Employees are your secret weapon for increasing reach and engagement

Social media driven employee advocacy can supercharge your brand’s organic reach. Keeping your staff happy is the real challenge...

Gerard Murnaghan, VP and GM at Sprout Social outlines the key considerations for business leaders that want to engage their workforce to champion their employers business on social media.

Given all the noise on the ‘Great Resignation’ and ‘Quiet Quitting’, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that most of us are unhappy at work and aren’t interested in our employers’ success. However, a 2022 study from PwC paints a very different picture of current levels of workplace happiness compared to recent headlines.

Indeed, the report suggests that while many of us are still thinking about making a jump, 54% of UK employees are satisfied with their current role, with only 5% stating that they are ‘very dissatisfied’ with their jobs.

For employers, this represents an opportunity. If harnessed correctly, those happy and engaged workers that are part of this silent majority can become a secret weapon for success.

Social media driven employee advocacy is a great starting point, emerging as a key strategy capable of supercharging the organic reach of any brand. During a time when budgets are tightening, an investment in a strong employee advocacy programme can help brands do more with less. The idea is simple: if employees post about their companies to their personal audiences, the post will reach a far wider audience of potential new customers, partners and talent. 

Oftentimes, when people think about brand advocates, they think of external people such as social media influencers which can come across less authentic. Yet, when an employee shares content on the company they work for, it can lend a unique, trusted perspective on your brand and workplace, highlighting internal happiness.

Identifying and nurturing your best advocates

For social media driven employee advocacy to be successful, it is critical that employers first identify those individuals that are most engaged and invested in the company’s success. To not only achieve this, but also boost employee happiness and increase the likelihood of engaging more advocates, there are several steps that companies can take.

In addition to seeking those who are most engaged, it's also critical to connect with the employees who are already public brand champions. These individuals tend to celebrate their professional achievements, as well as their company’s accomplishments, which authentically profiles the culture of a company.  

Get employees posting 

Once you’ve got your employees motivated in publicly advocating your brand and identified those that are most active in doing so, you can begin to curate and create content that speaks to them.

While the way in which to achieve this will be different in every company, there are several strategies enterprises can turn to in order to activate employees and turn them into secret weapons for social media success.

The first is to make employee advocacy easy for them. That means creating shareable content by adding links, uploading photos or videos, or duplicating posts that you’re already sharing to your brand’s social networks. Any posts also need to be easy to share from both a desktop and mobile app with just a couple of clicks. 

Engagement can also be bolstered by making employees feel like they are true stakeholders. It’s therefore important to get staff involved and make posts relevant and personal. This can be achieved by sending targeted communications, such as compiling content into newsletters or broadcasts that are tailored to and/or target specific audiences within your organisation, as well as encouraging employees to explore topics that are relevant to their roles and even suggest content for the social team to post.

Additionally, it may also be a good idea for firms to cater to those that are less comfortable using social media by providing pre-approved message ideas. That way, you and your employees can be confident that they’re staying on-brand. 

The impact of employee advocacy 

When done well, employee advocacy can unlock a host of varied benefits in which both the company and its employees win.

For the organisation, a consistent voice can be developed while simultaneously reducing the likelihood that staff will go off-brand when posting about your firm. In time, employees can become leaders in their respective networks by sharing engaging industry content on a regular basis – provided by and accredited to your company.

Internal communications can also be streamlined through the sending of curated content to teams, while recruitment drives are likely to be boosted in letting your employees post about open roles and showcase company culture.

Of course, to truly understand how well received your efforts to drive employee social media advocacy are, as well as how effective any advocacy is, it is important to measure the results. Using specific tools, organisations can quickly and easily get the data they need and connect results to leads, web traffic, event registrations and more.

Indeed, with the right strategy, you will begin to see optimal outcomes, be it driving brand awareness, cultivating a more positive workplace environment, expanding networks for sales staff, improving recruitment reach, and enabling both the company and employees to reach thought leadership status.

By Gerard Murnaghan

VP and GM

Sprout Social