From the Influencers

Employees as Advocates and Cheerleaders

December 29, 2017

It is one thing to come aboard a new job and be referred to as a “team player,” but it is quite another to feel and see the contributions that you have made. A sense of community in the workplace makes employees feel empowered and appreciated, going onto spread positive messages about the employer. Metrics show several examples of how employees can share favorable messages regarding employers and companies.

Social media is a huge player in the workplace; 70 percent of people use social media at work as it is the new “word of mouth.” Around 48.5 percent of employees spend 15 minutes during work posting on social media while 19 percent spend over an hour. The messages shared on social media by employee advocates reach 561 percent further than a message shared by the brand alone. Again, it has to do with trusting the employee posting versus the faceless brand poster.

Do these programs work? More than 60 percent of businesses that have employee advocacy programs say these programs have directly brought in new business. As Andrew Caravella, VP of Strategy and Brand Engagement for Sprout Social, knows employee engagement is not something new. Prior to the internet and even now, employees outfitted in brand logos, were walking advertisements.

As Caravella views it, “Seeing your company’s logo when you walk through the community is nice, but it isn’t enough. People want to know what your company stands for and what it is accomplishing. Curated content about the positive things the company is doing is the next step in creating connection with potential employees and customers.”

Caravella encourages employees to share positive company stories, whatever way has the most reach. He has three ways that can help with employee advocacy. Make it easy by letting the team know that social media is okay, as long as it is positive; 20 percent aren’t sure if sharing is okay with their boss. Almost 16.4 percent don’t feel they have the time so take 10 minutes in the workday to share what you love about your company either on social media or in a quick email blast.

Make the messages feel natural. “The purpose of your Employee Advocacy initiative is to create authentic conversations and connections. Forced participation becomes evident over time, and it hurts more than helps.” Finally, and this goes without saying, allow social media at work. Obviously, employers will know if a staffer is abusing the privilege but make them aware that it is okay to take time to spread the positive word.

Does your company have an employee advocacy program in place? 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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