TL;DR: The benefits of employee advocacy are fairly easy to see: employees collectively may have social networks far larger than that of your brand and in a pay-to-play world, employees’ organic content can be a cost-effective advantage.
Similar to influencer marketing, employee voices often are viewed with more trust or credibility than the brand's voice; one study showed people are 16 times more likely to read a post from a friend about a brand than a post from the brand itself.
Still, an employee advocacy will be a poor investment of resources for some brands.
Considerations Before Beginning
As you would with any PR effort, begin examining a potential employee-advocacy effort by doing preparatory work, set goals and conduct research. There are many things to consider before embarking on a program include. A few include:
Work culture: Employee advocacy works best in open, trusting cultures that allow a free exchange of ideas and room to make mistakes. For an employee-advocacy program to be sustainable, staff must possess an authentic affinity for the brand.
Goals: Before moving forward decide on business goals your want the program to address. Attracting new business or new talent are common goals.
Audience: This consideration dovetails with what we said about goals above. Do your employees’ followers align with the audience you want to target based on the goals you’ve outlined? For example, employee advocacy may be ill-suited for a brand trying to reach decision makers when employees’ networks are primarily entry-level. This is why it's crucial to conduct an inventory of your employees' followers. Smaller companies can review employees’ networks by hand, while larger companies may utilize employee advocacy tools offered through LinkedIn Elevate, Bambu or Hootsuite Amplify.