Word-of-mouth is among the most trusted and effective factors in swaying buying decisions.
With Nielsen reporting that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family, many marketers have tried to promote employee advocacy-the sharing of brand content through employees’ social media networks.
In March 2016, LinkedIn revealed astonishing results regarding the effect on brand engagement of employee advocacy, as opposed to a company’s promotional messaging.
My company compared LinkedIn’s results against our own.
Posts shared by employees get double the click-through rate of the same piece of content shared by the company.
Furthermore, the larger the organization, the more it benefits from employee advocacy. Companies with more than 10,000 employees saw click-through rates 2.4 percent higher than company shares, and those with fewer than 10,000 on staff saw click-through rates 1.8 percent higher.
We found that employees will only see elevated click-through rates once the employer has built a reputation as a leading industry voice. Employees will not get higher engagement than the company itself. Here’s why:
1. Industry influence. You cannot expect employees to become recognized in their field just by sharing a few of your company’s posts, especially if all those employees are sharing the same content, some not even changing the post title. To stand out, you have to work for it.
2. Invest in your personal brand. Timothy Hughes has written a fantastic post about making time for social media. Encourage employees to be dedicated and to engage with the community to get noticed and build influence. There’s no instant gratification; it takes time.
3. Range of content. Employees must bring more to the table to receive a click-through rate double that of the company itself. Urge them to humanize their online presence by sharing others’ content. They must display personality and not come across as a robot.
A version of this article first appeared on PureChannelApps.