Mostafa Razzak in Social Media, Marketing, Digital Marketing & Sales CEO • JMRConnect - Shaping Influence® PR Oct 1, 2020 · 2 min read · +400

Employee Advocacy: Social Selling via Organic Influencer Communications

Identifying Influencers that make the Best Brand Ambassadors

by Mostafa Razzak

Employee Advocacy drives social selling and is a valuable aspect of Influencer communications. By harnessing the social power of the people within your organization, you not only amplify the reach and authenticity of marketing messages, but also increase engagement with prospects and customers. 

How does it work?  

Empower Advocates with “One-Click Activism”

Content is sent to your employees by emails containing approved posts that can be simultaneously shared across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube with one or two clicks. 

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on advertisements and pay-for-play programs, you can leverage your team's existing connections as evergreen distribution channels. 

Important to note - shared content appears as first-person, organic recommendations to each user's network. So instead of sharing one post through your corporate account and hoping for traction, this method sends content viral by employing the entire organization to organically advocate and amplify brand awareness. 

The Highlights

  • Share content with influencers, friends and followers via email, who then disseminate your key messages over their social networks easily, with just one click.
  • Incentivize friends, employees, influencers, etc. - launch competition based on reach
  • Viral Communications: Calls to action that increase engagement and conversion rates
  • Increase traffic and reach of case studies, whitepapers, webinars, videos, podcasts, blogs, articles, etc.
  • Secure higher participation internal communications, marketing campaigns
  • Posts appear as first-person recommendations, not advertisements or promoted content

Personal referrals possess enormous amounts of credibility and, by extension, a shaping influence on consumer decision-making. Influencer engagement is accomplished in many ways, but one of the most effective is through virtual word of mouth or “shares” via social media. 

A customer success story in the Wall Street Journal is great, but with so many new media platforms from which people now consume news and information, there’s no guarantee that your target audience will see it. We see this a lot; content and marketing assets (case studies, news coverage, white papers, photos, videos, etc.) consistently attract larger audiences and higher conversation rates when shared across multiple networks.

While only 15% of people trust recommendations from brands, 84% trust recommendations from people they know.
Rather than blindly accepting the marketing messages of companies, today’s consumers are more discerning and more likely to accept the recommendations, shares, likes, and reviews of people they know and trust. A brand referral that comes from a family member, friend or colleague is inherently more credible than ads and sponsored content.

The many businesses that overlook the importance of in-house influencer communities (i.e. employees) are often the organizations with repeatedly underachieving campaigns. 

A survey by BrightLocal found that consumers read an average of 10 reviews prior to purchasing a product; employee advocacy cuts out part of the review reading process by customers and cuts straight to your own employees building trust for your brand. 

Employee Advocacy: Social Selling via Organic Influencer Communications

      Business Benefits & Value

      • Showcase executive thought leadership
      • Maximize the value of compelling, branded, multimedia content
      • Leverage employee and brand advocates to engages target audiences, reinforcing brand credibility
      • Empower C—Suite, sales, marketing, communications, IT, business development, etc., to organically and simultaneously amplify content across social media platforms, sending company messaging viral — without headache or hassle
      • Content Marketing: Drive traffic to thought leadership, news and other compelling content, extending the each of case studies, whitepapers, webinars, videos, podcasts, blogs, articles, etc.

      Looking for a job? 

      Hiring decisions are based on finding the best candidate for specific positions. In today's hyper-connected world, employees, regardless of role and seniority, should be connected to your target audience in one way or another.

      Every employee has unique social ties that automatically make them valuable contributors to business development efforts. Sales and marketing have an untapped resource at their disposal; company executives, customer service and success teams, IT,  HR and other personnel should all be utilized in campaigns. 

      When hiring business development and salespersons, savvy executives will lean towards candidates who are proficient in social selling and visibly active on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

      Employee Advocacy works wonders when generating content that’s tailored towards your target audience. 

      It's important to find the right platform, so that users can share your content with one or two clicks. Simplicity is key for sustaining user adoption.

      5 Must-haves for your Employee Advocacy Platform

      • To effectively combine organic, multi-channel social media outreach with content marketing, employee advocacy and social brand ambassador platforms must be customizable as well as offer the following five distinct features:

        • 1-Click Activism: Sharing Across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
        • Gamification: Incentivize sharing! As Brand Ambassadors share, they accumulate points, which generates a friendly competition and drive usage
        • Loyalty: As Ambassadors amplify your message, build loyalty by incentivizing them with partner perks, gift cards, experiences and more
        • Quantify Value: Measure earned media value of organic campaigns
        • Deep Analytics: Measure clicks-to-content, cross-platform engagement, amplified visibility

      Your team's personal networks offer low-hanging fruit for lead generation and social selling. With employee advocacy, you not only save money on costly sponsorships and ads, but also expand the scope of distribution, increase visibility and reinforce brand integrity.