LinkedIn is the first choice of social media for B2B companies, and a LinkedIn presence is not only valuable, but essential. However, for businesses to truly succeed on the business social platform, they need to mobilise their own employees. This means employee advocacy is a concept you really ought to be familiar with.
In a typical business, only 3% of employees will share content from the company's LinkedIn profile. That doesn't sound like much, but this 3% can actually increase the total interaction with the company's profile by up to 30%.
So the question is: who creates the greatest value on social media? Employees or fans? The answer is actually: employee fans!
Employee advocacy might sound complicated, but it is just a term for the strategy a company uses to mobilise its employees to spread company messages on social media platforms with the goal of gaining more visibility and legitimacy.
Your company is probably already on LinkedIn. You post a great deal of relevant and inspiring content, while trying to keep your followers interested. But your company's excellent content really begins to spread like fire when your own employees like, share or comment on it. This is because we listen far more to those we know than companies with a more or less obvious marketing goal. Your colleagues have the potential to be walking ambassadors, which means you need to prioritise employee advocacy.
Take advantage of employee reach
Around 50% of LinkedIn users have over 500 contacts, so your colleagues' personal LinkedIn profiles are likely to have a far greater reach in total than the company profile itself. This is why you need to mobilise your colleagues! Every time they like, share or comment on a company message, it is shared with their entire network and the company gains extensive and organic exposure.
At Publico, for example the maths looks like this:
Mobilise your employees on LinkedIn
It is unrealistic to expect your colleagues to share company content completely on their own initiative. They will need some motivating and inspiring.
Here are four tips on how to mobilise your employees and boost their desire to share your company's LinkedIn posts:
1. No pressure
Remember that employees own their own profiles and of course decide what they want to share. But you can easily remind them that professional activity on LinkedIn also strengthens their own personal profile.
2. Keep things simple
Always promote new posts internally. This can be done via group mail or intranet. When you encourage your colleagues to share a post, make it as easy as possible. You could even send a suggestion for accompanying text that they can choose to use.
3. Appoint ambassadors
If some of your colleagues are experienced LinkedIn users, you can encourage them to write one or more posts on the topics where the company wants to be seen as a thought leader (within the employee's own field of expertise, of course). Such in-house experts strengthen both the company brand and their own brand - and their posts typically have many views.
4. Provide help and follow up
Think about how you can best get your colleagues up and running on this. Use morning meetings, internal training or give them guidelines and how-to's. Remember to follow up until LinkedIn becomes a regular part of their working day.
Hopefully you now feel ready to launch “mission employee advocacy”.
Do you want to learn more about why your business should be on LinkedIn - and how to best exploit the platform?