Influencer marketing is one of the top marketing trends of 2017. As concerns about ad blocking grow, organic reach on social media networks continue to decline and consumer trust in advertising remains low, marketers have turned to influencer marketing as a means to effectively amplify brand messages and reach their target audience. They are increasing their influencer marketing budgets and re-focusing their efforts to make influencers a central part of their marketing mix; however, many are looking outside their organizations to find key influencers in their niche and are completely overlooking a powerful segment of in-house influencers that can serve as a complement to the overall influencer marketing strategy, their employees.
Considering that the average social media user has over 8 social networking accounts, employees represent a considerable social media footprint that organizations can potentially leverage. Brands have started to take notice and according to a report by Altimeter, interest in employee advocacy has more than doubled since 2013 - jumping from 13% of social strategists interested to 45%.
Employee social advocacy is going to play an increasingly important role within the influencer marketing realm in the years to come. Employee advocacy on social media adds credibility, authenticity and a human face and voice to a brand’s communication. A notable increase in visibility and reach is also another guaranteed outcome. Every post published by employees on social media reaches hundreds of new connections, a task that would require the marketing team to invest an additional amount of budget to achieve.
Additionally, the level of trust and the connection that already exists between employees and their social media friends is at a much more intimate level than the relationship between organizations and their followers on official brand social media channels. In fact, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust the recommendations from friends and family while only 36% trust online advertisements.
This infographic below, created by employee advocacy platform SocialReacher, breaks down the what, why and how of employee social advocacy with an overview of the benefits it delivers for both companies and employees.