1) Higher levels of employee engagement have a direct impact on the bottom line. A Sears study in 2008 found that a 5% increase in employee engagement resulted in a 1.3% increase in levels of customer satisfaction, and a 0.5% increase in company revenue overall.
A good employee advocacy programme empowers employees to champion their business publicly and goes a long way to creating an atmosphere of trust. You are showing the people who work for you that their opinions matter and giving them the autonomy to act as an authentic, counter-corporate voice for your brand.
2) Outsiders are more likely to believe your employees – 90% of people surveyed in a recent Gallup poll (2010) said they trust recommendations from their friends. The content your advocates share is 10 x more likely to be believed than traditional recruitment marketing content; and 7 x more likely to be shared. Provided you don’t incentivize your advocates financially, then there is no reason for their followers not to believe them.
3) You will reach new audiences – the friends and followers of your employees will be a diverse as your workforce is. When Dell started to define their own programme, they discovered that there was just an 8% overlap between company’s Twitter followers and the followers of their employees. Content posted by your advocates can achieve a far wider social footprint than your marketing and PR budgets will allow.
4) Your advocates will be seen as experts – we’ve already talked about greater levels of employee engagement. Advocates are also more likely to produce positive content: they want their friends to see that they are working for a great company. They are also being given the chance to share and showcase their knowledge, becoming seen as subject matter experts in their field and building their personal brands at the same time.