30 Expert Quotes Demonstrating The Power of Employee Advocacy

by | May 2, 2019 | Best Practice,

Back in October last year we published an Employee Advocacy guide, taking marketers through exactly how they can reap maximum benefits by integrating their employee advocacy, influencer marketing and social selling programs. During the months leading up to our launch date, we were busy on Skype calls talking to the leading employee advocacy experts to get their take on it.

Without these experts’ insights, the report wouldn’t have been possible. So we want to summarise these experts’ top quotes right here, so that you can use them at your leisure – whether you’re learning about employee advocacy, writing your own thought leadership, or you’re trying to get buy in from your senior management team, you’ll find some gems here.

 


“Consumers are disappointed by brands. Trust in brands is lower than ever and the flipside of that is just as important, that people are trusted more. The reason people are trusted more than advertising is that there is no financial stake in the outcome.” 

Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert


“Employees have a unique perspective on company values and culture, and the ability to speak with authenticity that can only be earned by their tenure with the brand.”

Eric Fuessel, Enterprise Sales Director, EveryoneSocial


“Employee advocates are the new authentic marketing channel for brands. By sharing helpful content that engages communities, employee advocates encourage others to share and amplify their brand’s message, leading to increased social chatter, web traffic, and sales.”

Cheryl Burgess, CEO, Blue Focus Marketing


“Anyone can throw advertising dollars out there but very few understand how to truly connect with buyers. Companies have an army of people at their disposal to do this when they are trained and empowered to do so.”

Melonie Dodaro, CEO, Top Dog Social Media


“Everybody knows that advertising is created to incentivize an outcome, so consequently, it makes it inherently less effective.”

Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert


“Brands have been using digital and social media to distance themselves from the consumer, asking them to sign up to email lists and to do things that are very programmatic and distant from the consumer. It is very hard to build trust in that way of doing business. But, brands can now use digital if they empower employees and influencers correctly to shrink that distance back and regain that trust that has been lost over the last 8 or 9 years.”

Brian Fanzo, Founder & CEO, iSocialFanz


“In a world where buyers trust their barista and used car salesmen more than marketers, brands desperate to find effective ways to engage with new customers are beginning to realize the solution is right in front of them: employees. Research has shown customers trust employees more than ads or formal marketing messages. Inspiring employee advocacy means brands can enlist those closest to knowledge of the company’s solutions to make genuine, authentic recommendations that people want to hear.”

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing


“Real influence is the ability to affect or change behavior. It is not popularity (like much of influencer advertising). Employees have this ability to influence, so when they are harnessed in their thousands it drives huge levels of authentic awareness and engagement.”

Caroline Jory, Sales and Marketing Director, Qubist


“Even though people trust people more than they trust brands – which is true and proven in copious studies – this often does not include the C-suite. Of course they are going to sing the company’s praises, that is their job. But when you get an employee that is an enthusiast, who becomes an influencer internally and externally – they can have a lot of influence.”

Tom Augenthaler, The Influence Marketer


“People want to read reviews and recommendations from trusted sources and will make informed choices based on those recommendations from their network. That is friends, family and peers. Word of mouth has always been the most powerful form of advertising – the current shift is that it is now tech-enabled.”

Caroline Jory, Sales and Marketing Director, Qubist


“It is becoming more commonplace for today’s buyers to begin their journey online, namely among social networks. Whether it is as close-knit as asking a specific group of friends for recommendations, or broadcasting on social for the public opinion, it is imperative that brands have an opportunity to be a part of the conversation. Employee Advocacy helps drive this journey.”

Eric Fuessel, Enterprise Sales Director, EveryoneSocial


“Your employees are the heart and soul of your company – who better to talk about you? Coach, train, enable and incentivize your colleagues to talk about your brand to generate valuable impressions that are impossible to replicate with company posts. Why? Because people trust people. They are far more likely to believe a positive statement written by a person they know than an advert served to them by a company they have only just heard of.”

Sonia Rosua-Clyne, EU Social Media Team Lead, Amazon


“The nice part about employee advocacy is that it actually shrinks the distance between the brand and the customer, but at the same time it allows the brand to reach more people and have a much more humanized voice.”

Brian Fanzo, Founder & CEO, iSocialFanz


“The democratization of information, communication and influence leads to more players in the room and therefore each one gets heard a little bit less. But for influencers that are YouTubers or Instagrammers – they started out with zero, so they are acquiring new market share.”

Neal Schaffer, CEO, PDCA Social


“If done right, employees can be activated to be brand storytellers and influence others through the purchase funnel. They can also be used to respond to customer inquiries online, thought leadership and overall content engagement. From a business perspective, employee advocacy also promotes a healthy work environment internally.”

