The secret is out — employee advocates are making tremendous strides in generating positive exposure for brands. Between bottom-line growth and boosting internal culture, more and more organizations are realizing how everyone can benefit from employee advocacy. There’s a lesson to be learned from companies that are benefiting from the trustworthy, personal endorsements of their employees.
One company that has shown great success in their employee advocacy program is Starbucks. Their strategic approach to employee advocacy focuses on the popularity of the brand and the ability of their workers to produce unique content. They instill a sense of responsibility and pride in their employee advocates by referring to them as “partners” for their social media collaboration. Their success is largely credited to the extensive social media guidelines given to their partners to ensure quality content. Plus, Starbucks has built social media accounts specifically for their partners’ content. This shows partners that they are valued and trusted.
Reebok has tapped into its employees’ passion for fitness in brand advocacy efforts. They encourage workers to post workout-centered content with the provocative hashtag #FitAssCompany and implement regular “employee takeovers” on Instagram. This allows Reebok to easily track and adapt the content being posted. By sharing content that ties in with the employees’ passion, they promote authenticity.
Humana’s focus on health and wellness is proving to be an incredibly beneficial approach for inspiring and empowering employees to serve as brand advocates. Humana’s employee advocacy program now has over 2,900 individuals involved in growing the brand from within, both online and in person. They have given employees enough training to speak with an expert voice within their posts. They have also separated their content into two categories: Humana branding and healthcare information. Being in the healthcare business, they also implement strict regulations on what can be shared to be in compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines. These guidelines ensure reliable and trustworthy advocates.
There’s a lot that can be learned from these brands on how to effectively engage employees as advocates. Offering them specific platforms for their content, integrating advocacy into their existing hobbies, and educating them on your message are great examples of how to empower your workforce to confidently elevate your brand. Employee advocacy has the potential to be a huge area of growth if organizations follow these companies’ leads in putting employees in the foreground of brand efforts.