How Employee Advocacy Supports Social Selling

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Employee advocacy leverages your employees’ networks to enhance trust, expand reach, and ultimately drive sales through social selling. In this article, we’ll dive into why that is such a powerful strategy and how advocacy supports and facilitates social selling.

Imagine every employee amplifying your marketing message, reaching potential customers through trusted, personal connections. That is not a dream; it is what would actually happen if you installed a formal employee advocacy program in your company. Social media will become an important and very powerful playing field, and you’ll be able to leverage your employees’ trustworthiness toward building new connections and social selling.

How to drive sales through social selling

Social selling is a strategy that relies on using social networks to find, connect with, engage, and nurture sales prospects.

It’s safe to say that it’s becoming a cornerstone of modern marketing strategies, and for good reasons, too. Social selling and virtual selling allow salespeople to build trusted relationships, boost social credibility, and ultimately reach their sales goals.

As technology and communication methods continue to advance and change, connecting with potential customers in both B2B and B2C markets has replaced outdated selling tactics. These older sales techniques lack the convenience and more personal nature of social and digital selling. Using your brand’s social media channels and the sales tech stack to actively engage with prospects and develop a connection with them can help you reach your business’ sales target (LinkedIn).

Social selling emphasizes the personal touch in sales interactions, which can often be the deciding factor in a customer’s purchasing decision. To do so, it utilizes a channel that’s becoming more and more important in our daily interactions: social media. The effectiveness of social selling is heavily dependent on authenticity and trust, traits that are often lost in traditional marketing or sales approaches. 

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How employee advocacy facilitates social selling

Authenticity, trust, and credibility are best conveyed through personal narratives and endorsements by individuals rather than corporate entities. Which is where the real value of employee advocacy lies: it equips your team members to act as brand ambassadors, thereby lending credibility and a personal touch to your brand’s messages.

Here are 4 ways employee advocacy supports social selling:

Builds authentic brand presence

Consumers are bombarded with advertisements and corporate messaging, making them increasingly skeptical of traditional marketing tactics. This is the reason why people trust people — personal testimonials, reviews, opinions, etc. — and not logos, companies, or corporate messages. 

Employee advocacy counters this skepticism and distrust by enabling your employees to share their genuine experiences and satisfaction with your brand, services, and/or products. Allowing this will let you put a very human and very real face to the brand and showcase your commitment to transparency and authenticity as well as quality and customer satisfaction, of course. 

That’s why authentic content shared by employees helps build trust and credibility, which are crucial elements that influence the social selling process.

Enhances reach and engagement

The collective networks of your employees are likely vast and varied, encompassing professional peers, industry influencers, and potential customers across different sectors. In fact, employees collectively possess networks vastly larger than those of the brand itself — according to LinkedIn research, on average, 10 times larger than their company’s follower base

Content shared by employees typically achieves far greater reach and engagement compared to content shared through official corporate channels: it is perceived as more authentic, it comes from a real person (not a logo), and so people are more enticed to engage with it. 

As a result, you as a company will benefit from a much wider reach and added visibility. Your marketing messages will be seen by a broader and more diverse audience, increasing the effectiveness of your social selling efforts and potentially leading to higher lead generation.

Facilitates targeted content distribution

Each employee has a unique network that you can tap into more effectively through personalized and relevant content sharing. Employees who share content that resonates with their specific connections will see higher engagement rates. 

Remember, the people in your network are the most likely to be interested in the content you post and generate. And the same goes for your employees, which is why this approach makes content sharing more efficient and increases the likelihood that these interactions will convert into genuine sales opportunities. 

All you have to do is ensure that you create (and distribute) a variety of content that resonates with different audiences and segments of your workforce and encourages them to share it.

Drives higher conversion rates

Personal endorsements and recommendations are incredibly powerful in the digital marketing world. When your employees provide those endorsements, they become invaluable weapons in your arsenal. 

When employees share positive experiences and testimonials about your brand, their contacts are more likely to perceive these messages as credible and trustworthy. Consequently, leads generated through these personal networks tend to have higher conversion rates as they come with a pre-established level of trust. Consequently, this leads to shorter sales cycle and improvement in conversion rates.

By embedding employee advocacy into your Sales and Marketing strategy in support of social selling, you not only enhance your brand’s presence but also transform your employees into powerful allies in achieving your marketing goals. Foster a culture of advocacy within your organization and watch as your social selling efforts flourish, powered by the authenticity and reach that only your employees can provide.

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