How To Empower Your Employee Influencer

4 min read · 10 months ago

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Small business marketing budgets are typically tight. Plus, the entrepreneur doesn’t yet have the cache to gain celebrity attention to leverage influencer marketing. Still, this doesn’t mean your business can’t get a boost from an employee influencer. Here’s what you want to know about employee influencers and how they can help build awareness for your brand, product, or service.

Maybe you haven’t heard of big spender Mr. Beast or TikTok phenom Charli D’Amelio. You might be unable to tell a Logan Paul apart from a Huda Kattan. Yet, these are some of the world’s biggest social influencers. Huda speaks to 45.8 million beauty and fashion fans. Logan has 23.2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel for—well, we’re not entirely sure. But people are interested.

Trying to partner with one of these world-renowned influencers could be beyond reach for your small business. But, don’t rule out influencer marketing altogether. Your employees can help you make a start. This article will explain:

  • What is influencer marketing
  • Why it matters
  • What is an employee influencer
  • How to benefit from employee influencers

 

What Is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing leverages the idea that there are movers and shakers on social channels. If one of these influencers mentions your brand in a video, tweets about you, or posts with your product on TikTok, it means millions will see it. “Influencer marketing is all about leveraging your connections with influential people—and allowing some of their authority to rub off on you.”

The important thing is to establish relationships with influencers who speak to your target audience. A B2B cybersecurity firm, for example, is not going to get as much out of a nod from Huda Kattan as it would with cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. In finding the influencer you want to work with, you’ll want to consider their:

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Alignment
  • Data

Learn more about the basics of influencers in our article “Unlock The Success Of Influencer Marketing Through The 4 ‘A’s.”

 

Why It Matters

Why It Matters

People trust word of mouth. Influencer marketing is the ultimate word of mouth marketing. Influencer marketing can help you:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Amplify your content
  • Decrease workload
  • Drive revenue
  • Find new deals

No wonder influencer marketing is expected to grow to $13.8 billion in 2021. That’s up from $1.7 billion in 2016. The fact that 90% of respondents in a 2020 survey found influencer marketing an effective approach probably explains why 75% of companies in the same survey planned to dedicate their budget to influencer marketing in 2021.

Read this interesting article on “10 Things Influencers Can Teach You About Customer Retention,” too.

 

What Is an Employee Influencer

All that sounds great. Yet influencer marketing may still be out of your price range. In one estimate, an influencer with 75,000 to 100,000 followers would typically charge $258 per Instagram post. Yes, that’s per post!  An influencer with more than a million followers could charge over $1,400. Oh, and this was in 2017. So we can guess the prices have jumped since then!

Enter the employee influencer. The people working for you may not be celebrities, but they still hold sway with their social networks. “While the employee influencer may have a stronger appeal for B2B, more B2C companies are catching on to their value as well,” according to everyonesocial.com.

Influencers impact the way people see your brand, product, or service. Employee influencers can do this too. They have the power to encourage their own audience to view your business website or interact with your content and can help people form opinions, especially as they added credibility from being on the inside.

The numbers may not be as big as Mr. Beast (not even close), but the employee influencers’ reach is amplified by the fact that:

  • “53% of global customers see employees as the most credible sources for learning about companies.”
  • “A recommendation from a friend or family member makes 83% of Americans more likely to purchase that product or service.”
  • “Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs. the same messages shared via official brand social channels.”

 

How to Benefit From Employee Influencers

How to Benefit From Employee Influencers

How can you leverage employee influence online for your small business? Force them! Just kidding. That’s definitely not a good idea. However, you can make it easier for them to get involved:

  • Share new content with your employees and invite them to post it
  • Encourage employees to participate in community events, be guest speakers, write blogs
  • Ask employees to follow and link to your social profiles (maybe even send out an email or video showing them how to do so)
  • Interact with the posts that they do share 
  • Promote their thought leadership, teaching, and accolades for peers
  • Suggest relevant hashtags (or use them yourself when you comment on their posts)

Also, remove any friction for the employee influencer to post on their social media. A social media policy is a good idea. You might think it could make your people more reluctant. However, some might feel better about going online to talk about your brand if they know in advance what’s OK and what to avoid.

Providing clear guidelines for what they might post from the office or behind the scenes can give employees more freedom to share messages about your culture, which has a real impact on customer opinion.

 

Small Business Marketing Includes Employee Influencers

Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. To help ensure your business has longevity as well, take advantage of the employee influencer. Spread the word about your product or service by keeping an eye on which of your people share about your business and looking for ways to leverage their content to reach your target audience.