Employee advocacy is a hot topic for businesses, and both marketers and business leaders are asking more questions about designing and implementing employee advocacy programs. Your company may be missing a huge opportunity to increase the organic reach of your social media and marketing efforts without one.

But, there is one question not often addressed. If your employees start looking “too good” online because of their participation in your employee advocacy program, will they get poached by a competitor or headhunter?

It’s a good question to ask. You want your company to be known as a great place to work, but you also don’t want to waste that hard-earned money on investing in employees who are ready to chase down the next shiny job offer.

To make an employee advocacy program successful, you must educate business leaders and the HR department on both the risks and benefits of rolling out an employee advocacy program. Once they see the value of the program to the company’s objectives, you’ll have the support you need to gain adoption and resources to amplify your marketing efforts.

 

What are the benefits of an employee advocacy program to your company?

  • Amplify content reach.
  • Increase website traffic.
  • Engage employees in content marketing and social marketing.
  • Discover which employees are internal advocates for your marketing team’s efforts.
  • Develop marketing-qualified leads through employee social marketing.
  • Attract more qualified referrals for the business.
  • Ensure your company is noticed as a top place to work by future employees.
  • Happier employees = better workplace = enhanced productivity.

 

What are the benefits of an employee advocacy program to your employees?

  • Increase visibility of employees’ social profiles.
  • Showcase employees’ thought leadership.
  • Build employees’ personal brands.
  • Help employees learn about professional development and career growth.
  • Invite employees to learn more about marketing (cross-training opportunities).
  • Make the company a place employees are proud to promote.
  • Populate employees’ social calendars and queues with high-quality content.

 

Taking those benefits into consideration, let’s examine assumptions about whether or not an employee advocacy program will increase the likelihood of team members getting poached.

You cannot protect your employees from being poached or contacted by headhunters. But, if your company is a great place for them to work, they won’t be as open to opportunities.

Businesses once worried about employees meeting competitors at conferences, and this situation is similar. You can try to hide your employees from competitors online, but to what end?

If you are helping your employees have a good presence on LinkedIn, it’s a benefit.

It’s a false assumption there’s an increased risk of employees leaving companies due to involvement in a social media employee advocacy program.

Determine the value of having your employees visible on LinkedIn and factor that into your decision process. How much is it worth to you to have employees sharing content and visible on social media?

You are apt to attract better talent when candidates see the enthusiasm and engagement of current employees.

 

For those of you worried about new hires and employee advocacy programs, here are a few precautions.

Examine all new hire’s social networks to determine whether they might be valuable to the company. If they are valuable to the company, help them leverage their connections and spend time educating them about how to build their online social presence.

Do not invest copious amounts of time in building your employees’ personal brands until they have been at the company more than six months, unless they are visible managers or business leaders.

As part of reaching employees’ one-year anniversary with the company, invite them to become involved in the personal branding aspect of the employee advocacy program.

 

You want your company to be known for company culture and as a great place to work. One of the ways you can attract top talent is by empowering employees to actively participate in social media marketing efforts and helping them hone their personal brands. An employee advocacy program is one of the best investments you can make in your marketing programs and employee engagement efforts.

Getting started with your employee advocacy program? This LinkedIn Profile Guide is a foundational resource that every business launching an employee advocacy program should have on hand. If you have further questions, leave a comment below or contact us.