To face the challenges of the pandemic, brands are moving budgets across the organization and are increasing their investments in the influencer marketing department. Over the next few years, they are in fact expected to spend up to $15 billion on this, betting on the growing importance of influencers to advocate their brand.
Yet, many ignore that the best brand ambassadors that money can’t buy, and who are showing up day in and day out, are already there for them. These days, companies need someone they can trust and who knows and understands the benefits of what they have to offer. Someone that is personally invested in the brand.
Who could fill these shoes better than their own employees and colleagues?!
As a concept, employee advocacy programs are not new, yet with the growing popularity of platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, they are making a return with a bang, getting marketers excited about this opportunity but also concerned about the risks.
A common question on this topic that many organizations are asking themselves these days is: are employee influencers the key to greater results over the long term?
Well, back in 2016, LinkedIn pointed out that only 3% of employees shared company-related content in an average company, but these employees are responsible for a 30% increase in likes, shares, and comments on a post. Based on this it definitely looks like the use of your staff as influencers provide you with all of the advantages of using external influencers while saving both time and money.
But let’s take a quick look at some additional evidence that underscores the power of the people:
- 76% of respondents to a survey said they trust content shared by “ordinary” people rather than content shared by brands.
- Brand messages were associated with 561% more reach when shared by employees than the same messages shared through the brand’s official social channels (MSLGroup).
- According to McKinsey, using social platforms while working can increase productivity by 20-25%, e.g. through improved communication, knowledge transfer, or better internal and external cooperation.
Well, it looks like companies should really think of investing in this space!
But how can organizations turn their employees into true brand ambassadors?
Let It Be Worth Their Time
The best way to convince someone to put their time and effort into something is to show them the benefits. The organizational and personal benefits of sharing your messages with your employees must be made clear. Knowing that they will increase brand awareness and awareness on specific topics is a powerful motivator to persuade employees to get on board as brand representatives and opinion leaders.
Make It Believable
Your employees must feel heard. It is not enough to just ask them to share your content. You also have to let them contribute to your message. Collect information about what types of content your employees want to share and what appeals to them. Then give them all of the materials and tools needed to create and share their own content. This not only gives your employees a voice but also increases the credibility of your content.
Make a Game of It
Gamification, campaigns, and challenges can be a huge driver in motivating employees to share your brand content. Your employees could be collecting points for shared content, for example. This binds employees and rewards their efforts. Making your internal influencer program informative, engaging, and entertaining, is a great motivator for many employees to communicate their corporate loyalty and brand message to their own circle of friends.
Keep It Simple
Many employees do not instinctively share content via their personal social media accounts. Often this is due to the fact that they are too busy or they do not know what to say. This is where social employee advocacy tools such as Facelift Cloud’s Social Share App or Beem come into play.
Using these tools allows you to easily and intelligibly deliver shared social content to your employees and is thus the perfect way to encourage internal influencers. The simpler it is to do so, the sooner your brand messages will be shared!
Employee influencer marketing has its own risks, yet the upside, when done it right, is that you can build consumer trust, understanding, and brand loyalty that will pay back in the long term. Are you ready to give the spotlight to the employee?