Social advocacy has an unbelievable potential to drive business success and achieve better results in various business and social areas. Moreover, brand advocacy can play a crucial role in making businesses more successful, sustainable, and more efficient. 

However, neither in the business nor in the private world, achieving social advocacy is easy. In this blog, we will look at social advocacy from the business perspective and explain how beneficial it can be for organizations. 

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Social Advocacy Defined

Social advocacy is the process of empowering individuals to become their employer’s advocates for various internal and external causes. The goal of social advocacy is to leverage people’s existing social connections to distribute content and reach a wider audience in the most efficient and authentic way. 

Some people relate social advocacy strictly to matters about social rights and social justice where anyone can be an advocate. As defined by law entrance:

“The goal of Social Advocacy is to promote inclusion, encourage and initiate social change. It aims at empowering people to exercise their rights and enhance their well-being.”

Others, on the other hand, use it as a synonym for employee advocacy or a way to empower employees to become brand ambassadors on social media.  

In essence, social advocacy is all about empowering a team or group of individuals to support your company’s marketing, sales, and HR strategy by sharing content and connecting with a larger audience. 

In this blog, we will focus on the benefits of employees acting as a company’s social advocates. 

💡 Learn about the latest social media trends for 2022!

 

The Benefits of Social Advocacy for Business

Many organizations across the world are trying to make social advocacy their biggest priority. People want to buy from authentic brands. They want to work for authentic employers. And there’s no better way to build authenticity and trust than through customer and employee advocacy and their share of voice.

While some companies are already using paid influencers to advocate for their brands, products, and services, many are yet to experience the power of real employee advocacy

On the other hand, companies that have managed to build formal social advocacy programs are seeing much better results in many different business areas. 

Let’s take a look into why social advocacy should be on every organization’s radar. 

💡 Don’t forget to read our guide for building a brand ambassadorship program!

1. Social Advocacy Builds Trust and Credibility

People trust people more than they trust brands.

People trust people. 92% of people trust recommendations from their friends over any other form of advertising. Just think about it…when you are making a purchasing decision would you care more about what the brand has to say about its products or services or what other people in your network say?

In the sea of information available to us, it gets hard to filter what’s right and what’s wrong. But when you get information or a recommendation from a close friend or a family member, the information becomes much more credible. 

Similarly, in B2B industry, employees engage in social advocacy to become thought leaders and build trust with their networks. According to a thought leadership study, 59% of decision-makers agree that an organization’s thought leadership is a more trustworthy source for assessing a company’s capabilities than the company’s marketing materials.

💡 Check our guide for boosting engagement on social media!

2. Social Advocacy Drives Brand Awareness

Companies that have advocates and brand ambassadors are much more efficient in driving brand awareness from their advocate’s existing networks. 

The fact that brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees proves the power of social advocacy in marketing. 

No wonder why many companies are looking to extend their reach through their own employees!

💡 Also learn about how social advocacy can serve as a low-cost alternative to paid ads

3. Social Advocacy Improves Sales and Conversions

When making a purchasing decision, trust is crucial. The more you trust a product or a service, the more likely you are to purchase it. This is especially true for products and services that require big investments. 

So if you are looking to improve conversions in your company, social advocacy is the way to go! According to research, leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads. 

💡 If you are in B2B business, LinkedIn is probably an important social channel for you. If so, check our ultimate LinkedIn marketing guide!

4. Social Advocacy Strengthens Employer Brand

When we talk about advocacy and brand ambassadorship, we mostly think of benefits for sales and marketing. In the era of great resignation and the inability to attract and hire the best talent, employer branding benefits may be even more inviting to you. 

More and more people use social media to look for new employment opportunities; 79% to be more precise. So when your own employees use social networks to talk about your organization as an employer, they are helping your overall talent acquisition efforts.

This is the best way for potential job candidates to learn about your organizational culture and understand your EVP (employee value proposition). As a result, companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract top talent.

💡If you are a social recruitment fan, you will benefit from our social media recruitment guide!

5. Social Advocacy Boosts Employee Experience and Retention

Companies with a successful employee advocacy program are also 20% more likely to retain top talent

In general, people engage in advocacy initiatives when they are happy with their employment and when they have a positive employee experience. Companies that drive and empower social advocacy care about their employees’ wellbeing. And employees in such socially engaged companies are more likely to stay at their company, feel optimistic about their company’s future and believe their company is more competitive. 

More Interesting Facts About Social Advocacy

Previous sections were devoted to the benefits of social advocacy for organizations. However, there is much more research and statistics that prove how powerful advocacy can be. 

Let’s take a look at 10 additional facts you shouldn’t ignore:

  • 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more effective and efficient if they could leverage social media. (Sales Management Association)
  • People are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on a social media referral. (HubSpot)
  • 64% of teams that use social selling hit quota compared to 49% that don’t. (Aberdeen Group)
  • 73% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often. (Aberdeen Group)
  • Earned media (press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media. (Bazaar Voice)
  • Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels. (Social Media Today)
  • On average, an employee advocacy program involving 1,000 active participants can generate $1,900,000 in advertising value. (Kredible)
  • 79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition. (Hinge Marketing)
  • 78% of social sellers regularly outsell their less social-savvy peers. (LinkedIn)

Get Started With Social Advocacy

It is inevitable that social advocacy has many benefits for businesses, individuals, and society as a whole. If your organization is ready to start exploring social advocacy, it’s best to start from within; from your own employees

However, it is important to make your advocacy program formal. According to research, 58.8% of employees in a formal employee advocacy program spend more than five hours per week on social media for business use. For those in a non-formal program, however, only 31.8% spent greater than five hours online. 

Furthermore, 79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 

Making social advocacy programs formal means a few things:

If you are looking for a powerful social advocacy solution to boost ambassadorship in your company, schedule a Haiilo demo today!

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