The Key To Increasing Your Brand’s Reach By 561%? Your Employees.

The Key To Increasing Your Brand’s Reach By 561%? Your Employees.

Consider this: brand messages shared by employees on social media earn 561 percent more reach than the same messages shared by the brand’s social media channels — and eight times more engagement. Even so, it’s unlikely for employees to play along and share your company’s branded content without the right processes in place. With the right encouragement, tools, and systems in place, you’ll gain access to a powerful megaphone that you actually had all along. Consider The 'Why' Before launching your own employee advocacy program, it’s worth considering the ‘why.’ There are three main reasons companies decide to empower their employees to represent the brand online: to improve recruitment, drive awareness, or reshape messaging. While Elevate allows a company to assign curating privileges to a small group of curators, Smarp offers average employee the ability to generate their own content There’s undoubtedly an increased risk when you encourage employees to generate their own content, but Smarp insists that the engagement numbers speak for themselves. LinkedIn’s ability to directly attribute job applications and new hires to specific pieces of Elevate content is unmatched thanks to its use of proprietary data. If your company’s goal is reshaping messaging, then the curated content is going to look very different from content that appeals to job applicants. The same goes for companies whose goal is to position their employees as thought leaders to generate long-term awareness. Overlap is natural, but it’s difficult to reach all three goals effectively. Engage with your employees on social media and do your own part to amplify the same content you’re asking your employees to share.

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Think back to your company’s last piece of really big news. Maybe it was an important round of funding, a highly anticipated expansion, or some really exciting press coverage.

Now honestly reflect: how much did your employees share that news with their networks? Perhaps more importantly, how much did you encourage them to do so?

If the answer to either question is “not much,” then you wasted a golden opportunity to amplify the reach of your content.

Consider this: brand messages shared by employees on social media earn 561 percent more reach than the same messages shared by the brand’s social media channels — and eight times more engagement.

No, this doesn’t mean your employees are all secretly social media influencers (though surely some are). But every employee does have their own network, and when you add up all those online connections and followers, you’d be surprised by how much brand awareness is within reach. Some suggest it’s as much as ten times what your brand could earn on its own.

Even so, it’s unlikely for employees to play along and share your company’s branded content without the right processes in place. Some are too scared to do it without the company’s blessing or official guidelines, while others have never given it a thought.

To make matters worse, those who are sharing brand-relevant content may not be doing it in a way that is on brand or on tone.

When it comes to empowering your employees to become brand advocates, a little structure goes a long way. With the right encouragement, tools, and systems in place, you’ll gain access to a powerful megaphone that you actually had all along.

Consider The ‘Why’

Before launching your own employee advocacy program, it’s worth considering the ‘why.’

There are three main reasons companies decide to empower their employees to represent the brand online: to improve recruitment, drive awareness, or reshape messaging.

Improving recruitment is fairly straightforward, and is particularly helpful for large companies with huge recruiting needs.

Take Wells Fargo, for example. The company has 280,000 employees, and filling those roles — especially scarce tech roles — can be a horrible drain on resources. An employee advocacy program helps Wells Fargo proactively push out content to attract applicants who might not have otherwise applied.

Driving awareness, on the other hand, is great for smaller or mid-sized companies who would benefit from staying top of mind to attract business long-term.

Of course, neither recruitment nor awareness initiatives are much help for international brands with widespread recognition who already have a strong application pipeline.

Pfizer, for example, may be far more preoccupied with external pressures around the cost of its drugs. If the public doesn’t understand the link between Pfizer’s drug prices and its ability to fund research for life-changing drugs, then it risks getting painted with the same brush as Shkreli.

In such cases, reshaping messaging is critical. The goal of an employee advocacy initiative for Pfizer might be to explain how today’s drug prices help to recoup billions of dollars spent on drug research, which in turn helps fund the next billion-dollar research project.

Empower Your Employees By Removing Hurdles

Chances are, you have employees right now who would be happy to share brand-relevant content online — if only it wasn’t so time consuming. You may even…

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