Why your brand needs employee influencers

Laura Moss, EveryoneSocial, Manager of Content Marketing

Want to improve your brand as an employer? Drive marketing, recruiting, and sales growth? Increase your company’s overall reach?

You need to tap into the power of your most valuable resource: Your company’s people.

Whether an employee has 100 social media followers or 100,000, every single member of your team has the potential to become an employee influencer and use their peer connections to benefit the company as a whole. 

Let’s dive deeper into the importance of employee influencers and how to activate this strategy for your brand.

What’s an employee influencer?

An employee influencer is anyone at a company who exhibits influence, whether that’s internally with coworkers or externally with prospects, customers, brand followers, potential hires, etc. An employee influencer can help impact how others view, interact with, or form opinions about the company and its products.

Essentially, employee influencers are just like any other influencer. They’re people who can affect people’s perceptions or influence their purchasing decisions.

What gives them this ability? The mere fact that they’re employed by the company.

Regardless of their position — whether they’re an intern or an executive — employees on social media are a more trusted source of information than brand social accounts. This is because people are naturally more inclined to establish an authentic connection when there’s an actual human on the other end of a social post.

Think about it. What are you more likely to trust — a brand’s LinkedIn posts and tweets about its products and company culture, or an employee who works at that company showing how to use those products?

Employee influencers are powerful. 76% of people say they trust content shared by “normal people” over content posted by brands.

Also, something that might surprise you is that employees don’t necessarily need massive reach in order to make an impact. Anyone, regardless of the size of their network, can engage in effective word-of-mouth marketing.

It’s worth noting that, on average, employees have a network ten times larger than a company’s follower base. Plus, anyone can be an influencer, regardless of their follower count, because everyone has knowledge and experiences worth sharing.

Benefits of activating employee influencers

Now that you understand why your people are so influential, let’s take a look at exactly what they can do — both for your brand and for themselves.

Increased reach and engagement

Content shared by employees reaches a 561% bigger audience and gets eight times more engagement than content shared directly from a brand.

Once again, the reason behind this is the credibility of an employee. Keep this in mind when your company wants to amplify the reach of its content — employee-generated content gets farther reach and is much more effective.

Capitalizing on the organic sphere of influence of your employees drives brand recognition, increases organic sharing, grows referral traffic, and more.

More leads and higher sales

Leads generated via employee influencers convert seven times better than paid ads.

Furthermore, salespeople that engage in social selling, i.e., leveraging social media to attract prospects and build relationships with them (aka being employee influencers), outperform their peers who don’t use social selling tactics.

Enabling sales teams to act as employee influencers drives increased pipeline, better win rates, and up to 48% larger deals.

Improved employer brand and better talent recruitment

Your company’s reputation as an employer matters.

In fact, 95% of people say an employer brand is a key factor when considering a new job, so a strong brand is crucial for attracting — and retaining — top talent.

Plus, having a strong employer brand is proven to save money — reducing hiring costs by 50%. On the other hand, it’s shown that companies with a less than stellar reputation must provide a 10% pay increase to attract qualified candidates.

While there’s no shortage of employer branding activities a company can engage in to improve its reputation, the key to having employee influencers is this: satisfied and engaged employees who feel empowered to post and share about their employer.

Larger networks and better personal branding for employees

While the above benefits are great for the company, remember that an employee influencer program needs to be worthwhile for your people as well. It must be a win-win situation where everyone gets something out of the deal.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of pros to being an employee influencer to entice your teams to want to be your best brand advocates.

When employee advocates use social media to create, share, and engage with content, it helps them expand their own networks, strengthen existing connections, and even make new ones to help them access new opportunities.

Plus, it enables them to grow their personal brands and establish themselves as thought leaders.

Keys to employee influencer success

There are numerous reasons your brand should activate its employee influencers. But there’s more to a successful advocacy program than simply encouraging your people to post on social media or spamming them with links to company content you’d like them to share.

Here’s what you need.

Great content

If you want your employees to create and share content — especially company content — you need to show them what that looks like and provide plenty of it.

This should go beyond just the latest press release or company blog post.

Think about the kind of content your people want to share. What interests them? What would benefit their audience? What can you provide in addition to links? Think video, memes, etc.

There’s no shortage of content types that inspire people to share, and you can make it even easier for your employee influencers by curating all that killer content in one place, making it easy to find and post.

Social media training and guidelines

Not everyone is social media-savvy or comfortable posting online — especially about the company they work for — so give your people the education they need to be successful employee influencers.

75% of employees say they haven’t been trained to engage professionally on social media, and half of workplaces have no social media rules in place. 😬

But a little training goes a long way — in fact, firms with greater than 20% revenue growth have more than 45% of their people trained in social media best practices.

In addition to educating your employees about how to interact online, you should guide them on what to post and how to optimize their profiles.

Here’s what else employees want to learn about social media:

Social media management tools

Social media management brings unique challenges, especially when you’re running a company account or trying to transform your people into employee influencers.

You need an easy-to-use platform that aligns with your social media calendar, makes social scheduling a breeze, and provides accessible insights and analytics to grow your program, to name a few.

Khoros’ social media management platform is designed to do all this and more and is key to helping you launch and maintain a successful employee influencer program.

Book a demo to see what Khoros can do for you.

Employee advocacy platform

While there are ways to run your advocacy program manually, you need a pure-play solution to truly reap the benefits of employee influencers.

That means you need all your content in one place, so it’s easy to find and share, gamification features to encourage sharing, in-depth data, top-notch support, and more.

EveryoneSocial provides all this and more — and you can get started today for free with the basics. Want to check out all the features? Schedule a demo.

Activate employee influencers with Khoros and EveryoneSocial

Most of your employees — 98% of them, to be exact — use at least one social media site, and 50% of those already post about their company online.

In other words, your company already has employee influencers.

But are you providing them with the guidance and resources they need to grow their social networks, build their personal brands, and help the company reap all the benefits of employee advocacy?

If not, Khoros and EveryoneSocial are here to help. Let’s talk about what we can do together.

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