It’s 2023 and we’re well and truly into the age of social media. As a business, you need to leverage your social media presence more than ever to succeed.
Building brand awareness, a great reputation, and becoming an easily recognized and trusted company are key to success in the noisy marketplace of an online world.
So, how do you create a solid online presence and gain the trust of your customers, peers, and industry? How do you connect with your audience in a meaningful way?
Traditional marketing, company social media and paid social media advertising can only get you so far. You can only reach so many people and you can’t truly interact or connect with them in a meaningful, personal way.
The answer employee advocacy. People trust people. They connect with people.
They form relationships with people. The beauty of employee advocacy is that it takes your brand – your nameless, faceless corporate entity – and connects it to real people, with names and faces.
Employee advocacy humanizes your brand. It makes it personal and trustworthy. A network of numerous advocates gives you a huge bump in social media reach and engagement too.
The benefits of employee advocacy also go beyond its marketing value. Improved employee engagement and corporate culture, employee empowerment, recruiting top talent… The list goes on.
But you don’t have to take our word for it – the numbers don’t lie.
So, that said, let’s dive into the employee advocacy stats so you can see for yourself!
Social media usage has grown over the last few years and continues to do so. Reaching people and putting your brand in front of them on social media is now an integral part of marketing and sales for every company, across all industries.
To understand the magnitude of social media’s presence in our lives, let’s look at the numbers:
Marketing through employee advocacy on social media has some unique benefits. These include greater reach, higher engagement, higher trust, and a more personalized brand experience for your customers:
561% greater reach when messages are shared by employees rather than by the brand’s official social media channels (MSLGroup)
800% more engagement on posts shared by employees, when compared to the same posts shared by official brand accounts (Social Media Today)
700% greater conversion frequency when leads are developed through employee social media (Marketing Advisory Network)
76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands (AdWeek)
84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above formal advertising (Neal Schaffer)
77% of consumers are likely to purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust (Neal Schaffer)
Employee advocacy is particularly important in the B2B space. Check out this video by Oktopost on YouTube for more info on the benefits of employee advocacy for B2B companies:
The benefits of employee advocacy extend beyond increased brand awareness, lead generation, and sales.
They also include employee empowerment to become thought leaders in their industry. Improved communication, engagement, and company culture, which lead to higher employee motivation and productivity. With this, comes an improvement in recruiting and talent acquisition, as well as better talent retention.
Here are some numbers to illustrate this:
The employee advocacy stats demonstrate the undeniable value of employee advocacy for improved brand awareness, marketing reach, engagement, and lead generation. As well as improved lead conversion, sales, and customer retention.
They also show how successful employee advocacy programs benefit the company internally, through improved employee engagement and company culture. Higher productivity, and reduced employee turnover. Employees also benefit, from a better professional online presence, the tools to further their career objectives, and working in a well-respected company.
Let’s look at the 6 most important benefits of employee advocacy:
Employee advocacy allows you to reach more people organically on social media. According to LinkedIn, on average employees have social networks that are 10 times larger than their company’s network.
This means that every employee post has the potential to reach 10 times more people the same post shared by your company.
The scale of organic reach from employee advocacy posts elevates brand awareness and recognition far beyond what can be achieved by the company’s social profiles alone.
According to Social Media Today, posts by employees achieve 8 times the engagement of content shared directly by a brand.
People innately trust information shared by peers. They feel it is more relevant to them as individuals, which adds yet another layer of value to employee advocacy.
Personalization, connection, and relationships are at the heart of customer loyalty and retention. When brand content is shared by peers, the people reached by that content see it connected to an authentic human being, rather than a nameless and faceless brand.
As more and more people use social media as search engines to find information about the companies they’re considering doing business with, the human element of social media has become essential too.
When employees share company content, they’re connecting themselves to the content and putting a face and authentic human sentiment to the company content.
According to PostBeyond, a HubSpot study found that 75% don’t trust advertisements but 70% trust recommendations from consumer reviews. A survey by AdWeek found that 76% of individuals surveyed said that they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands.
This kind of implicit trust extends to employee advocacy posts too, as they from real people who are known to the audience. According to HubSpot, people are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on a social media referral.
A key aspect of employee advocacy involves sharing company information with employees. This improves employee engagement and employee-company interaction, which creates a connection and affinity between the employee and the company. This boosts company culture too.
A report by Altimeter Group found that employee advocacy forms an important part of investing in ‘relationship economics’. It stated that “socially engaged employees are more optimistic, inspired, connected, and tenured”.
A meta-analysis conducted by Gallup found that groups with a high level of employee engagement had almost twice the likelihood of success in terms of composite scores based on financial, customer, retention, safety, quality, shrinkage, and absenteeism metrics.
Improved employee engagement had positive impacts on absenteeism, productivity, staff turnover, customer ratings, sales, and profitability.
Employee advocacy also benefits the employees themselves. Employee advocacy programs provide employees with a range of content that is highly relevant to their industry and that reflects well on the organization they work for.
Employees can frame that content within their authentic style and voice and leverage it to make themselves look good. When employees are publically well informed, knowledgeable and up to date in their field, they begin to emerge as thought leaders and establish their personal brands.
This also benefits the company. A 2020 Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Study found that B2B decision-makers use thought leadership to vet a company’s capabilities. 59% agree that an organization’s thought leadership is a more trustworthy source for assessing a company’s capabilities than the company’s marketing material.
When you have prominent, engaged, and passionate thought leaders in your organization, you’re able to attract top talent. People want to be on teams with thought leaders and they want to work for organizations with a great reputation.
Employee advocacy also means that talent is seeing you – whether they’re looking at job postings or not – because your employees have the tools to make their own jobs and careers, working for your brand, look as good as possible.
Employee advocacy brings together improvements throughout the business for better marketing, social selling, customer service, and customer retention.
A bigger online presence, higher levels of trust, and a broader network for referrals make generating leads easier.
In the B2B space, buyers use social media to find trusted solutions. According to LinkedIn, 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support purchase decisions.
As direct sales now focus on social selling, sales teams use social media to meet their prospective clients, interact with them and develop relationships that convert to sales.
According to LinkedIn, leads from employee advocacy convert 7 times more frequently than other types and salespeople who share content are 45% more likely to achieve or exceed their sales quotas.
If you’re on the fence about the value of an employee advocacy program, these employee advocacy stats paint a very clear picture – the benefits are undeniable!
A successful employee advocacy program will increase employee engagement and productivity, improve your brand’s online presence, resulting in greater reach and engagement on social media. It will help you build a stellar brand reputation, improve sales, conversions, and your bottom line!
Altimeter: Relationship Economics
EveryoneSocial: Employee Advocacy Statistics
Post Beyond: Employee Advocacy
Social Media Today: 8 Ways that Employee Advocacy Can Boost Your Marketing Efforts [Infographic]
An employee advocacy program is a marketing and employee engagement strategy aimed at equipping and incentivizing employees to promote their employer. This may be in person, online, and on social media.
6 important employee advocacy benefits are:
1. Social Media Reach, Engagement and Improved Brand Awareness
2. Personalization, Authenticity and Improved Trust
3. Improved Employee-Company Engagement
4. Empowering Employees and Developing Thought Leadership
5. Talent Acquisition and Retention
6. Increased Leads, Conversions, and Sales
Check out the full article for more information on the benefits of employee advocacy
Yes. Employee advocacy stats show that employee's posts get 561% greater reach and 800% more engagement than posts shared by companies. Check out the full article for more employee advocacy stats for social media marketing.