Enhance Your 2023 Toolkit with Thought Leadership, Social Media & Employee Advocacy

Hear from Account Associate, Brandon Mullins on why employee advocacy, social advocacy and thought leadership are three tools that you should consider in 2023.
By: Brandon Mullins

Have you, or will you use social media today? Do you have a job that requires specialized knowledge? Chances are, since you’re reading this blog post, the answer is going to be “yes” and that is why social media and employee advocacy can work for you!

Employee advocacy, what is it and why does it matter?

Employee advocacy is when employees promote their employer’s brands, products or services.

This past holiday season, I completed my yearly ritual of trying to explain to my family what I do for a living. This is something that so many of us do on a regular basis — describing our occupation is just a natural part of conversation (even with our distant relatives) — and even though it may sometimes seem like a small or even tedious task, what we say about our job speaks volumes about the organization we’re a part of. Whether it’s through a direct conversation or a selfie we take at a work event and share to our social media, both give our network insight into our culture and love of what we do for a living.

Employee advocacy is a personal approach to brand building, which helps to raise awareness of company messages, promotions, experience and more. When you do great work, it’s easy to brag about it and by rewarding employees for this behavior, you can create a team that prides itself on doing and showcasing that great work.

Why social media advocacy and thought leadership?

Did you know that over 80 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone?

Additional data shows that 98 percent of employees use at least one social media platform for personal use, with 50 percent having mentioned their employer on said platforms. What this tells us is that a large percentage of any workforce likely already has the preexisting knowledge and capability to advocate for your brand or organization.

While a social media advocacy program can take more time and effort than an employee of the month program with free lunches and swag, it has major brand benefits that these tactics do not. In fact, 87.2 percent of surveyed workers in an employee advocacy program attributed the program to growing their professional network, with 76 percent noting that the program specifically helped them keep up with industry news and trends. This data alone shows the benefits of encouraging employees to advocate for your brand, especially through social media. 

So, how do you set up a program and incentivize your employees to post and share about their experience? Hootsuite has a great blog post on just that, walking you through the benefits, how-to’s and best practices of a strong social media advocacy program.

Thought leadership: The expression of ideas that demonstrate expertise in a particular field or topic.

Instead of just using social advocacy on promoting the brand and its messaging, you should readjust focus to unlock more value. By focusing on thought leadership, employees can establish themselves as experts and leaders in their field, increasing their network and chances for connection with potential clients and customers.

As more employees establish themselves in this space, your brand would also gain a reputation for having an active and well-established workforce. This will help to attract both new business and talent.

To wrap it up: 

Employee advocacy, social advocacy and thought leadership are three tools that work together to:

  • Increase brand awareness and promote brand messaging.
  • Increase employee engagement, while improving industry knowledge.
  • Gain access to new audiences by developing relationships, which could lead to new clients and potential employees.

As you continue to solidify your 2023 planning, I encourage you to evaluate how employee advocacy, social media advocacy and thought leadership could assist your organization’s reputation and goals.