How to Get Your Employees to Become Brand Advocates

How to Get Your Employees to Become Brand Advocates

Big Ideas

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April 29 2022
Big Ideas
Author: Sherpa Marketing

There's no better way to grow your brand than empowering employees to be its ambassadors. In recent years, there has been a shift towards leveraging social recruiting and marketing employer brands. As such, employees are becoming an essential component of branding campaigns. Employee advocacy programs entail having your company's most trusted ambassadors (its employees) share their stories on social media platforms to expand brand awareness. 


By sharing their personal stories about your brand, employees also expand awareness about your job opportunities while building their personal brands. Simply put, your employees could be powerful megaphones for publicizing your brand, since they tell authentic stories about your organization's culture, goals, and mission. If done correctly, it could be an easy way to attract talent to your organization. 


Why Does Employee Advocacy Matter to Prospects? 

For most business owners and C-suite executives, employee advocacy is a powerful tool for driving better business performance. Besides that, as employees share their experiences on different platforms, it attracts the attention of talented prospects who would love to join your organization. You'll prove yourself as a transformational leader and convince them that they should be part of your team. 


At a time when many organizations are involved in a fierce battle for top talent, prospective job applicants pay attention to what current employees say on social media. So, getting your employees to become brand advocates could amplify your recruiting efforts, especially if they share job openings in your organization. 


Tips for Turning Your Employees Into Brand Advocates 

Here are some tips you can leverage to transform your employees into brand advocates: 


Nurture a Workplace Culture 

Employees are likely to share positive stories about your organization if you have a positive work culture. The same cannot be said of organizations with toxic workplaces. For this reason, it's best to foster a supportive and motivating work culture that your employees will want to associate with. Whenever they share stories about the organization and its ideals, they'll be connected with it. 


According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, 73% of job applicants expect their prospective employers to provide opportunities for creating a positive social impact. Indeed, not all businesses have a social purpose, but having an employee advocacy program is an excellent place to start. It proves that you show support for your team. This goes a long way in emphasizing your brand's position as an industry leader. 


Encourage Participation 

When it comes to employee advocacy programs, you should encourage participation. Of course, this sounds like a culture change for many organizations. However, you'll have to trust your employees and encourage them to be as objective as possible in the advocacy program. If you try to control what they share about your brand, their hearts won't be in the program. 


In this regard, it's advisable to tap into your organization's staff resource groups to disseminate information and link the incentives to advocacy. Creating competitions to determine who drives the most opt-ins and referrals to your talent network can be helpful. In the end, it will be easy for your employees to participate in the advocacy programs and promote the organization and its opportunities. 


Encourage Personal Branding 

Even as employees act as brand advocates, you should encourage them to build their brands while at it. In doing so, they'll come out as thought leaders in your industry and an extension of your brand. Through these brand advocates, people outside the company, including prospective employees, will be able to quickly pinpoint the key elements of your brand, including what you believe in and what you stand for. 


Identify Advocacy Leaders 

In most large companies, senior-level managers and other decision-makers have the biggest social media presence. Well, that's until you implement an employee advocacy program. C-suite executives aren't the ideal drivers of these programs, which is why you should tap lower-cadre employees who tend to be more natural social media users. Likewise, they are more enthusiastic about the organization and what it stands for. 


Empower these employees to build the advocacy program since they're more likely to find time for it. Also, empower them with the tools and resources needed to drive the employee advocacy program. While at it, identify advocacy leaders who will guide the program and provide honest feedback. These leaders will also keep everyone on track and ensure that the employee advocacy program remains an ongoing focus. 


Implement Social Media Guidelines for Your Team 

Although you should not meddle in what your brand advocates post, it's still pertinent to implement social media guidelines to govern them. The brand advocates should know what the message is all about, and the most fruitful way to communicate it. Of critical importance is the language they use, the frequency with which they post, and how they respond to the audience's comments. 


Doing this can sound a little challenging. As such, you need an employee advocacy framework to eliminate guesswork from the equation. With these guidelines in place, you'll be doing enough to protect your brand reputation. Some rules are common sense, including avoiding disrespectful or vulgar language. Generally, participants in the employee advocacy program should be kept apprised of social media best practices. 


Measure the Results 

You can only gauge the success of the employee advocacy program if you have tools for measuring the results. This step is essential to driving adoption, streamlining your approach, and monitoring tangible business outcomes. Your Glassdoor ranking, brand reach and engagement, and best-performing content are crucial parameters to track. Calling out those behind the programs and celebrating their success goes a long way in keeping the momentum up. 


Final Thoughts 

An employee advocacy program is a critical component of brand awareness. As such, it isn't surprising that more brands are implementing it. If done correctly, it helps your brand in many ways, from increasing sales to boosting your talent acquisition efforts. 


If you're looking to roll out an employee advocacy campaign that sets you apart from the competition, the experts at Sherpa Marketing are here to help. We leverage data-driven solutions that yield positive results that boost your advocacy campaigns. Contact us today to get started.

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