Employee Advocacy

By: Katie Huyton, Senior Account Manager

Employee Advocacy

When you want to get key messages out, just ask your colleagues...

The biggest companies in the world extend their brand, spread key communications and create loyalty by using employee advocates. From Starbucks, Reebok and Vodafone, each company harnesses the power of employee ambassadors to bring their company to an audience of tens of thousands every day. It’s not just for the Big Enchiladas either. Whether you’re one of the world’s biggest brands, or a smaller company, you should use the “share power” of your advocates celebrating all the good things about their work to your advantage. 

You’re half way there

You already have internal influencers in your company. They are the champions of your brand, and are already sharing what interests and excites them about their workplace - from LinkedIn to Instagram. The reach they have can be large and influential. Have you tapped into this invaluable resource? Whatever your comms message, these are the people you should make a bee line to and make sure they are onboard and sharing your key messages. Think of them as ambassadors, advocates of your company. They are already motivated and involved, but by recognizing their influence you can ramp up their social media presence and ensure key messages get out to a wider audience.

What’s in it for the advocates? Well, some companies link employee advocacy to criteria in a performance review. Some advocates are keen to stand out – it’s a platform to get them noticed by leadership. Of course you, as a company, can shape the benefits for your advocates, and tailor them to what works best for you and them. 

So, why have an employee advocacy programme?

It can create more revenue

When the  Head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence discovered that just one employee’s efforts on social media drove more revenue for Adobe than its branded social networking properties, the benefits of employee advocacy were crystal clear. This led to the creation of Adobe’s Social Shift Programme, which today educates 30% of its employees on Adobe’s social media guidelines – creating highly effective brand ambassadors.

It creates all round loyalty

Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultzs has stated that employees “are the true ambassadors of our brand.” This really shows in Starbucks’ employee advocacy programme. Partners are encouraged to upload pictures, share stories and spark discussions from a curated bank of images and topics. This makes posting easy. The result? Today Starbucks’ Facebook has over 370,000 followers, and their Instagram page has 127,000 followers.

It shows you’re human

Vodafone is one of the world’s biggest mobile companies. As a communication company it made sense for them to create a social media platform to make communicating as stress free as possible. Go Social enables employees to celebrate and share community projects, new initiatives, charity events, and team days. Go Social puts a human face behind a very big brand, and makes it easy to do so.

The global companies above had innovative ways to create employee advocacy. Avvio, too, has helped some of the largest companies in the UK and Europe identify advocates and maximize their influence so they become invaluable key influencers. For example, we’ve recently helped global construction and engineering giant Salini Impreglio identify and set up a team of dedicated advocates called Brand Builders. They actively post on Instagram and LinkedIn – sharing the stories, insights, and initiatives worldwide that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.  

We can help you find the advocates in your company too. Just give us a call, we’d love to speak to you!