Everybody`s talking about employee advocacy these days, and quite naturally the obvious benefits of activating an organic driven, trustworthy and authentic brand channel ; your employees, appeals to most companies and organisations.
First wave of EA adoption was based on metrics similar to social media; get more likes, emojis, followers etc. - all quantitative "vanity metrics", and in addition gamifying employees to hit the share button in chasing the next like - more than thinking business - when sharing with one`s network. Basically there`s nothing wrong with quantitative metrics, but they should be secondary and not to be included when measuring the effort from a business perspective.
We are well in to the second wave of adoption of EA, and companies are now focussing on the business side of EA that really can make a difference; thought leadership, employee brand engagement, employer branding, talent management and how to incorporate EA in the customer journey, amongst others.
Companies who started out early with EA have a clear advantage simply because they have all ready succeeded in the most important part of EA; Engaging your employees - and making it sustainable - thereby being able to move seamlessly forward and take lead by benefitting from the 5 undisclosed benefits of Employee Advocacy;
#1 Employee Brand Engagement
Employees become more engaged, knowledgeable and active on the brand simply by "being in the know". Old school branding not including employees - or limiting inclusion of employees to corporate mails and endless power point presentations - does`nt do the trick anymore. With EA all employees are engaged and motivated to interact with the brand on almost a daily basis, to tell the story and bring valuable feedback to the table.
#2 Brand Transparency
Being an transparent, authentic and accessable brand is not just a smart move - it`s a matter of survival, no matter what business you are in. Employees are vital touch points co-telling your story, and interacting with customers, talents and partners. In the current social media landscape employees are premium educators on everything brand related, and customers expect them to be visable and accessable.
#3 Quality & Precision
Employees can convey your brand with high quality and precision - way more than existing segmentation possibilities offers. Each employee holds access to unique networks in 1st level and beyond, and by equipping employees with relevant quality content aligned with their areas of expertise, it will resonate extremely well, and unlock new business opportunities.
#4 Influencing and contributing to the Customer Journey
Deciphering and adjusting the customer journey design is an ongoing job, and employees can both be great influencers and contributors to the design. Not only with valuable data from the EA platform, but also including designated employees who can help you discover insights and trends - which will help you get a better understanding and insights to how customers react to your customer journey design.
#5 Network Expansion
Every new network connection your employees get, is a potential new client, employee or potential business partner. Obtaining quality network expansion is based on level of activity, quality content, continuity and accessibility - all key elements in running a successful EA program. No matter how many followers you`ve obtained on company presences, employees networks outperform them both in numbers and not least in "network quality!!
Creating your Brand Community
Your brand has become a community - whether you like it or not;-) Involving the most natural participants - your employees - in your brand community is only a part of it - but a great way to start, as it encompasses the entire organisation, and it will help enabling you to include existing and potential customers as they are equally vital in building your brand community.
You could start out by booking our free EA workshop right here;