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Employee Advocacy

Employee Engagement

What is employee advocacy, and how can it benefit you?

4 mins  |  09.07.2024

If advocacy isn’t part of your employer brand strategy, you’re missing out on the number one influencer trend of 2024 (Ogilvy)

But don’t worry, we’ve got answers. 

In a nutshell, employee advocacy puts a face to your brand and bridges the gap between your company and your future candidates. 

And whether you’re looking to attract talent, improve the sense of pride and belonging amongst your people, or drive overall brand awareness, it could be exactly what you’re searching for.

What exactly is employee advocacy?

In short, employee advocacy is when your people promote your company, whether that’s in person or online via their personal social media channels. 

Your internal cheerleaders on an external scale, if you will. 

And an employee advocacy programme is training and empowering those people to do it well. 

Why is it important?

We all know that word of mouth is the most reliable and effective form of marketing. 

And advocacy gives you a two-pronged way to leverage it. 

Firstly, when you consider that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising, it’s clear we respond better to information we know is coming from a reliable source. And if you empower your people to publish content about their genuine experiences at your company, they become that reliable source.

Why?

Because people trust people. Audiences crave genuine connection, and that's where employee content thrives. They have an authentic upper hand over your brand content. And you may not believe it, but their messages have five times the reach your owned channels do. 

But before you start panicking, this is a good thing. It’s great, in fact. 

The second reason advocacy is so positive from a word of mouth perspective is because 90% of your employees’ audience aren’t following your brand's social media channels (again, don’t panic). Now that’s a lot of people. And reaching them organically opens you up to a whole new pool of potential candidates, clients, or customers, who otherwise wouldn't interact with your brand, or even know who you are.

So when you’re hiring for those hard to fill roles, or you’re looking to build brand awareness in new markets, advocacy is the way to go. 

Employee Advocacy training

What benefits does an employee advocacy programme provide?

As with any business investment, you need to know there’s going to be tangible ROI to justify it. And in the case of advocacy, you get dual benefits. 

Benefits for your company and brand

If the importance of advocacy wasn’t enough to sell you on its business benefits, this section certainly will. 

  1. Increased brand awareness: Remember everything we said about your people’s networks? This is exactly where they come in. With your advocates posting on a regular basis, your brand will be consistently broadcast to a much wider and more diverse audience. 

  2. Organic talent attraction: That audience just may include the future candidates you’re looking for. 80% of applicants now use social media as part of their job search, and your people sharing their positive experiences online could be what sets you apart. And with referrals now seeing the highest applicant to hire ratio, it could even streamline the process.

  3. Strategic reputation management: Employee advocacy allows you to proactively shape your company’s narrative through your most authentic and trustworthy channel: your people. Whether you’re looking to rewrite a longstanding reputation or establish yourself in a new market, your people’s authentic stories are key.

Benefits for your people

They’re the ones putting in the extra time to create this content, champion your brand, and broadcast your mission and values, but what’s in it for them? 

In short, plenty. 

  1. They build their personal brands: As your people share their expertise, experiences, and advice, they’ll start to build their reputation as thought leaders within their industry. This helps boost their professional profile and adds an additional layer of credibility to their qualifications and experience. Some individuals in our cohorts have even been invited to external speaking and media opportunities off the back of their online presence. 

  2. They increase their exposure to senior leadership: As well as building their personal brand online, active participation in an employee advocacy programme will increase your people’s visibility within the company. And this can have a serious impact on future opportunities such as promotions or bigger projects. Or it could even lead to the CEO of the company commenting on one of the advocate’s posts, as was the case with one of our programmes. 

  3. They develop additional and transferable skills: Enabling your people to create and share content through training will help them upskill in areas including copywriting, communication, confidence, and more, all of which are beneficial to them both professionally and personally.

Ready to launch your own employee advocacy programme?

Hopefully you’re now feeling much more clued up on what employee advocacy is, and you may even find yourself tempted to set off on your own advocacy journey. 

We thought you might. 

With the ROI of advocacy extending far beyond the bottom line, the authentic edge it can give you in market, and the benefits for both your brand and people, now is the time to invest in the influencer trend of the year. 


And to help you get started, we’ve pulled together six ways you can make the most of it.

Get started with Wiser

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