People trust people. It’s what makes us human. It is on our DNA to connect to other people, ask for feedback, and seek their opinions about products and services. We also like to give feedback and provide our perspectives and personal experiences.
There are several ways that brands can build trust with their customers. First, they have must have a good product or service. That’s a given. Also, having stellar customer service can help build and maintain that trust.
Another way to build trust with your customers is by launching an employee advocacy program. If done right, it can also influence buyers through the purchase funnel.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is when an employee advocates for your brand on their social media accounts. They share what they love about doing business with your company and what makes it a great place to work.
Identifying internal employees who want to participate in the program is part of an employee advocacy program. Teaching them the best methods for using social media and the basics of engagement, then supplying them with content to share and giving them permission to create content that they are enthusiastic about. It’s a fantastic approach to develop external thought leadership,
According to the Hootsuite 2020 Social Transformation Report, 31% of mature businesses saw significant brand health growth through employee advocacy initiatives. This is only one of several reasons companies should consider developing an employee program and integrating it into external marketing activities.
Here are three additional reasons you should consider launching an employee advocacy program and integrating it into your go-to-market strategy in 2022.
Building Trust With External Stakeholders
The trust factor again. If you work for a B2B firm, then you know that buyers are very vocal online and talk about the products and services they care about. So, activating employees to be influencers through thought leadership is a strategic thing to do.
If you think about the B2B buyer’s journey, most buyers spend their time researching products and services before making a purchase decision. They participate in forums like Reddit, Github, and Stack Overflow, leave comments on blogs, go back and forth with other buyers on public social media channels like Twitter. These are all opportunities for employees to intercept those conversations and build trust.
Imagine employees, influencers, and buyers having a fruitful conversation about technology. They have conversation after conversation, share best practices and knowledge, and support each other along the way. That is trust, and that will influence.
Reach New Audiences on Social Media
Reaching untapped audiences is another reason to launch an employee advocacy program. People active on social media have reliable connections and are growing daily. These are audiences that brand channels can’t reach directly, even with paid media.
As employee advocacy programs grow, the cycle of influence will get stronger and stronger. The result is to surround your customers and prospects with relevant, consistent branded content, a critical component of any B2B social media program.
Visibility in the Search Engines
Search engine visibility is a gift that keeps on giving when employees are empowered to create long-form content through blogs and communities. This is especially helpful for B2B and tech companies that create customer communities. Large brands like Oracle, SAP, and IBM launched these communities years ago and are still reaping the benefits.
Launching an employee advocacy program is not going to change the world. It’s not going to solve all of your marketing challenges, and it’s not going to win you any awards. Well, I take that back. You may win awards if you can figure out an innovative way to integrate employees with external marketing and influencer integration.
It will also layer in trustworthy content on all the other brand messages, reinforcing your brand to your audiences.
Employee advocacy has been around for years, and it will continue to grow. However, companies need a plan for integrating employee advocacy programs into their overall go-to-market strategy – especially with the 2020 mandate of two-way conversations. It’s not just about creating content that employees are passionate about but also supporting them, sharing best practices, and helping them be successful.