Employee advocacy is a powerful way to distribute your employer branding and recruitment marketing messaging. And, team members want to be employer brand ambassadors! So, kickstart your employee advocacy program by creating content your team members will want to share with their networks. When you create a library of employer brand content, you further empower your employer brand ambassadors.
Research shows that employee referrals generate the highest number of qualified hires out of all source types, and employees hired through referrals stay with the company longer, as well. Meanwhile, brand messages reach 561 percent further when shared by employees compared to being shared by the brand’s social channels.
We’ve established that employee advocacy benefits the organization, but do employees actually want to participate in it? Yes, they do! Kevin Gerrity, Head of Talent at Aronson, conducted an internal poll at his company and found that 89 percent of team members were interested in referring candidates from their networks.
But, despite the quality of hires generated by job referrals and the willingness of employees to become advocates, there’s a clear disconnect. According to the research linked to above, referrals account for only 7 percent of applications, even though they generate 40 percent of the hires.
We attribute the disconnect to a failure by companies to empower employees to become employer brand ambassadors.
Empowering brand ambassadors is a two-part process. The first process is motivating them, the second part is removing friction for them.
Part 1: Motivating Brand Ambassadors
The first step to empowering your brand ambassadors is to generate some excitement about the responsibility and to give them a little bit of motivation.
Explain the importance of being a brand ambassador
Job referrals give employees the power to choose their future coworkers and being a brand ambassador multiplies that power. Remind brand ambassadors that their efforts in sharing content about the company can help bring people into the organization from their network. Who wouldn’t want to choose who they sit next to at work?
Create great content using employee stories
Employee stories make the most effective employer brand content as well as the most shareable content for brand ambassadors, for three reasons.
- Brand ambassadors will naturally want to share content that features themselves (if they participated) or their colleagues.
- Brand ambassadors will want to share content that makes them feel proud to work at the company.
- Great content is insightful content, so brand ambassadors will be eager to share content that provides real value to their network.
One common thread connects all three reasons: sharing great content reflects well on the brand ambassador.
Part 2: Removing Friction for Brand Ambassadors
Now, you’ve successfully motivated your brand ambassadors. So, the second step to empowering them is to remove the friction for them to represent your brand.
Create content libraries to empower employer brand ambassadors
A content library is a collection of different types of content in your content stack—videos, photos, employee spotlights, social graphics, infographics, illustrations, etc.
Write social post caption templates to make it easy for brand ambassadors to share content
Creating a library of content is a great start—but it needs one additional component. On social media platforms, there’s an opportunity to add context, usually in the form of a caption or text post, along with the shared piece of content. Write social post templates and caption templates to accompany the various pieces of content in your content library. Employee advocates can borrow from these templates or use them as inspiration in crafting their own message to appear with the piece of content they’re sharing.
Have a company hashtag? Use it in your templates to keep it top of mind for all employees.
Implement a brand ambassador distribution system
To remove friction for brand ambassadors, there’s one last step. It’s a system to get content and post ideas from the content library into the hands of brand ambassadors. Additionally, you want the ideas, and their sharing, to happen on a regular basis. Of course, these folks are busy with their own roles! Thus, it would be unfair to expect them to keep their ambassadorship top of mind. They should not have to remember to visit the content library on their own.
So, implement a system where they don’t have to remember to do that. Your system can utilize tools in your existing workflow, like recurring calendar reminders and email distribution lists. Or, you can implement an employee advocacy software solution. A dedicated system will further remove friction and empower your brand ambassadors to advocate for your employer brand.
Would you like help with the content and implementation of an employer brand ambassador program?
Contact us to get started. Send us a note, or book a 15 minute call right on our calendar.