Monday, October 5

Sharing Content isn't Enough, Enlist Employee Advocacy

Even in today’s era of social media, the number one marketing channel for new leads and customers is word of mouth.  In essence this means that you need to have people talking about your company.  When the world is talking; people are listening. According to Nielsen and Pew Internet, "Only 15% of people trust messages received directly from businesses compared to the 70% who trust messages received from personal contacts."

If we extend the personal WOM channel to social media, the amplitude of your message in a noisy world is magnified. It’s no longer a one-to-one conversation, but possibly one voice to tens-of-thousands. There’s a good chance your customers are on one of the major networks.  As a matter of fact, the people you want to reach demographically (whether you are B2B or B2C) are participating right now. Businesses and customers are reading messages on social media and you can’t watch a TV show without seeing a brand hashtag to follow.

Know that the days are gone where you as a brand can control your message, but you can intensify it.

Your customers and investors are talking about you online so why not join the conversation. If enough voices are speaking positively about your brand, there’s a strong chance your market share will raise.  No matter the size of your business; you can achieve a successful outreach and employee advocacy can be the key to get you started. 

According to a recent Inc article, employees have the most credible voices in the organization, so why not power them with the right tools? 

At Pitney Bowes for example, their employee advocacy program “The Insiders” has seen great success in only a few months. With over 200 employees already part of the program, this new approach to building more socially savvy employees and bigger WOM is catching up quickly.

The program has already been expanded to the UK, with plans of additional expansions before the end of the year.  Not only were The Insiders a big part of the new Pitney Bowes brand launch back in January, but they have been key to sharing the #NewPitneyBowes story.

“The Insiders initiative is an excellent opportunity to get employees engaged in social media, while spreading the word about the new Pitney Bowes and building our collective thought leadership in the marketplace." - Jason Bartlett, Vice President, Digital Marketing & eCommerce

At Pitney Bowes, the employee ambassador program is more than just a communications tool. It is also helping the company with the bottom line, creating sales opportunities, as they go. From building brand awareness and improving company culture, employee advocacy has also been proved to have a significant impact on revenue.

Bruce Gresham, VP Business Planning & Strategy had an amazing success story, clearly proving the ROI of the program.  

“I shared one of our new product innovations on LinkedIn, and several of my existing connections ‘liked’ the post. One of the ‘likes’ lead to a person outside my network ‘liking’ the information (in the post) as well. This developed into a sales opportunity of significant worth with a client with whom we normally would not have connected.”

Your employees are the face of your company. They can also be valuable promoters for your message, why not try a new way of return on human investment? Need additional WOM? Your employees are first in line to help, just ask them.

FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. Pitney Bowes has hired me as a brand ambassador. I am not formally employed by Pitney Bowes. All thoughts and viewpoints are mine. This is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.