Your best employer branding asset is waiting in the next cubicle.
When it comes to employer branding, the voice of your employees is the most powerful- and the most underrated.
(Unfamiliar with the idea of employer branding? Start here.)
It’s understandable why. It can be a slog to cultivate employee advocates, track their social postings and promote them. And without careful thought, that guidance can make employee advocacy feel canned and exhausting, instead of the fun, organic posts they are supposed to be.
But advocates are worth the efforts. Your employees have the most powerful, authentic voices in your company.
Consider the last time you made a big purchase. What did you value more- what the company said about the product, or what other purchasers said? We all know how business works. Corporations are going to position themselves in the best light, but it’s the end user who can tell you the real dish.
In employer branding, your current employees are your existing customers, and anyone coming in will trust their voice over your corporate one.
So how can you use those employee voices to their best effect? It takes a little more effort than hoping they post on social.
While you want your employees’ advocacy to be authentic, those authentic posts won’t happen unless you create an environment that fosters them.
Create an advocacy program. This can be as intensive as selecting and training a team of socially active employees, or as simple as encouraging employees that they can post to social on company time (so long as it’s about the company).
One of the best, low-touch ways to get traction out of employee advocacy? Promote your employees’ posts.
Tech giant Cisco has been trying this tactic, by promoting organic employee posts on their Instagram Stories. Their employee-generated content has done better than their average postings, with a completion rate reaching 80%. The Stories that succeed on their organic channel get paid promotion to get an even wider reach.
"Employee-generated content means it’s more trustworthy to the audience," said Carmen Collins, senior social media and talent brand manager at Cisco's talent brand team. "We don’t have a ton of money for paid media, so when we do it, we need to be putting money behind what we know would actually work."
When it comes to effective employer branding, unlocking the potential of your employees is a cost-effective, powerful path.