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How to measure your employee advocacy program

Employee advocacy can provide huge benefits when done correctly. Here's how to measure performance and ensure a successful employee advocacy program.

Clélie Protopapas image

Written by Clélie Protopapas

6 Jul, 2022  –  6 min read

Employee advocacy can be vital in improving the image of your business. If your employees feel engaged and advocate for your business, it can be a great way to grow as a company. Studies show that 76% of consumers are more likely to trust the word of employees rather than a message directly from the brand. 

Getting your employees engaged with your company doesn’t happen overnight. Not sure where to start? Read our article on what employee advocacy is and why it’s important. There are lots of options to create your perfect advocacy strategy. Try a social-media-focused program with key posting goals, getting your employees to advocate your company to their friends, followers and beyond. Or, you could use branded swag or team-building days to get more organic social media outreach from your workers.

Once you have your employee advocacy goals in place, you’ll also want to measure their success and make sure that your employer branding is getting seen by people. Let’s look at some outreach and campaign examples and how you can measure their success.

Why is it important to measure employee advocacy?

Just like with any marketing strategy or outreach program, you need to be able to measure your success. You don’t want to waste time or resources on a failing campaign, so the key is to focus on what works. Measuring and comparing different types of employee advocacy helps to check what to focus on for maximum payoff.

How to measure employee advocacy

Analysing different approaches you’re trialling in detail is essential to measure employee advocacy Track different aspects of your campaigns to see what works and tailor your approach to achieve higher engagement and interest. For example, you might find that text-based outreach doesn’t work, but you’re receiving positive results from using user-generated video content. It’s important not to write off employee advocacy if only one part of your campaign or program isn’t working.

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It’s also important to ensure that you keep measuring your campaigns as the program matures. Even if you think you have the formula for great employee uptake and positive interactions from potential customers, you’ll find that things change over time. If you only measure success at the start, the program can go stale and may not be the best option anymore.

Be aware that, you won’t see changes in the metrics immediately, if you want to change your approach to employee advocacy. While it can be tempting to constantly innovate and try new approaches, make sure to always measure effectiveness over a good stretch of time before moving on from a new idea.

8  Employee advocacy metric examples

If you want to start measuring the success of an employee advocacy program, begin by gathering as much data as possible.  Below, we outline some of the top metrics to use when assessing your approach. Not all of these will be relevant to your current approach but can help to inspire new ideas for your campaign. 

1. Employee adoption 

Your campaign won’t go very far if your employees don’t adopt the campaign you’ve worked so hard on to create. That’s why measuring employee adoption at different stages is important to understand how many employees are engaged with the program, attend required training, and follow the program through. 

Wondering how to improve the amount of uptake? Ask your employees for feedback on how to refine and improve the process for them. Some employees might not be comfortable with the employee advocacy program, so you might never reach a 100% adoption rate. It’s worth talking with employees who don’t want to adopt the program. 

However, constant reminders or requests to start advertising on their personal channels might make employees feel more like a product than a valued member of your company — and if this happens, it can backfire. 

2. Share rate 

Your share rate will directly correlate with how many people see your employee advocacy marketing. This is probably one of the easiest metrics to track thanks to the tools integrated with social media, as long as your employees are willing to share their data with you. If you’re getting low share rates you need to look at why: is it employees not sharing content, or is the content dying once they post it?

3. Potential reach 

Potential reach refers to the number of people in your target audience who could potentially see your content. Again, you might have to get this data from your employees and your brand’s social media channels. Potential reach is important because it shows how many people you could engage with through your campaign. If your actual percentage is low compared to your potential reach, it might suggest that you need to rethink your approach. Of course, if your potential reach is very low as well, you might need to broaden your scope to appeal to more people.

4. Earned media value 

Earned media value is an underused metric, considering how helpful it is. It shows you how much you would have to spend on advertising to get a similar response. This allows you to see the actual financial value of your employee advertising program. This is not easily displayed on social media, so look to specific, analytical websites to find your earned media value. Don’t avoid measuring this though, as you’ll want to compare it against how much your employee advocacy program has cost you in terms of graphics, videos, and work hours.

5. Click-through rate 

Clicks have been key in online marketing for years, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that you also need to measure the click rate you get from this type of marketing. However, this is different from measuring clicks gained through paid ads. Remember, you don’t have to pay for every click gained through employee advocacy, you only pay for any actual costs of your campaign, such as the cost of swag or employee time. This cost-benefit shift means that you should look favourably at your click-through rate from this kind of outreach compared to your regular click rate.

6. Interactions and engagement 

Clicks and shares are vital in employee advocacy programs, but remember to look at interactions and engagements. It might be that you’re getting a good amount of interest, but little conversions. This will help you highlight where there’s a dead zone in your advocacy program, and where to target for growth. This is another metric where you might need to ask your employees to give you their details, as you might not be able to see all the interactions they get on social media — so make sure they are comfortable with this. It’s also vital to find out if there are any trends for when the best interactions and engagements happen This information can help you refine your approach.

7. Website traffic 

Website traffic can be a metric to help you find problem areas. The best way to gauge how your campaign has affected website traffic is to look at the period shortly after any social media posts have gone live.

8. Conversion rate 

Ultimately, the conversion rate is one of the most important metrics for any type of marketing. You want to see how much of your marketing actually converts to sign-ups or sales. This lets you see the direct link from marketing to profits. 

Conversion rates can be harder to track than engagement or click-through rates. Consider that there are quite often time lags on conversion rate changes. Other factors can also have an impact, such as website layout, sign-up processes, web content, and more. To see how the conversion rate is affected by your current approach, make sure to avoid other changes to your website during the time you want to monitor. Ideally, having baseline data to hand for comparison will give you a clearer picture of your conversion rate. 

Benefits of measuring your employee advocacy

As with anything, measuring your campaign will inform where to take it next. You could need a new strapline to grab people or to encourage more employees to adopt the program. Or, maybe more energy and focus should be directed at turning clicks into sales. Measuring success often will let you push the business’ branding as far as it can go and to check that your employer branding is well received. 

As with any other marketing campaign, tracking employee advocacy can help bring new growth to your business and highlight new strategies, services, or how best to push seasonal offers. Get your team excited about your employee advocacy strategy and start growing your business.

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