Innovative brands are activating employees to be storytellers.
They are doing this to reach new audiences, extend the reach of organic content in social and humanize their brand. The current buzzword for this practice is “employee advocacy,” or even “social selling.” I call it participation marketing, and the reason is clear. Employees tell better stories than you do. They have no agenda. They are authentic, and they are trusted by their peers. But don’t take my word for it. Credible research and data validate the proposition that mobilizing employees as media is a good thing:
- Peer recommendations drive business value. Research from the Boston Consulting Group is explicit when it comes to measuring trust and credibility. The data clearly shows that people trust “employees of a company,” “consumer opinions,” and “colleagues and friends” when seeking information about a product or a brand.
- Technologists are active on social media. It’s a fact. Do a quick search on Twitter or LinkedIn for topics like DevOps, SecOps, or Digital Transformation. You’ll find both technical and business-focused conversations everywhere.
- Brands are investing in employee advocacy. Altimeter’s 2015 State of Social Business Report revealed that “building employee advocacy” programs are becoming a high priority and strategic initiative for marketers, jumping from 13 percent to 45 percent in 2015. Yeah, that was 3 years ago, but that number is climbing.
This book will help business leaders think strategically about employee advocacy as a new channel to market, and will show them how to develop trusted brand messages. Participation in company activity and sharing content not only helps reach wider communities with trusted peer-to-peer endorsements, it also reinforces the credibility of a company as a positive brand experience. Alongside higher employee engagement, retention, and productivity, Participation Marketing shows you how to work with the most vital influencers that any organization can have: its employees.