What Is Employee Advocacy and Does It Really Work in 2024?

Updated on March 26, 2024

7 min to read

Head of Marketing @ Vista Social

Published March 26, 2024

What Is Employee Advocacy and Does It Really Work in 2024?
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Have you seen the rise in employee LinkedIn influencers? You may be wondering what is employee advocacy and does it really work in 2024?

What Is Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is more than just a strategy — it’s the heartbeat of your company culture.

That said, if your main aim is to amplify your brand on social media, you could witness a boost in visibility, employee engagement, and overall brand loyalty.

In this article, we’re unveiling what employee advocacy entails and if it truly delivers on its promises — plus, we’re highlighting the best tools and practices for launching, managing, and measuring the effectiveness of your employee advocacy programs.

Let’s dive in! 🤩

Table of contents

What Is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy occurs when employees actively promote their company’s values, mission, and products through their personal networks.

This can range from sharing company news on social media to word-of-mouth endorsements.

It’s a powerful approach that turns employees into brand ambassadors, leveraging their authentic voices to extend the company’s reach.

Organizations across various industries encourage their teams to engage in this practice.

By doing so, they tap into a more genuine form of promotion that can significantly enhance brand perception and trust among broader audiences.

The Essence of Employee Advocacy

The core of employee advocacy lies in harnessing the genuine enthusiasm and credibility of employees.

When staff members share their positive experiences and the merits of their company’s offerings, they contribute to a more relatable and trustworthy brand image. 🤝

This strategy not only amplifies the company’s message in a more personal and credible manner but also fosters a sense of pride and belonging among employees.

They become key stakeholders in the company’s success, motivated by the recognition of their role in shaping the company’s image.

FYI: Vista Social is trusted by leading brands to manage their employee advocacy campaigns — from strategy to execution. Schedule a call to learn more!

Types of Employee Advocacy

Curious about the various forms of employee advocacy already making waves in companies? Look no further:

#1: Company Swag & Merch

Sending out swag and merch stands as a timeless method for employees to spread the word.

This approach isn’t new to social media, but sharing swag on social platforms has become a popular way for employees to showcase their company culture.

So, what’s the strategy?

By distributing appealing and practical swag, employees effortlessly promote the company. Imagine wearing a branded cozy sweatshirt or decorating a laptop with a stylish branded sticker — it’s an instant, understated endorsement.

#2: Internal Incentives & Recognition

A satisfied employee is a natural brand advocate. This implies the necessity for a company culture and environment that acknowledges achievements, whether in private or public forums.

A prime example? The employee of the month program, where standout employees receive public accolades and possibly, monetary rewards or other forms of recognition.

Employee recognition software further facilitates this, allowing for the exchange of kudos or rewards within the organization.

Even modest initiatives, like dedicating time for recognition during meetings, can significantly enhance employee advocacy.

#3: Social Media Advocacy

Social media advocacy has emerged as a critical component of effective employee advocacy programs.

This involves employees sharing positive experiences or aspects of the company on their personal social media accounts.

Crafting a successful social media advocacy strategy may demand more effort than other methods, but it often yields a substantial return on investment.

According to an Edelman study on consumer trust, 63% of 18-34 year olds trust influencers’ words over the brands’ own statements.

With both customers and employees active on social media, leveraging this channel for advocacy becomes a no-brainer.

Discover how Vista Social can empower your journey towards impactful Employee Advocacy. Sign up today!

Why Does Employee Advocacy Work in 2024?

The landscape of employee advocacy has evolved significantly, offering a plethora of benefits for organizations. Here’s why it’s more effective than ever in 2024:

Benefit #1: Amplified Reach and Credibility

The primary advantage? Employee advocacy extends your brand’s reach far beyond conventional methods.

By empowering employees, like how Cisco trained 84,000 of its workforce to become LinkedIn influencers, brands tap into personal networks for a more credible and authentic reach.

What Is Employee Advocacy

This strategy leverages the trust and rapport employees have within their circles, creating a multiplier effect on your brand’s visibility.

Unlike the slow initial adoption rates seen with network effects, employee advocacy quickly scales, leveraging existing social ties to boost your message’s reach and credibility.

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Benefit #2: Strengthened Employer Brand

Employee advocacy shines in showcasing your company culture and values.

When employees share their positive experiences and achievements, it not only attracts potential talent but also builds a strong employer brand.

The ultimate win? A more engaged and motivated workforce committed to your organization’s success.

Benefit #3: Direct Engagement with Your Audience

Allowing employees to share their insights and stories grants direct access to a broader audience.

In an era where authenticity reigns supreme, genuine stories from your team can resonate more deeply than traditional marketing messages.

This approach not only enhances brand perception but also fosters trust among potential customers and employees alike.

Benefit #4: Enhanced Social Proof and Trust

The trust placed in individual voices over brands continues to grow, making employee advocacy a key player in building social proof.

As employees share their authentic experiences and endorsements, it naturally elevates trust and credibility among their networks, translating into a powerful form of social proof for your brand.

