According to a recent study by Sprout Social, 71% of marketers use employees as influencers today or want to in the future but only 19% of them had budget to do so. Which begs the question...how do you encourage employees to 'get social' when you don't have a budget?
It seems that many marketers are finding themselves int this situation but all is not lost. There are many things that can be done in advance of buying an employee advocacy tool, namely:
- Set your objectives
- Decide on your key stakeholders
- Allocate an exec sponsor
- Seek out your existing social advocates
- Identify those that want to advocate (we use our quiz for this)
- Build a plan (includes purchasing an advocacy tool)
The key benefit of using an advocacy tool is the tracking ability that sits behind. The "please can you copy and paste to LinkedIn" emails are time consuming - both for those that create them and those that receive them.
Advocacy tools streamline the process and provide the data you need at the back end to prove it's impact on the business.
So, yes you will need budget but don't shelve advocacy because you don't have budget today. Run a pilot, try it out and prove the business case for investment.
Social marketers see the value in employee advocacy as a scalable alternative to influencer marketing. Seventy-one percent of social marketers use employees as influencers or advocates today or want to in the future, while only 19% of marketers surveyed had the budget for an influencer program. The shift to employee advocacy reflects a shift in consumer tastes, according to Sprout Social, as 61% of people said in the study that they would be more likely to research a product or service that a friend recommends on social media, compared with 36% for influencers or celebrities.