The concept of employee advocacy has been around in one form or another for a long time, but the Internet, and social media in particular, have transformed the practice and brought about entirely new possibilities.
Employee advocacy is the promotion of a firm or organization by its staff. Employee advocacy programs work by helping to put a human face on an organization. They put employees at the center of the stage and make them ambassadors for your brand.
As effective as employee advocacy can be, it is still very much underutilized. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s findings, only 3% of employees actually share company-related content, but those shares increase overall likes, comments and re-shares by about 30%. When done right, it can have dramatic effects on the reach of your law firm’s message.
Benefits Of Employee Advocacy
Just becoming an early adopter of employee advocacy in the Internet age can help put your law firm ahead of the competition. As with anything else, it’s the early adopters who usually reap the biggest rewards from new technologies and new ways of doing things.
Increase Social Media Reach
Employee advocacy can greatly increase the reach of your law practice on social media. Your employees can get your message in front of far more eyes that your firm’s own business page.
Let’s use Facebook as an example. Let’s say your firm’s page has 2000 fans. Every time you post or share something on that Facebook page, you’ve got a possible reach of 2000 people.
Now let’s look at your employees on Facebook. The average Facebook user has between 200 and 350 friends. We’ll use something in the middle and say each of your employees has an average of 250 friends. If you’ve got 50 employees and you can get each of them to share one piece of content with their own network, you’ve now got a reach of 12,500 people. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
In addition, it’s estimated that about 40% of Facebook users don’t like any brand/business pages at all. So, without some kind of employee advocacy, the only way to reach that 40% would be through paid advertising.
Instill Trust In Your Brand
It’s a simple fact. When a post on social media is coming from a person, rather than a brand, people are more likely to trust the message. Network technology giant Cisco reported that social media posts made by employees on their own social media accounts generated eight times more engagement than posts from their employers. They even go as far as saying that 135 employees have more power than 1 million fans on a business page.
Statistics show that people are 16 times more likely to trust a message coming from a person than from a brand. That is an extremely powerful number. Going back to our example above, imagine what can happen when your employees can reach six times more people than your law firm can reach on its own, and then all of those people are 16 times more likely to trust the message they see and convert into leads.
Improve Culture And Boost Morale
Employee advocacy helps improve the firm’s relationship with its own employees, too. By encouraging the people working with you to take part in what’s going on, they feel like they are more involved — because they are. The interaction and feedback they get from sharing your firm’s content encourages them to learn more about what’s going on and share the feedback they receive with the firm. It’s a win-win situation.
Boost The Bottom Line
A good employee advocacy program can boost your firm’s bottom line in more ways than one:
- More Productivity – Happier and more engaged employees are more productive and less likely to take time off for trivial reasons.
- Lower Marketing Costs – Your employees will help you reach people that you could only have reached before with paid advertising spots.
- Increased Conversions – A report released by Ogilvy, Google and TNS shows that 74% of consumers rate word-of-mouth as the number one influence on their decision to buy a product or service. Employee advocacy starts a powerful word-of-mouth chain.
A Complement To Content Marketing
Employee advocacy is, without a doubt, the perfect complement to content marketing. It will help your firm to distribute your content to a much wider audience, squeezing more value out of every marketing dollar spent.
If it’s not a part of your current strategy, it is well worth looking into, especially if your law firm employs a lot of people. No matter how many employees you have, though, the returns are well worth the investment of time and training it takes to put an employee advocacy program in motion.