Wondering if social employee advocacy is right for your organization? Interested in championing social marketing strategies, but unsure where to start—or whether it’s worth it?
At Blue Focus Marketing, we’ve been preaching the value of social engagement since before the release of our best-selling book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013). Since then, the evidence that going social boosts brands has only continued to pile up:
- People are three times more likely to trust everyday employees than executives. (source: Edelman; LinkedIn)
- Employee-generated or shared content is eight times more effective than that shared by a branded account. (source: Social Media Today)
- Employee advocacy leads to increased visibility, inbound web traffic, brand recognition, and brand loyalty. (source: eMarketer)
If this wasn’t compelling enough, some numbers from LinkedIn only bolster this point:
- Socially engaged companies are 57 percent more likely to get increased sales leads, 58 percent more likely to attract top talent, and 20 percent more likely to retain them.
- Employee networks are 10 times larger than a company’s follower base.
- Salespeople who share engaging content get seven times more profile views, see their connections grow four times faster, and are 45 percent more likely to exceed their sales quota.
The writing is on the wall: social employee advocacy works.
Despite this, social marketing remains a bit of a mystery to many organizations. LinkedIn has found that only 3 percent of employees share content relevant to their brand. And while CMOs plan to expand their social marketing budgets and focus on building a complete customer experience, many are still unsure of how to get their employees sharing content—or how to measure their efficacy when they do.
Elevating Your Content Game
According to LinkedIn, two of the biggest obstacles to employee advocacy are also two of the simplest ones: having enough time and knowing what to share. To address these challenges, last year the company released Elevate, an employee-focused platform designed to help employees know what to share and when to share it.
Here’s how it works. When employees first join Elevate, they select the topics most relevant to them and their role within the business—in other words, the topics that would have the most shareable value. Then, curators within the organization identify quality content and feed it into the Elevate system. Using their mobile devices, employees can then quickly review this tailored content and select what they want through a swipe left/right system. Once the employee has found something they like, the content is loaded up with introductory commentary and scheduled to share across networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Not only does Elevate give employees agency and accessibility, it also gives organizations the ability to track and measure results. Companies can see employee leaderboards, allowing them to understand who is sharing, how often, and what their impact is. Further, Elevate even allows managers to track which employees generate the most website traffic, leads, and sales.
Being able to measure results helps validate the sharing process to both employees and management. And it also allows organizations to recognize and reward employee efforts, helping to build further trust and buy-in.
To learn a little more about how Elevate works, check out LinkedIn’s recent in-depth presentation below:
Social Employees: The New Marketing Channel
Want to learn more about how to activate social employees within your organization?
Join Blue Focus Marketing and Lynda.com, a LinkedIn company, for our new video tutorial course, “Social Employees: The New Marketing Channel.”
Released on March 15, this 22-part course offers an in-depth look at what it takes to build a social culture within the workplace—moving from the why to the how of employee activation. Whether you’re learning the keys to branding from the inside out or setting up a social employee pilot program, this course is tailor-made to kickstart your social marketing efforts and help your organization take its next big step into the future of business!
What you should know before watching this course video.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The New York Times, The Economist and Vanity Fair.