Social media has totally turned the marketing industry upside down in ways that we could never have guessed. Nielsen, the mainstay of media data studies, has reported in a recent study that the majority of consumers now place their trust in online, social and mobile advertising.
If you’ve ever doubted the effectiveness or success of your social media ad campaigns, consider these results:
92% of consumers around the world trust “earned media” over every other form of advertising. This includes any recommendations from friends and family online, a kind of digital word-of-mouth advertising.
Inversely, consumer trust in TV and magazine ads are as low as 47%, while newspaper ads are even lower at 46%.
Online reviews are now some of the most trusted sources of brand messaging and information, and these people don’t even work for you. These are your satisfied customers, sharing their story of how you’ve impacted their lives with your product.
And these numbers really make sense.
Think about it. If someone you know purchased a household item – let’s say a vacuum cleaner – and absolutely raved about it on Facebook, you’d be much more willing to replace your old vacuum cleaner, right?
And it’s not just because you need a new vacuum cleaner. Sure, you could definitely use an upgrade. But if someone you know, a trusted and valued opinion, talked about their positive experience with this new vacuum cleaner, you’d be even more likely to go and pick up a vacuum for yourself. That’s free, trustworthy advertising for the brand behind the vacuum, and you get a clean house. Win-win.
What does this mean for Businesses in 2017?
Your branding should take on a whole new approach: employee advocacy. Using your employee’s social accounts will not only help you to make your brand more trustworthy, but you’ll also greatly increase your reach to potential customers that might not have heard of you otherwise. “Consumers look to their peers before making purchasing decisions, which is why earned social media is so valuable,” says Koen Pauwels, a Northeastern marketing professor, in a study on consumer trust in social media.
The most effective way to capitalize on the power of social proof for your company on social media is through employee advocacy. Imagine a type of social employee that has the voice of the company at their fingertips. Employee advocacy aims to empower your employees with the perfect chance to brag on your brand, an easy and organic way to earn the trust of your audience.
“The most effective way to capitalize on the power of social proof for your company on social media is through employee advocacy.”
Back to the vacuum cleaner analogy – if someone you know buys a vacuum, you’re likely to listen. But what about the person who works for the company and is able to share their thoughts on social media? If they love their job, any employee would be more than happy to talk about what they love about their work culture and product. They know all the intimate details about the product that they sell, and their love for the brand will show through the language on their social posts. Mobilizing your team to brag on your brand will not only boost morale, but it very well boost sales. The stats speak for themselves:
Leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM).
Sales reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78 percent of their peers (Source: Forbes).
77 percent of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media (Source: MSLGroup).
Creating social proof
How do we make this work in 2017? There are plenty of marketing tools that you can implement to help your employees speak on your behalf. Whether sharing thought leadership, product updates, or bragging on another employee, this will help to drive or greatly increase your brand awareness.
There are two routes you can choose from for getting started:
Ask and train your employees to share on your company’s behalf
Apps such as Post Beyond and Command Post and several others in the space are great resources to help encourage employees to share posts to their social media. There is a lot of flexibility for the user to share this information, when, what, where, how often etc. But it requires a lot of coercing from the marketing and advocacy teams at times. Also sales teams rarely have time to do this. Still, it’s a popular choice and is used by many businesses.
Do the work for them, with their permission
This is perfect if you have employees that want to share on behalf of your company but might be too busy. It’s also great for business who want more control over messaging for specific groups of people or those who want more control over the employee advocacy. However, it can be incredibly time consuming and not worth the effort, IF you don’t have the right tools…
“Easily streamline all of your employee’s personal social media accounts to use them as one voice.”
Yip Yip is a platform dedicated to employee advocacy, and not only helps you do it for every employee but also comes with individual blog sites for employees who want to take it up a notch. For example, sales reps or customer support employees can be represented online and promote and build personal relationships for their personal brand using thought leadership coming from your brand. You schedule one social or article post once, and it is shared to as many employees as you want. Easily streamline all of your employee’s personal social media accounts to use them as one voice. A single blog post can also be scheduled to go out to multiple blog user pages at the same time, creating a streamlined and consistent voice for your brand. Which is really the key here. You want a consistent message going out to different people to gain more reach and more trust.
Regardless of which direction you choose, to this day, earned and owned media remain the most trusted form of advertising. As long as you’ve established trust with your audience, selling your product or service should be a whole lot easier. Randall Beard, President of Nielsen Expanded Verticals, puts it like this: “Passionate brand advocates can be powerful allies to amplify your message, but you need to give them a reason to talk. Evolve the relationship from a one-way sales pitch to a two-way conversation. And be transparent and accountable. Online brand advocates can quickly become adversaries with the power to damage credibility and reputation if things go wrong.”
About Yip Yip
We are a one-for-many marketing platform that empowers one person to do the work of many. Schedule, create and post social and blog posts on behalf of your entire team for social selling, recruiting, and employee advocacy.
Our mission is to enable businesses to start selling and marketing with the future in mind. We enable businesses to work smarter, not harder. With Yip Yip, increase ROI on social selling efforts, create more referrals and opportunities and build brand awareness to increase revenues fast. To see how we do this click here.