whose work is enjoyable and engaging. It’s also a great way of interacting with new and existing professional connections who may provide gateways to new opportunities.

Furthermore, thought leadership applies to all industries. It can be a software developer sharing a report on big data, or an architect blogging about ambitious projects. It’s truly universal. And it’s good for business.

92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are known as industry thought leaders. And over 76% of buyers in general feel ready to have a social media conversation. Overall, sales reps with high SSI scores have 45% more sales opportunities, are 51% more likely to hit quotas, and are 78% more likely to outsell their peers who don’t use social media at all (business.linkedin.com).

The numbers are hard to argue with: being a thought leader is a huge boost.

Sharing interesting content, making insightful contributions to online discussions, and forming opinions on relevant subjects are central to thought leadership. What’s stopping many individuals from doing so is limited access to relevant content. Or they are not actively encouraged to do so by their employer. In many cases, both are true.

An employee advocacy platform provides the ideal environment in which to foster thought leadership activity among employees.