Let’s start with an example, shall we?
Think about this: you're scrolling down your Instagram feed, you see paid ads here and there, all filled with company-made slogans and all that. At the third ad that pops up, your instinctive reaction is, “Ugh, another one?!”
But when it’s people you follow who share photos showing off a product and talking about how much they love it, your mind goes, “Mmm, this sounds cool” ─ done! You immediately turn into a potential customer. That’s what a happy, satisfied advocate is willing to do to make a brand they love grow.
Where employee advocacy comes from
Try to answer this, why do you think so many of us ignore sponsored ads and find them annoying? It’s because people don’t trust company messaging anymore; we trust the message that comes from a real person we know and believe in. People trust people, and so having something recommended to you by someone you’re connected with and trust has a huge impact on your purchasing decision.
Employee advocacy emerges out of the need for organic reach. And a satisfied, happy advocate wants to go the extra mile to spread the word and make the brand they love grow.
Genuine, passionate messaging coming from your employees ─ the real people behind the company ─ is the way for you to gain the trust of potential customers through authentic messaging and digital word-of-mouth marketing.
What it all comes down to
People trust people. That’s your golden rule.
If there’s one thing you gotta keep in mind when thinking about advocacy, this is it.
Employee advocacy is a way for you to show you trust your employees to be part of the company experience and broadcast your brand to the outside world.
It’s a natural, human instinct: if you find something cool and get sweet perks and rewards out of it, you want to tell people around you, right? And as you probably already know, in 2021, this means that you most likely will share it on social media.
And there you have it. That's what employee advocacy taps into.
Think about your employees ─ your would-be ambassadors. What drives them? What do they like about your brand? What is their personal experience with your brand?
What it all boils down to is trust. If your employees trust you, your brand, and your company, they’ll be willing and eager to spread the word and get others on board too.
Their experience and their personal story with the company are what you want to leverage to amplify the brand. You see, people who are passionate about a brand want to help that brand grow, and they want to feel as though they have a part in it ─ then why not make them a part of it?
Well, there you go! That’s why seeing employees sharing company-related content is a much more impactful marketing tool than public ads. People are what counts, people’s stories and people’s experiences.
Employee advocacy means designing a culture that encourages and trusts your employees to become advocates of your brand and help you build awareness and credibility.