Michael Brito, EVP, Zeno Group


“Many marketers think of employee advocacy as falling into the ‘Owned’ Media category and employees’ social networks as a resource that can be ‘summoned’ on demand when needed. Genuine employee advocacy though, is in fact ‘Earned’ Media just as much as any third-party advocacy. Treating employees’ advocacy as something that needs to be earned will change the mindset of the marketer and results in much more effective, genuine advocacy.”

Alistair Wheate, Head of Product, Onalytica


“Brands have a huge opportunity to amplify their brand message and visibility by allowing employees to take part in the amplification. Employee advocacy is about allowing employees to be brand ambassadors.”

Melonie Dodaro, CEO, Top Dog Social Media


“The challenge is to provide content that stands out versus content that is typically ignored. Authentic content created or shared by employee advocates is more likely to stand out and to be acted upon in the buyer’s journey.”

Cheryl Burgess, CEO, Blue Focus Marketing


“Employee advocacy has the ability to affect the buyer journey by making sure that at every step of the journey, the potential buyer is exposed to the brand’s content. What that content is, is something that companies invest in for their content marketing and content strategy to try to figure out how that content gets shared to the ideal buyer at the ideal position in their buyer journey. And this is something that only the salespeople, marketing (account-based marketing) and a data-driven approach can tell.”

Neal Schaffer, CEO, PDCA Social


“Any great brand today goes far beyond their marketing and sales team. And that is what employee advocacy, social selling and influencer marketing ultimately does – it allows marketing to leverage what a great brand is, and I think great brands are great because they have great employees, not great products.”

Brian Fanzo, CEO & Founder, iSocialFanz


“Content is everything when it comes to employee advocacy and influencer marketing because even the most loyal employee cannot simply post “my company is great” over and over – that is not going to work. Content is the raw material of influence. It does not matter if you are internal or external, if you have no content you have nothing. Without content all you are is an advertisement.”

Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert


“Content adds value to the social media feeds of employees, whether they are social sellers or influencers (and when I talk about influencers, I mean our 4500 employees who are influencers in their own micro-communities or sector spaces) then content is what drives the conversation.”

Keith Lewis, UK Social Media & Social Business Manager, Zurich Insurance


“When developing your influencer marketing and employee advocacy program, ensure that your staff are part of the content creation process. Find out what their beliefs are, what they enjoy/or do not enjoy. If you work on this together as an organization, you will see a greater return on employee advocacy.”

Chris Richards, Digital Ecosystem Manager, Barclay’s Eagle Lab


“What if we could run programs that helped people find the information they want from people they trust? This is where influencer marketing has evolved. Traditional marketing is failing to achieve the cut through it has seen; people are gravitating to ad-free environments; trust, transparency and authenticity are a major public concern. Technological innovation is transforming the landscape.”

Caroline Jory, Sales and Marketing Director, Qubist


“Only brands with a truly customer-centric mission will attract employee advocates and influencers who want to be part of a platform that seeks to help people. When brands try to sneak in promotional messages, customers tune out, employees disengage, and influencers ask for more money.”

Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group


“Programs should not be managed in silos. Several times, employee advocacy programs are managed internally by HR, Employee Engagement or PR teams. If that is the case, it’s critical that these teams share plans and programs with other internal stakeholders like product marketing, social media, or advertising/media. Smart and innovative brands are integrating employee-driven programs into larger brand activations and influencer marketing programs.”

Michael Brito, EVP, Zeno Group


“I think it is really important for employees to be able to add their own voice to branded content – that is what we expect influencers to do when we are doing influencer marketing well. If you are just going to have a load of employees blasting out content that is coming from corporate, that is only going to be so effective.”

Tom Augenthaler, The Influence Marketer


“B2B and B2C are very similar and the objective is the same – increase reach and connect at a more human level with buyers. However, the content might be slightly different. In B2B it is more thought leadership and productivity content that will engage audiences. In B2C it might be more related to CSR type activity or product related.”

Sarah Goodall, Founder, Tribal Impact


“When employees are given an opportunity to better position themselves as subject matter experts and thought leaders in their space, they are more prone to share content often, add insights, and in fact share MORE branded content in the process.”

Eric Fuessel, Sales and Marketing Director, EveryoneSocial


“To me it is not about joining an advocacy program, it is about creating a social culture within an organization; it is about educating your employees and getting buy-in by helping them understand what is in it for them.”

Susan Emerick, Senior Manager of Global Marketing & Advocacy, IBM


 

If you’re interested in learning how to maximise brand awareness, shape your brand’s perception and shorten your sales cycle, download our full employee advocacy guide by clicking the button below.

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