Top 10 Employee Advocacy Examples to Boost Your Brand

Talentsorter StaffEmployee Interaction, Engagement, HR Policies, Onboarding

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No company gets anywhere without its employees.

They’re workhorses; pillars of your company community; excellent sources for a bad joke or smidge of water cooler gossip.

But that’s not all.

As influencer marketing exits its infancy and saturates the promotional sector, more and more companies are starting to realize that employees can advocate for your brand.

How does this work, exactly?

LinkedIn estimates that employees have up to 10 times the combined number of followers that an organization does.

LinkedIn estimates that employees have up to 10 times the combined number of followers that an organization does.

“In an average company, only 3% of employees share company-related content but they are responsible for driving a 30% increase in the content’s total likes, shares, and comments.”

In other words, they’re responsible for massive engagement, but are so disengaged themselves that businesses are utterly failing to utilize this resource.

Clearly, employees are often overlooked as a source of marketing potential for companies.

But why?

They understand products and services like no one else; they have real relationships with customers and prospects; and they’re actual people who vet similar products/services in their own lives.

Starting to sound like a goldmine?

It should. Micro-influencers are all the rage these days.

While a single individual influencer may not have that wide a reach, their relationships are more personalized, so they inspire greater trust.

When employees talk about how a company works, why they care about it, how it helps the world and why the products rock, people listen.

This type of insider advocacy is priceless, if only you know how to use it.

Where to start? Get some role models.

Here are 10 companies doing it right.

1. MasterCard

The globally used credit card company gets employee advocacy right. It is transparent about its approach, inviting employees to become “brand ambassadors,” responsible for bringing on-message tweets, posts and pics to the world. They post right from the office, meaning they still do their outreach on work time.

2. Starbucks 

If anyone needed more of a reason to pay $4 for a cup of coffee (which we already do willingly), Starbucks’ employees are there to give you one. Management built a dedicated employee “partner” account, from which Starbucks team members can launch pictures, stories and blurbs about the brand. Best of all, it offers employees a place to come together and dish about their jobs and product. We imagine with all the free coffee they get to drink, they’re pretty

3. Reebok

If the hashtag #FitAssCompany caught your attention, good: It was supposed to. The gold standard shoe company is engaging employees by encouraging them to share their best photos of them wearing Reebok products in their feeds, with the sassy tag make things interesting.

4. Bluewolf

A giant IT consulting firm, Bluewolf helps companies manage their tech and integrate new digital technologies most effectively. They put some of that expertise toward their employees, offering an incentive program to help them build and launch meaningful personal brands. With that kind of reward, what employee can help saying nice things about their boss? Plus, helping employees engage more effectively with the online sphere further highlights Bluewolf’s expertise in the digital world.

5. Genesys

Social selling is big business these days. With so many people mainlining social media feeds, it’s one of the best ways to get in front of eyeballs. Each of Genesys’ sellers can use their social media feeds to reach prospects with on-brand messages. Their emphasis on this approach to sales has made them one of the most notable companies using employee advocacy today. The #genesysworks hashtag combines a corporate message with employee and intern tweets.

6. Vodafone

Telecommunications company Vodafone starting leveraging employee advocacy to broadcast their services and approach via the lightning-fast social network. Their advocates share personal photos, memories, ideas and news items from their own accounts, highlighting Vodafone’s services to a vast range of people and doing much to humanize it. They have carefully established guidelines, and as a thank-you, share about their employees on the company blog.

7. Mary Kay

The inimitable cosmetics company, which already leveraged employees to drive sales while empowering women, has transitioned well to employee advocacy. Their sellers share lots of newsworthy tidbits, like the time they got a cheeky shoutout from Jimmy Kimmel on national television. Who doesn’t love pasting that up all over town?

8. LinkedIn

While LinkedIn’s employees certainly value its brand and their jobs, the professional social media company does things a little differently. Instead of relying on an aggregate employee account or having employees do their marketing on personal channels, they identify a social megaphone. Global Senior Manager, LinkedIn Social Marketing Koka Sexton advocates on behalf of the company, communicating personally with its many fans and helping them engage ever more efficiently with the career platform.

9. Zappos

Everyone loves a pair of shoes courtesy of the internet, and Zappos delivers. An original ecommerce success story, the organization is now paving the way for employee advocacy through its employee Twitter channel. There, “Zapponians” share their news, ideas and funny photos for all the world to see. Consuming content of people having fun in the workplace makes for better marketing, higher trust and greater sales. Plus, employees love it.

10. Kelly Services

Popular staffing agency Kelly Services has a lot of employees. This stands to reason, since they need to humanpower to process the applications and placements of thousands of temporary and permanent hires. Many of those employees were young and socially savvy, so on the recommendation of their own social media consultants, Kelly implemented a strategy encouraging them to pound the pavement … digitally, of course. Don’t expect to mimic these companies’ success overnight. However, it’s not a bad idea to follow them on Twitter, make a habit of checking in on their most enthusiastic employees, and stay the loop about employee advocacy and brand-building overall.

And remember, a great employee advocacy program starts with great people first.  Use TalentSorter to help you hire for “Fit First”, and attract the right people with the right attitudes to help empower your company culture beyond the cubicle.

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