Cultivating internal brand advocacy on LinkedIn
Can you afford for your employees not to be active on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is often overlooked as part of many social media marketing strategies, but its power and reach is not to be scoffed at. According to Statista, as of April 2021, LinkedIn has nearly 32 million users in the UK alone – that’s nearly half of the current UK population using the network to share and engage with relevant content for their field of work.
Whilst a brand social media strategy is vital for any B2B, one element that is also overlooked is employee advocacy. By that, we mean utilising the power of your employees, and yes, even your own LinkedIn profile, to reach new customers and enhance your relationship with current customers.
The statistics according to LinkedIn are difficult to argue against:
- The average employee has x10 more followers than a LinkedIn company page: these networks are built over the course of your employees career, and are valued, trusted connections. Missing out on the opportunity to market to them means that you are missing out on marketing to a pre-qualified audience.
- When sharing the same content on LinkedIn, employees on average see double the click-through rate on content compared to a brand page: once again, this comes back to trust. Social networks are essentially peer-to-peer networks. A person is more trusted than a brand on these platforms. So, utilising these networks can be hugely beneficial to your business, and can even improve the health of your own brand page, because…
- Sharing is caring: every 2 employee shares on LinkedIn result in a company page view – every 6 shares results in a follower. If your employees are sharing your content to their trusted networks, then it creates curiosity about your brand’s products and services – it translates into more traffic and more follows of your brand’s page on LinkedIn – which in turn allows you to market to leads who are genuinely curious and have acted on a soft referral from your employees.
- 27% of high-growth companies report a shorter sales journey through employee engagement on social media. Social media advocacy can nurture leads at every stage of the sales funnel using social media
- Socially-engaged companies are 57% more likely to increase sales leads: social media is a huge opportunity for brands to not only raise awareness of their products and services, but to also take a more sophisticated approach.
Impressive numbers. But there is a story behind those numbers, and a lot of hard work from businesses to get to these levels. A lot of consideration goes into developing and delivering an employee advocacy strategy.
Look at this excellent example from our client, NSS, of colleagues being empowered to create powerful content that resonates and then being amplified by colleagues.
A key question that you need to answer before you proceed is how you are going to manage the content your employees are creating? There is no correct answer to this question – some companies prefer a top-down approach, utilising the LinkedIn ’employee recommendation’ tools to share interesting content, or notifying their employees every time a post is created to encourage sharing and engaging.
Others prefer an approach where employees are empowered to share and promote stories related to their workplace in their own tone of voice – but backed up with a style and content guide provided by themselves or a trusted partner agency to ensure that work-related content is not shared that doesn’t match their brand values or could portray the company in a bad light.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to employee advocacy. Whether you are an SME or a large multinational, it’s very much dependent on your business goals, internal culture and scale.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that employee advocacy is for other businesses with more time and resources. Because if you are considering an employee engagement strategy, you can guarantee that your competitors are already considering it, or underway with one. With that in mind, we come back to the original question: can you afford not to have one?
If you need help with putting together a social media employee advocacy strategy, we are always happy to help. Please get in touch with Ben Stroud, Social Media Marketing Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).