Encouraging employees to promote their company on social media can significantly extend the reach of the business's messages and can increase online engagement.  

According to The Marketing Advisory Network, a brand's message reach is increased by 561% when employees promote their company on their personal social pages, as opposed to that same message being shared by the company's social pages. Brand messages are also shared 24 times more when they are shared by employees. 

Customers view employees as being real people, while companies are viewed as being ‘entities’. This means that when employees share content, customers are more trusting and therefore more willing to engage with and further share a company’s content. 

So, the moral of the story is that your employees are vital to your social media strategy. But, it can often be difficult to motivate them to be willing advocates for the company they work for. 

Here are five ways you can encourage your employees to advocate your brand:

1. Provide helpful tips and training

It is important to remember that just because your employees have social media doesn't mean they're ‘down with the kids’.  Companies can increase employees' willingness to participate in learning about social media by providing them with relevant training. Regularly sharing helpful tips can help employees drive better results on their own personal social media pages. 

It is useful to share tips that offer guidance on:
  • potential topics and links to share
  • how to keep up with what’s trending on the different platforms
  • the best days and times to post on each social media platform
  • how often to post
  • how to optimise social media profiles 
  • relevant social media channels to follow
  • lists of appropriate hashtags to use in posts
  • suggested captions for sharing content
Giving your employees these kinds of tips will make them feel more confident and comfortable about using social media and therefore promoting the company's content on their own social media pages.

2. Give employees reasons to share content

Even if employees do go to your social media training, they might still need motivation to share work-related content. Companies should show staff members what's in it for them. They can do this by showing how it is personally beneficial to be active on social media. This is because the more active someone is one social media, the more interaction they will generally get. 

Sharing relevant and helpful content boosts a company's brand awareness but it is also important to let your employees know that it can help them establish their own personal brands and establish themselves as thought leaders. 

Motivating your staff members to support and participate willingly in promoting your company is essential so they don’t feel that sharing the brand’s content is an obligation. 

3. Make content easy to share 

If you want your staff to share your content, it is important to make it as easy as possible to find and share it. 

To make their content super easy to find, companies can create a cloud or drive that all employees have access to where content is readily available at the touch of a button. 

Alternatively, your company could send out weekly email digests to staff members that include shareable content or encourages them to follow the brand’s social media pages. 

If you share your company’s content on your social pages, it will be easier for your employees to find and share that content to their own pages. If you do this, not only will your network see the content but so will your employees’ networks. This increases the company’s reach and engagement. 

4. Recognise existing employee advocates

Recognition will make employees feel seen and appreciated for their efforts. It is a good idea to reward the most active team members for their accomplishments. This can be a verbal thanks, a thank you card, a gift card or complimentary lunch. 

This will then encourage other staff members to follow suit and share the company’s content. 

Top advocates add significant value to the company as they can increase traffic to the brand’s social media profiles and boost the credibility of the company. The company can ask the most active employees to help other team members navigate social media. Employees will find helping others rewarding.

5. Measure the impact

Brands won’t have any idea of how their programme is performing without measuring results. 

It is very important for employees to see that what they are doing is making a difference. Companies can report on performance indicators like an increase in site traffic due to social shares, or an increase in company page followers as more members of the team become active. 

Measuring social media success is a vital part of an employee advocacy programme. Companies can find out what’s working and encourage employees to do more of it. 

Employee advocacy requires a lot of effort, but the payoff can be huge. Companies that are not leveraging employee networks are certainly missing out on the opportunity to extend their reach and increase brand awareness. 

With enough motivation, guidance and recognition, brands can unleash the potential of their most significant asset. 

Never underestimate what your employees can do for your business. 

How else do you think employee advocacy can be encouraged on social media? Let us know in the comments section below?

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