How to Empower Your Employees as Brand Advocates

Published 3. 4. 2024

It seems obvious: employees are far more likely to put in the effort at work if they feel valued and engaged. But have you ever considered the flip side of that? Engaged employees can form a valuable part of your marketing efforts.


About the author:
Jesse Liszka is the Senior Communications Specialist at Paylocity, a leading provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software. She is a highly experienced communications, client marketing and content specialist, with more than 12 years of experience.


Encouraging employees as brand advocates is a powerful tool. If they believe in your company values, they might just encourage potential customers to believe in you, too.

For each current employee to genuinely enjoy working for you, you need to implement policies that make them feel appreciated and cared for.

We’re not talking about mandatory breaks and sick pay. Instead, you need to think creatively and enact policies that other companies might not offer.

Putting in this extra effort – if it’s genuine – can go a long way to making your company stand out. It’s a brilliant way to improve your brand’s online reputation through social selling.

So where do you begin? Here, we’ll explore ways to establish a successful employee advocacy program and encourage employees to become advocates for your business.


Table of contents:

Empowering Employees as Brand Advocates
Why Does Brand Advocacy Matter
How to Create an Employee Advocacy Strategy
Build your Employee Brand Advocacy Program Today


Empowering Employees as Brand Advocates

Employee advocates act as representatives for a business. If your employees become your brand advocates, they talk about all the exciting things your business is doing on a public platform like social media channels. That might mean sharing company news, product launches, and key milestones.

Chances are most of your employees will use social networks and have an established following, whether it’s friends and family or former colleagues in their professional network.

Let’s say each employee uses X and LinkedIn, with a combined following of 800. Even if you have a small team of only 40 staff members, that’s an extra 32,000 people you could potentially reach.

So, it is obvious that turning team members into brand advocates allows you to leverage their personal networks to expand your potential client base.

In doing this, you can trust employees to post company content in their own unique way. Or you can create preapproved marketing content that employees can publish on different social platforms. We’ll explore this idea later.


employees posting


Why Does Brand Advocacy Matter

Once upon a time, a powerful advert may have attracted the attention of an audience. Now, the modern consumer is more likely to look at the opinions and experiences of others. Whether they're past customers or influential figures within their social circles.

Happy employees act as genuine voices, sharing their own excitement and experiences with your products or services on their personal platforms. Whether it's through their social media accounts, word-of-mouth recommendations, or other channels, they amplify your brand's reach and influence, helping you reach a larger audience.

Brand advocacy brings benefits that go beyond traditional marketing. Yes, the company-related content they share expands the visibility of your brand. But it can also:


  • Boost credibility and authenticity with your target audience.
  • Improve trust and confidence in your brand.
  • Fosters a sense of pride and loyalty among your workforce.
  • Helps to motivate current and future employees to deliver outstanding service and performance.


In short, employee engagement, advocacy, and customer satisfaction are intrinsically linked. And this cycle creates a positive feedback loop that drives growth for your business.


brand advocates 3


How to Create an Employee Advocacy Strategy

Creating a strong employee advocacy strategy is all about empowering and inspiring your team to genuinely support your company. This means giving them the tools and training they need to understand your brand's values and messaging, as well as clear guidance on how to share content responsibly on social media in a way that reflects those values.

As part of the strategy, you should encourage team members to share their experiences with the company on social media platforms, take part in company-sponsored events, and create social media posts.

Remember though, setting up an employee advocacy program goes beyond giving them a posting schedule. You need to empower employees in the workplace, so they can talk passionately about what you’re doing and come across as genuine in their social posts.

So, here are eight tips for setting up an employee advocacy program.


1.    Build a Strong Company Culture

You need to make sure employees feel satisfied at work. Otherwise, any attempt to turn them into an ambassador will fall flat. In fact, it could even backfire.

Cultivating a positive and inclusive community culture is the first step in building strong advocates. Your employees are far more likely to talk about a brand that they believe in and are proud to work for.

