Let the employees do the advocating!
Employee advocacy is a trending marketing strategy for all the right reasons. Companies have now come to view their employees as the best brand ambassadors for their products. These companies are going the extra mile to help their employees grow by introducing a happy work environment, incentivizing initiatives, and enabling them to carve out success stories.
Of course, it works both ways. A successful and contented employee contributes better to their organization and spreads the word of a great company and brand to work or associate with. A satisfied employee is always happy to share news, updates, or product-related information with online peers, thereby acting as a loyal and knowledgeable social influencer on behalf of the company. A loyal employee wins greater trust than a regular social influencer who charges a fee.
Here are five examples of giant firms that have benefited from employee advocacy.
1. Starbucks: More than the aroma
The Facebook page of Starbucks’ employees boasts around 370,000 followers, with similar staggering numbers on Twitter and Instagram. Starbucks has created Employee Partner accounts for specific staff who act as the company’s brand ambassadors. They post pictures, stories, and discussions that encourage fun social interaction among its vast audiences. These keep them hooked to memories of the company’s flavorful product, and act as reminders to zip across to a nearby Starbucks outlet. Employee advocates are encouraged to keep it breezy, chirpy, and buzzing. Entrusting the brand with the employees (who are wholeheartedly considered partners) instills a sense of ownership, pride, and responsibility in them. The impact has been positive and the brand remains much loved and popular.
2. Mastercard: Money speaks volumes
Mastercard’s Employee Ambassador program is a warm relationship between itself and its employees around the world, who share relevant information such as updates, news on the latest products, and brand information with their online social connections. This way, word gets around much sooner than one can expect with traditional marketing. The company’s several thousand employees, who act as advocates, are even allowed to post on social media during office hours. This helps to create and maintain a congenial ambiance that make people look forward to visiting often.
3. Reebok: Active always
The fitness company has made strides in its employee advocacy program by supporting and encouraging its employees to post pictures wearing Reebok products with captions that act as food for thought, or come across as bursts of joy. The results are quite catchy, with hashtags ensuring that the fun never ends.
4. Adobe: Creative solutions
Adobe shares important announcements to its employee brand ambassadors first, who in turn reach out to their social media connections. This builds pride and ownership among employees, besides showcasing a positive brand image where employees are viewed as valuable company assets. Employee blogging by Adobe’s Social Shift Program, which are written and shared by Adobe employees on social media platforms, gives a firsthand glimpse into the passionate office environment that makes Adobe what it is. Interesting contests such as #AdobeLife gives ample opportunity for fun social engagements among employees.
5. Dell: Passion speaks
Dell drives its employee advocacy by nominating selected employees as Dell Champions who steer the social environment and culture throughout their offices and exhibit the same to their valued customers. Training is offered to the employees in branding and social media; they are certified as experts upon completion and officially designated as Dell Champions, in a network spread over 84 countries. Dell Champions share their passion and company news with their social connections through a dedicated tool called EveryoneSocial.
Hence, the concept of company advocacy has been around for years in various forms. The internet and social media have given it an edge and added new opportunities to promote one’s brand. With its range of benefits, having company advocacy in place can lead to growth, retention, and strong culture.