21 Mind Blowing Employee Advocacy Stats [2021 Guide]

It’s 2021 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!      

    21 Mind Blowing Employee Advocacy Stats

    5 Employee Advocacy Stats on Social Media Usage

    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.

    Employee advocacy stats - graphic illustrating the social media use around the world in July 2020
    Image Source: Smart Insights

    To understand the magnitude of social media’s presence in our lives, let’s look at the numbers:

    1. 50.64% (3.96 billion people) of the global population actively use social media and 63% are over the age of 13, making them part of the eligible audience (Backlinko)
    2. In 2020, people had an average of 8.6 social media accounts and spent an average of 2 hours 24 mins a day on social media (Backlinko)
    3. 66% of Facebook’s 2.8 billion active monthly users, 1.85 billion, are active daily (Statista)
    4. 50% of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users, 500 million, are active daily (Backlinko)
    5. 40% of LinkedIn’s 675 million monthly active users are active daily (Foundationinc)

    7 Employee Advocacy Stats on Marketing

    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:

    Employee advocacy stats - image text says 'employee advocacy related leads convert 7 x more often than other types of leads'
    Image Source: Tribal Impact

    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)

    91% of B2B buyers are active on social media (SuperOffice) and 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support purchase decisions (Linkedin)

    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:

    9 Employee Advocacy Stats on the Impact of Employee Advocacy Programs

    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:   

    1. Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract, and 20% more likely to retain, top talent (LinkedIn)
    2. 90% of B2B buyers are more likely to engage with salespeople who are seen as industry thought leaders (Tribalimpact) and 82% are experienced increased trust as a result of thought leadership content (LinkedIn)
    3. 74% of employees feel they are not up to date on company information and news (Trade Press Services) and 85% of employees said they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news (Trade Press Services)
    4. Well informed and engaged employees outperform their peers by 77% (EveryoneSocial)
    5. 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search (Glassdoor)
    6. 73% of sales teams that use social selling outperformed peers (Aberdeen Group)
    7. Customers referred by advocates have a 37% higher retention rate (Deloitte).
    8. Companies with highly engaged teams have a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 59% reduction in staff turnover (Forbes)
    9. Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability (Gallup)

    The 6 Most Important Benefits of an Employee Advocacy Program

    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:

    1: Social Media Reach, Engagement and Improved Brand Awareness

    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.

    Employee advocacy stats - graphic illustrates the stats on trust, reach and conversion rate
    Image Source: Smarp

    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.

    2: Personalization, Authenticity and Improved Trust

    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.  

    Instagram screenshot for employee advocacy stats "9 out of 10 consumers say that authenticity is important"

    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. 

    3: Improved Employee-Company Engagement

    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 stats graph illustrating the how employee engagement affects key business outcomes
    Image Source: Gallup

    4: Empowering Employees and Developing Thought Leadership

    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.

    Employee advocacy stats - graphic showing 82% of business decision makers and 81% of C-suite executives thought that thought leadership content increased their trust in an organization
    Image Source: Edelman/LinkedIn

    5: Talent Acquisition and Retention 

    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 stats - text says 'did you know that companies with an employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract top talent?'
    Image Source: Employment Hero

    6: Increased Leads, Conversions, and Sales

    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.

    Employee advocacy stats graph on why to invest in employee advocacy
    Image Source: Drum Up

    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. 

    Wrapping Up

    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!

    References

    Altimeter: Relationship Economics

    Backlinko: Social Network Usage & Growth Statistics: How Many People Use Social Media in 2021?

    EveryoneSocial: Employee Advocacy Statistics

    Forbes: 10 Timely Statistics About The Connection Between Employee Engagement And Wellness

    Post Beyond: Employee Advocacy

    Social Media Today: 8 Ways that Employee Advocacy Can Boost Your Marketing Efforts [Infographic]

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is an employee advocacy program?

    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.

    What are the benefits of employee advocacy?

    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

    Do employee advocacy posts get better engagement and reach on social media?

    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.

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