How employee advocacy works using social media

What’s the impact of employee advocacy and what relevance does it have today? What type of information do employees share about their companies via social media? What do you need to know about this whole topic?

AltimeterA brand new report from the smart people at Altimeter @Altimetergroup, is hot off the press. It addresses these topics and more.

The use of employees to advocate on behalf of their brand is nothing new, but a combination of market forces and growing comfort with social business has created a tipping point for the growth of formalised Employee Advocacy programmes.

Analyst Ed Terpening surveyed brand leaders, employees and consumers to understand the impact of employee advocacy.

His findings have been published in Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into the power of an Engaged Workforce.

Ed’s research uncovered motivations for companies investing in employee advocacy programs; what motivates employees to share information about work; and what employee-driven content resonates most with customers.

I’ve read through the results and recommend downloading it yourself to find out more.

AltimeterThroughout the history of branding, employee advocacy has been a part of business. In an interview, Kevin Hunt, Social Media Manager at General Mills, connected the dots between yesterday and today.

“When we first launched our [employee advocacy] pilot, I found an old essay that the President of General Mills had written in the 1940s that said: ‘PR is everybody’s job,’ said Hunt.

“That’s especially true today; we all have a role to play in promoting the company and this is just the latest version of that.”

Social Media Employee Advocacy: Tapping Into the power of an Engaged Workforce found:

  • 90% of brands surveyed are already pursuing or have plans to pursue some form of employee advocacy program.
    Consumer responses to employee posts often out perform traditional digital advertising results.
  • 21% of consumers report “liking” employee posts – a far higher engagement rate than the average social ad.
  • Employee advocacy drives employee engagement. When employees are asked how they felt after sharing work-related content, the leading response was “I feel more connected and enthusiastic about the company I work for.”

The challenges outlined by Altimeter resonate with me. They’ve looked at what stops organisations driving employee advocacy programmes.

It’s interesting to note the ’employees sharing inappropriate content’ – which is a fear I hear constantly, ranks so low on the list.

What’s your experience? Have you got an employee advocacy scheme in place? Does it work? I’d love to know your views, do comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Further reading via the All Things IC blog: Seen what your employees are saying about you online?

Top challenges:


Here are some of the other findings:


What motivates employees



Five stages of employee advocacy maturity:


Primary motivations for employee advocacy programmes


Percentage of employee advocates using social networking tools at work:25182106714_838173cdce_z

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Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 16 March 2016.

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