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Small Business Employee Advocacy Programs Can Work

Employee advocacy programs are being rolled out in corporations across America. Big businesses are engaging human resources for brand growth, influence, and reach. Advocacy is effectively word of mouth advertising from the people who stand to gain the most from the growth of the company they advocate. Small businesses have been slow to leverage this resource but that needs to change.

Companies who leverage employee advocacy programs have huge results including:

  • Brand messaging reaches 561% further and are re-shared 24 times more frequently when shared by employees vs. the company (Source: MSL Group)
  • Job applicants from employee referrals are hired 55% faster than average; referral hires constitute 40% of all hires, and 46% of referral-hired employees will stay longer than three years. (Source: Jobvite)
  • Some 55% of people trust information shared by employees of a company on social media, content sharing sites, and online-online information sources. That’s up 9 percentage points in 2016–up from 46% in 2015. (Source: 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer) (From Marketingprofs.com)

While most of this data is reflected in larger companies it is applicable to small businesses as well. In fact, small businesses can improve even more with calculated advocacy with even as few as 3 employees. Small businesses generally have smaller audiences on social media (primarily Facebook) which makes it easier to capture reach that outsizes that audience. An example of this is a small business with 2-3000 followers and 3-5 employees. Reaching 2-3000 followers on Facebook is considerably easier to reach than reaching 40-50,000 even if you have a much larger employee base to leverage.

Small businesses have a great advantage on large businesses in engaging their target audiences. Social media engagement even on small levels can increase reach dramatically. When that engagement is spread by employees it has stronger social value to the employee’s friends and family. Involving employees in the content production is an important element to ensuring that the content is shared broadly and gives the employees buy-in. Additionally, consideration should be made to involve employees to have input into the strategic messaging. This is easier in a small business and can create enthusiasm for the program.

If your business would like to learn how to implement a small business advocacy program contact us.

 

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