Benefit #5: Cost-Effective Expansion Through Social Ties

Tapping into employees’ networks offers a cost-effective strategy for brand growth.

It’s a simple concept: leveraging social ties reduces the need for expensive outreach to cold audiences.

By utilizing the existing networks of employees, brands can authentically engage potential customers and partners.

This approach not only saves on advertising costs but also benefits from the inherent trust within personal networks, leading to organic growth and increased business results.

Tips for Launching an Employee Advocacy Program

Dive into the era of employee advocacy with a playbook designed to elevate your brand’s voice through its most valuable players: your employees.

Tip #1: Incentivize Participation

Motivate your team by offering meaningful rewards. Recognition and monetary incentives are proven to drive participation.

Think: ‘Employee of the Month’ awards or bonuses for successful referrals.

Tip #2: Encourage Authenticity

Authentic posts resonate more. Personalized content by employees can lead to a 64% increase in engagement. Urge your team to add their personal touch.

Tip #3: Provide Comprehensive Training

Not everyone is naturally social media savvy. Offering training can empower your employees to confidently share your brand’s message.

Tip #4: Establish Clear Goals & KPIs

Define what success looks like for your program. Key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track include:

  • Adoption Rate: Measure program uptake through account creation and active participation.
  • Active Participation: Look beyond mere account creation. Is there meaningful engagement?
  • Top Contributors: Identify and celebrate the individuals or teams driving the most engagement.
  • Organic Reach: Gauge the expansion of your message across social networks.
  • Organic Engagement: Monitor the interactions and conversations sparked by shared content.
  • Referrals: Track leads generated from advocacy efforts, including sales leads and recruitment referrals.

It’s no secret that the top brands are already investing in employee advocacy programs in 2024!

Our advice? Get ahead of the curve and dive in. 

Which leads to our next section…

Best Tools for Employee Advocacy Programs in 2024

Transform your employee advocacy strategy with the best tools on the market, each offering unique features to engage your workforce and amplify your brand’s presence:

#1: Vista Social

What Is Employee Advocacy
  • What It Offers: A comprehensive platform that integrates employee profiles, enabling assignment of specific content sharing tasks directly within the tool.
  • Key Features:
    • Employees can duplicate published posts for resharing on their personal channels, maintaining brand consistency and expanding reach.
    • A unified social inbox tracks mentions from employees, ensuring engagement is monitored and leveraged for further brand advocacy.
    • Continuous development of new features aimed at enhancing employee engagement and advocacy effectiveness.
  • Ideal For: Businesses and agencies seeking a dynamic and feature-rich tool for employee advocacy that offers both management ease and deep insights into employee-driven content performance.

#2: LinkedIn’s “My Company” Tab

  • What It Offers: A dedicated space for employees on LinkedIn to stay connected, share achievements, and celebrate company milestones.
  • Key Features: Marketing and talent branding teams can recommend organic posts and curated content for employees to share, enhancing the brand’s visibility and fostering a culture of advocacy.
  • Ideal For: B2B companies focused on strengthening their LinkedIn presence and engaging directly with industry decision-makers.
  • Extra Benefit: Integrates with Vista Social to leverage analytics and listening features, amplifying your strategy.

#3: EveryoneSocial

  • What It Offers: A focus on making employee advocacy accessible through a freemium model, ideal for companies exploring advocacy strategies.
  • Key Features: A centralized content hub for easy access to shareable content, along with social selling features and CRM integrations.
  • Ideal For: Startups and small businesses looking for a cost-effective entry into employee advocacy.
  • Extra Benefit: Empowers sales teams with personal branding and lead tracking capabilities.

#4: Haiilo

  • What It Offers: A platform dedicated to creating an engaging internal community with a strong focus on communication and advocacy.
  • Key Features: Offers in-depth analytics for measuring communications effectiveness and advocacy ROI, with gamification to drive employee engagement.
  • Ideal For: Organizations aiming to foster a strong internal culture while promoting external advocacy.
  • Extra Benefit: Identifies top influencers within your organization, encouraging active participation and content sharing.

Each of these tools brings unique strengths to your employee advocacy program, from fostering internal community to providing analytics for strategic decision-making.

With these handy tips, industry trends, and a leading tools in your back pocket, you’re bound to make a splash with an employee advocacy program!

Leading brands, agencies, and professionals have used Vista Social’s all-in-one marketing platform to optimize and scale their campaigns. Try it out today for free!

About the Author

Head of Marketing @ Vista Social

Brittany Garlin serves as the Head of Marketing at Vista Social, the leading social media suite that's pushing the boundaries of innovation. Steering the platform to achieve an impressive milestone of over 2 million connected social profiles, Brittany's expertise has been acknowledged in a recent appearance on the Social Pros podcast, where she discussed making marketing to marketers more human-centered. With a knack for strategic disruption, Brittany also redefines what it means to be a woman in the tech sector. Her thought leadership is frequently highlighted in prestigious outlets like Forbes and HubSpot.

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