The value of an employee is more than the hard work they provide in generating revenue for your business. Their network can also be a huge boost in achieving your marketing goals by accessing it through employee advocacy. Although many organizations have social media followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, the voice of an employee actually outweighs the voice of a company because it’s a face they already trust. Many consumers follow the brands they love. however, word-of-mouth or a recommendation from a friend will always stand out more. To nurture employee advocacy, here are some incentives that companies can offer:
Social Advocacy Rewards
Social advocacy rewards are simple. Reward employees based on the number of impressions and shares they generate on a branded post. Companies can set up a tiered structure to entice employees to reach a certain number of likes, comments or shares.
- 100 unique shares: $20 gift card
- 50 unique shares: $10 gift card
- 25 unique shares: Free company swag
The number of incentives can be scaled to the size of the organization but creating tiered goals can push employees to go above and beyond.
Recognition goes a long way in life and in the workplace. Studies show that 72% of businesses stated that recognition of excellent performance impacted employee engagement. Similar to social advocacy rewards, an “Employee of the Month” award is a recognition that provides more personal satisfaction than a small financial reward. Openly praising an employee will encourage them to continue to work at the top of their game and push others to work towards recognition as well.
A recognition program also goes a long way to improving company morale and creating a positive working environment. It will also be a key feature in the recruiting process for new employees and employee retention.
Branded Company Giveaways
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Most companies (especially startups) have branded shirts, cups and pens in the office for marketing purposes. Companies should be leveraging this marketing material and give them out to employees as a reward. The best branded clothing is useful like a gym shirt or a light jacket. Not only does this provide more brand visibility, but will also promote positive discussion about your company.
Ultimately, there are five tangible (and intangible) benefits of employee advocacy that stand out above the rest:
Brand Awareness on Social Media
On social media, the reach of your followers can exponentially boost impressions. For example, if an employee has 100 followers on social media, those 100 followers can reach another 100 or more through sharing and engaging with a user’s initial post. Studies have shown that the average person spends one hour per day on social media so every day is a new opportunity to generate more brand awareness and traffic to your site.
Trust and Discussion
Trust is the most difficult factor to achieve when converting leads. Employees and their social media followers will be trusted more than content shared by a brand; in fact, 16 times more likely to read a post shared by a friend than a brand.
Social Selling and Tracking Key Performance Indicators
Social selling involves reaching out to existing connections as well as new connections to keep your brand front of mind when someone is looking to make a purchase. When social selling, it’s marketing with a direct message that is brand focused without spamming users on social media. Sales teams who use social selling see the following benefits when done correctly:
– 45% more sales opportunities
– 51% more likely to hit their quota
– 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media
Some social platforms (primarily Linkedin) have created a platform around social selling to track performance and the quality of engagement.
LinkedIn created Social Selling Index (SSI) that scores your activities (0-100) in terms of the four pillars of social selling then displays performance and sales generated from engagement. For your company, it is essential to track where the and how they found you. Many other social media platforms are not as refined in terms of its scoring but you can add UTM codes to track shares, clicks and conversions on to a custom URL. Organizations then can tie this into the employee advocacy program mentioned above to reward employees accordingly.
Encourage your employees to be an active member of your organization. By implementing a reward system, you will motivate your staff to work harder towards company goals and in return, receive the recognition they deserve. Social media is a powerful tool and can be tailored to suit any audience. Ultimately, employees should be valued beyond just the work being done between office hours, and you will see a revenue boost as a result.