Learn the meaning of employee advocacy, formula to use to measure it and example of companies using it.
Employees are not only valuable in the work they do to meet the goals of the company, but they can also take part in promoting the brand. In employee advocacy, the staff promotes the company using their means, in most cases online. For instance, they can mention the company on social media, discussion boards, and forums. This way, they act as advocates for the company and as shown by studies, customers tend to trust employees more than they would trust the company CEO.
In employee advocacy, employees create awareness of the company brand through online and offline channels as well as recommending the products and services of the company to family and friends. This enables the company to retain and attract new customers, increase trust by customers while improving employee engagement. In most cases, employee advocacy takes place online in social media. For instance, having 30 employees each with 200 followers on social media can have a higher impact on reaching out than the company with 1,500 followers.
Employee advocacy formula
For employee advocacy to be of benefit, it needs to bring in credible results. Numbers are important such as the sales leads, traffic to the website and the number of employees taking part in the employee advocacy campaign.
The most notable figure is the return on investment. Did you receive more customers and what is their value? Did the customer retention rate increase? Has the click-through rate increased? Comparing these figures with the cost of the employee advocacy program can help you to work out the return on investment.
A straight forward formula is to take the cost of social media marketing such as the average cost per click multiplied by the total clicks generated by employees. This will give you the total amount saved by employee advocacy program.
Clicks generated by employees x average cost/click = cost saved
If employees have generated 1000 clicks by sharing content on their social media and each click would have cost $5 if you were running ads, then the employees have saved the company $5000. If you deduct the amount you spend on employee advocacy program from this figure, you get your return on investment.
Examples of employee advocacy
Many companies are utilizing employee advocacy to improve brand awareness and to attract and retain new customers. Starbucks is a good example with their employee twitter account in which the staff tweets on their everyday happenings.
At Zappos, employees also have a twitter handle where they tweet information useful to customers as well as their daily activities.
AT&T has also been in the limelight in employee advocacy and even has ‘hub’ where employees find content for sharing. IBM and HP Software are other companies that are implementing employee advocacy.