A simple guide to social media employee advocacy

How to support your employees to promote your brand online
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While businesses often focus on customers, social media followers, and influencers when building brand advocacy programmes, employees represent a valuable and sometimes overlooked group of potential advocates.

The in-depth understanding that employees have of your company’s values, products, and services make them credible and influential brand representatives. By implementing a social media employee advocacy programme into your strategy, you can tap into authentic voices, strengthening your brand message and customer relationships.

In this guide, we’ll explore what social media employee advocacy is, why it’s important, and how to get started with your first strategy.

What is social media employee advocacy?

Social media employee advocacy is a type of marketing strategy where employees voluntarily promote their employer’s brand, products, and values on their own personal social media accounts.

There are two main ways that your employees could become brand advocates:

  1. Sharing ready-made updates to their own feeds that were originally posted by your company’s social media accounts
  2. Creating their own original content to positively talk about and promote your business


Sharing company updates is a great place to start, but the real magic happens when employees create their own original content. With an incredible 77% of consumers likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust, employees really can enhance the credibility of your brand and help grow your business.

top performing social media initiatives graph
Credit: Oktopost

Why is employee advocacy important?

Differentiation in marketing is crucial if you want your business to stand out. The competitive nature of social media means you need to go beyond traditional marketing tactics to capture attention online and achieve the business results you’re aiming for. This is where an employee advocacy programme comes in.

An employee advocacy programme taps into your company’s most valuable asset – your people. This type of strategy is an effective social media marketing tactic for three big reasons:

  1. It can help you grow your business through positive and trusted brand perceptions
  2. It improves your company’s internal culture and employee retention rates
  3. It reinforces that your brand is honest, transparent, and has its own personality – helping you to stand out from your competitors

The benefits of employee advocacy

Creating a social media employee advocacy programme has many benefits, from financial growth to employee engagement. Here are some of the biggest benefits of including an advocacy programme in your marketing strategy:

Expanded reach

Not every person in your employees’ networks will be your ideal customer, but positive word-of-mouth spreads quickly. When employees voluntarily share positive experiences about your company, your reach expands, increasing the likelihood of being seen by more potential customers.

Improved employee engagement

Social media employee advocacy demonstrates a sense of pride and togetherness, building a deeper connection and better engagement between staff and their employer. Higher engagement leads to higher productivity, reduced turnover, and a positive internal culture, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Talent attraction

Prospective employees often turn to social media to understand a company’s culture. Employee advocacy provides an authentic glimpse into your company and showcases it as a positive place to work.

Brand differentiation

An employee advocacy programme helps you differentiate your brand from competitors and create a memorable and lasting impression.

Cost-effective marketing

Compared to traditional marketing methods, employee advocacy is a cost-effective way to promote your brand as it doesn’t require a significant financial investment.

What is an employee advocacy programme?

A social media employee advocacy programme is a marketing initiative that encourages employees to voluntarily promote your brand through their own social media feeds.

This type of initiative usually includes:

  • Learning: Training employees on social media etiquette, brand messaging, and content creation guidelines
  • Objectives: Sharing the objectives you’d like to achieve through the initiative so your employees know what you’re all working towards
  • Content hub: Providing a centralised place where employees can access approved company content and imagery
  • Recognition and incentives: Recognising and rewarding employees for their active participation on social media
  • Monitoring and analytics: Tracking the effectiveness of the initiative so that you can refine the strategy over time
illustration showing how 100 employees can reach 500000 people by sharing company updates
Credit: Sociabble

How to build a social media employee advocacy strategy in 10 easy steps

  1. Define your goals: Decide what you want to achieve from the social media employee advocacy programme. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads, having specific goals will guide your strategy.

  2. Identify your employee advocates: Not everyone will be interested or comfortable in taking part in an advocacy programme, but you may have some potential employee influencers ready and waiting to get involved. Find out who they are and invite them to take part.

  3. Understand the potential: Meet with your advocates and get to know more about their social media habits and networks. This will help you to suggest content and topic ideas that will align authentically with their usual social media activity and be engaging for their followers.

  4. Develop a social media policy: Establish clear guidelines for employee behaviour on social media so they understand how to positively and professionally represent your brand online.

  5. Provide training: Educate your advocates on social media best practices, content sharing, and the use of any advocacy tools you provide.

  6. Build a content hub: Even if you’re encouraging employees to create their own content rather than sharing company updates, it’s important to have a central content hub. This is where you can supply employees with a variety of shareable content, such as articles, infographics, and videos.

  7. Create a content calendar: If you have new product launches, anniversaries, or other important company dates, having a centralised content calendar will give your social media employee advocates time to plan what they want to share and when they should do it.

  8. Launch and promote: Launch the programme across the whole business with positive communications to inspire employees to get involved and generate excitement.

  9. Incentivise your advocates: Although your employee advocates should want to share authentic and genuine social media posts, it’s still a great idea to recognise and reward them for their support.

  10. Regularly monitor performance: Assess the reach, impact, and engagement of the posts your advocates are sharing to identify what’s working well and opportunities to improve. Share these insights with your employee advocates and use them to refine your social media strategy over time.

formula to calculate potential of employee advocacy programmes
Credit: Jeff Bullas

Social media employee advocacy best practices

Now you have your employee advocacy strategy, here are some final best practice ideas to help you build a successful programme.

Build engagement internally

Before you launch an employee advocacy programme, build a positive and supportive company culture that encourages employee empowerment and open communication.

The success of an advocacy programme is down to authenticity. Creating a positive internal culture is an important step in helping your employees identify what they value about your brand.

Empower your advocates

Once you’ve trained them, shared resources, and communicated expectations, trust your employees to be authentic voices for your business.

While it’s important to set boundaries on the type of content and messaging that aligns to your brand, it’s equally important that your advocates have some creative freedom.

Encourage flexibility

Positively encourage your social media employee advocates to share the content that resonates with them the most.

Not everyone is comfortable sharing the same type of content, so providing different options and encouraging autonomy will deliver better results.

Listen to feedback

To develop a strong employee advocate programme, actively ask for feedback from your employees right through the process.

They’ll have valuable insights on what’s working and ideas for future content that could improve the success of the programme. Listening to your advocates and incorporating their feedback will also improve engagement and inspire them to do even more.

Stay on the right side of regulations

As part of your training for advocates, incorporate any compliance or regulatory requirements that apply to your industry.

As you build your employee advocacy programme, keep in mind that it’s not just about numbers and metrics, it’s about building genuine connections and empowering your employees to become authentic brand advocates.

By creating a programme where employees feel inspired and proud to talk about your business, you’ll benefit from improved employee engagement, a positive and trusted online reputation, and business growth.

Take your social media marketing to the next level

Employee advocacy isn’t the only way to stand out on social media. Working with influencers can increase brand awareness and trust, introduce your brand to new audiences, and drive sales. Vamp makes influencer collaborations easy. Find out how to get started with Vamp today

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