Despite the technological revolution in shopping experiences, purchases still take through human-to-human interaction. Whether your goal is to sell a product, build an audience for your blog, provide service, the first important point is to build trust. To achieve that level of trust you should humanize your brand. To quote founder at Convince & Convert, Jay Baer:
“Consumers are disappointed by brands. Trust in brands is lower than ever and the flipside of that is just as important, that people are trusted more. The reason people are trusted more than advertising is that there is no financial stake in the outcome.“
The key to success here is to spread the company’s message organically and build trust in customers.
Brands should steer away from the robotic marketing tactics, instead focus on being interesting, relatable, and human. Apart from sharing engaging content, a great way to ensure that your brand has an accurate voice is having the right people to speak about your brand.
In this case, don’t overlook your internal influencers – your own employees. They are the new authentic marketing channel for your company. For those who may have not heard about Employee Advocacy, it is the promotion of the company by their employees. They share the company’s latest statements, news, product launches or services on their social media accounts. Employee advocacy is aimed to inform and engage with employees as the company’s internal influencers or employee advocates.
According to LinkedIn, in total, employees have 10 times the social following than the brands they work for, which leads to generate twice more clicks on the content shared by an employee than content shared by business.
Humanizing brands is the top motivation for starting Employee Advocacy
For those who may have not heard about Employee Advocacy, it is the promotion of the company by their employees. In a nutshell, the company distributes its latest statements, news, product launches or services on their social media accounts while increasing awareness around its business. Employee Advocacy is aimed to inform and engage with employees as the company’s internal influencers or employee advocates.
Advocacy can be anything from sending internal company newsletters, to fully formalized programs with KPI’s, and particular Employee Advocacy software.
EA programs build a shared sense of purpose in employees as they believe in the company’s mission so they want to promote their jobs. Engaged employees share a genuine representation of the organization, one which customers can relate to.
Let’s get started humanizing your brand with employee advocates
Identify your key employee advocates
First things first, decide who is going to take part in the Employee Advocacy program. You may start with a small group, beta testers of your EA program, then scale to the whole staff. Compile a strategy that resonates with the company culture, organizational structure, and size. Make your company culture a priority, educate your employees to become brand ambassadors. They want their jobs to have a meaningful societal impact and expect the employer to offer interesting and fulfilling work. So, activate your workforce to strengthen the team cohesion in your company and increase awareness around your brand.
Set goals and KPIs
Define what you want to achieve with the EA program, so you’ll be able to identify which tactics to use and how to measure the success. The common goals and results to expect are:
- Increase brand awareness and engagement on social networks, social reach, clicks, impressions
- Conversion of qualified leads and increase sales
- Recruitment, career search rates, and applicants
Incentivize employee social sharing
When the brand content is shared by employees, it gets twice more clicks. Broadcast your content via employees, and you’ll get more engagement and awareness. Provide your employees with:
- Great work culture,
- Gamification like leaderboards,
- Incentives – gift cards, gifts, or intangible equivalents like trophies, praise, recognition.
The better would be to run an internal contest or challenge to encourage employees. Make sure that they understand their industry benefits. Set a reward for more engagement and interactions such as likes, comments, etc. within a specific deadline. These interactions will give your brand lots of “human” bonus points!
Curate internal and external content distribution channels
Content curation consists of finding material relevant to your audience from a variety of sources and sharing it strategically through your communication channels. You might have them to share company news, product launches, blogs, promotional offers, behind-the-scene photos, success stories, even memes, it does not necessarily have to be industry related. Obviously, sharing useful content is a key part of your EA program.
Use the Employee Advocacy Platform
Employee Advocacy platforms allow you to oversee the content distribution process flawlessly and measure the results easily. As a result, you can identify the best performers. EA platform can replace mass internal emails and message boards and make it easier for employees to find the content in one place. EA platforms simplify and speed up the content sharing process, also combines features like a list of most engaged employees, analytics and reporting.
For a brand’s representation, nothing works better than the recommendation of someone who works there. But building a whole process is not something that will happen on its own, it requires lots of planning, time and effort.