So, how do you do this? Well, you need to prioritize open communication and mutual respect. All your employees should also have the opportunity to grow and try something new within their roles, regardless of their position or tenure.

You can also implement unique policies that other employers in your industry don’t typically offer, such as floating holidays. What are floating holidays, we hear you ask? They allow your hardworking team to take time off at their own discretion, and they’re an excellent way to create loyalty and employee retention.


company culture


2.    Define Goals for Employee Advocates

Your employees will struggle to understand what is expected of them if you don’t establish relevant goals. So, before you begin crafting your strategy, talk with your team to outline what you expect and what the aim of your brand advocacy strategy is.

Most companies introduce an employee advocacy program to boost their marketing efforts.

Set some actionable and attainable benchmarks, such as:


  • Boost website visitors by 10% in three months
  • Improve mailing list sign-ups by 20% in six months
  • Generate 30% more sales in one year


You can hold workshops and get ideas from across your company to create a strategy that will help you reach these goals. If you’re struggling to get an idea of what you should aim for, you can outsource marketing to an agency that will advise on the best goals to set and how your employee advocates can help you reach them.


3.    Get Valuable Employee Feedback

As you work on developing your brand advocate program, give employees different avenues to provide feedback. As part of efforts to build a positive company culture, this encourages open dialogue and collaboration between everyone in the company.

Seek their input in everything from company initiatives to products and policies. This will ensure your workforce feels valued and has some control over how things are managed. Your teams may bring up things they don’t appreciate or want to change, such as too much control over employee time management or a lack of flexibility in their hours.

Make sure you use this feedback effectively. Don’t be defensive, but instead listen to your employees and their needs and create a plan to action changes.


4.    Provide Training and Support to Brand Advocates

As the number of employee advocates grows, you should support them with the information and tools they need to become your strongest supporters online.

Regular training sessions could include:


  • A review your brand’s core principles such as mission and vision
  • Updated brand or social media guidelines
  • Post ideas that are more engaging, such as polls or videos
  • Tips for replying to comments sensitively and professionally
  • Restrictions on embargoed content


Give specific instructions on when and where they can share company content, making sure everyone follows company rules and expectations.


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5.    Provide Access to Brand Resources

If your brand advocates are going to shout about you on their platforms, you need to make access to all brand content and resources readily available.

Brand assets are like instructions on how to correctly represent your brand on social media. They can include branded materials such as images or banners used in marketing. Resources, meanwhile, should include company documents like your mission statement.

To make these readily available, create centralized hubs or a dedicated employee advocacy platform on your company channels. Be sure to include the latest and most relevant materials like marketing tools, social media posts, and news that might be relevant to your business or industry.

Encourage employee ambassadors to use these resources to boost brand messages and share valuable content with their contacts. If you enact a new company-wide policy that positively affects the lives of employees at work, you’ll want to encourage them to share the good news on their individual channels.


6.    Encourage and Recognize the Hard Work of Employees

Dedicated employees who decide to represent your brand online should be recognized, especially if they refer customers or collaborate on brand events. You can do this by starting reward systems or handing out perks to acknowledge challenging work.

You could also increase the gross pay of brand advocates. Just to clarify, what is gross pay? It’s the total pay your employees receive, including bonuses and commissions. Introducing a bonus scheme for brand advocates is one way to inspire them to represent your brand.




Build your Employee Brand Advocacy Program Today

Empowering employees as brand advocates can be incredibly rewarding for both your company and employees. But you need a thoughtful approach that prioritizes employee satisfaction and support.

You don’t want team members to feel you are taking advantage of them. Instead, you should acknowledge their importance as your representatives. Encourage a culture of open communication and constant feedback. By doing this, you will establish a solid foundation for your advocacy program.

Through effective employee advocacy, your business can utilize the influence of its employees to amplify brand messages, boost credibility, and improve customer loyalty.