It’s great when everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet, pulling in the same direction, looking out for each other and the business. Why should it be any different on LinkedIn than in the office or out in the field? Leveraging LinkedIn has many proven external benefits, but equally, business leaders recognise, the important internal benefits that cement a team and make people feel valued and appreciated in a very visible and value-orientated way.
Did you know on average, employee networks have ten times more connections than a company has followers? Businesses with weak or none existent company pages on LinkedIn should be tapping into these large and relevant networks because it enhances and drives significant results across your LinkedIn marketing, sales and recruitment activities.
One of your employees sharing helps generate twice the click-through rate on content
Employees who regularly share content grow their networks four times faster
Businesses whose employees share content are 58% more likely to attract top talent
People are three times more likely to trust company information from employees than from the CEO
While only 2% of employees share a company’s social content, they’re responsible for 20% of overall social engagement
Employee Advocacy on LinkedIn
It’s wrong to think of employee sharing as just free distribution, or a quick and easy way to extend the reach of your content. Undervaluing the contribution that your employees can make to your B2B content success on LinkedIn is a mistake. Employee advocacy spreads ownership of your content strategy across your business, when you enlist the skills and influence from everyone, these movements reward your team by increasing their own reputation and effectiveness in return. It’s when you engage your employees with these benefits that advocacy really starts to build tangible results.
How big a difference can employee advocacy make to content marketing effectiveness? Research from LinkedIn shows that when employees share your business content, you typically see a click-through rate that’s double what you achieve in isolation on your business page.
Although membership on LinkedIn is robust, continent sharing is exceptionally small by comparison, however if just 3% of employees share content, they are capable of generating 30% of all content engagement for a typical business.
Ninjas know that these statistics show just how powerful employee sharing can be as part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy, likewise, if your employees aren’t on board it shows just how much opportunity is being lost.
“Ninjas can train your team how to use LinkedIn to maximise your business impact”.
At Ninjas, we both generate and share a lot of content but it’s our experience that the reason 97% of employees aren’t sharing your content is that marketing teams aren’t working hard enough to establish why they should, giving the right sort of direction or even incentivising success. As we know, it’s difficult to turn employees into advocates without a clear idea of what’s in it for them.
Employee Sharing Starts with a Special Social Camaraderie
If you want the extra engagement that comes through employee sharing of content, then you have to see your employee advocacy programme as a strategic partnership, it’s not just a favour you ask, or something you force people to do. That partnership needs to be rooted in a shared understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and the benefits different partners get.
Shared Content Reaches More People
The proof is in the posting! If your employees have an average of 300 connections each and you persuade just 10 of them to share an update, that’s 3,000 more people who can see your content and thats without you putting any extra budget behind it. When we use the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score to track the influence of different brands on LinkedIn, we consistently find that the top performers have employees regularly sharing there content.
Sharing Content Builds Your Professional Brand
What do your employees gain from amplifying your content’s reach? They get to animate their connections in a meaningful way. It’s one thing to be a part of someone’s network, it’s another to appear regularly in their feed. Sharing content raises your employees’ personal profiles, pushing them to the front of people’s minds when it comes to new opportunities, and establishing their expertise. There’s real value in this for any professional.
Why do people share any form of content online? A study last year of the most widely shared online videos concluded that it’s the opportunity to express an individual point of view that’s often the trigger. Adding commentary to content establishes you as a co-creator able to bring out relevance, add insight or simply recognise value when you see it. Something very similar happens in a professional context, the content you share establishes your expertise and understanding.
Sharing content Helps Your Expertise Evolve
The fact that sharing encourages a response from others leads to another benefit for those doing the sharing. As I wrote in a post last year, sharing expertise is the best way to make sure that your own expertise evolves. Employees who share are plugged into what’s happening – and that delivers big personal benefits. I know – I’ve built a career out of sharing advice whenever I can. It’s amazing what happens when you do.
Shared Content is More Credible Content
The power of employee sharing doesn’t just come from the multiplication of reach. It’s a result of the very different impact that content has when it comes from a human being rather than a brand. There’s a bit of neuroscience at work here. When somebody you know shares content with you, it positively influences your perception of the value of that content through the process of social validation. If someone like you saw the value in the content, then the chances are you will too.
Content shared by people also benefits from the scarcity principle. When someone receives content from a brand, they tend to assume that the content has been sent to a lot of people. When they receive content from an individual, they know that it’s only being shared amongst people that individual is connected to. The content is more exclusive and therefore seen as more valuable.
Shared Content is more likely to be Shared Again
It’s much easier to join a conversation that’s already happening than it is to start one from scratch and this is why content that’s been shared once is often more likely to be shared again. Once one person comments, the people in their network are more likely to comment as well.
Sharing Content helps your Employees Sell More
There are some very specific benefits that come when marketing builds a content-sharing partnership with sales. If you’re part of a business that’s plugged into leveraging the most from LinkedIn then you’ll already know all about the benefits of social selling especially when sales teams lead with content when reaching out to prospects.
It’s worth quantifying just how dramatic those benefits can be. When LinkedIn analysed the characteristics of different sales reps engaged in social selling, they found that the most successful share 23% more content than the rest. Top-performing social sellers create 45% more opportunities and are 51% more likely to hit their sales targets. In the process, they dramatically amplify the reach of content amongst some of the most relevant audiences for it, that’s HUGE.
There are real multiple benefits when an employee shares content, understanding the benefits of sharing is the essential starting point but you need a plan to build awareness of those benefits, in order to get an employee advocacy programme off the ground. Ninjas have a simple framework for empowering your employees to share, to find out more, contact Ninjas today!