Employees as Micro-Influencers: How to Turn Your Team into Your Best Influencers

Oct 19, 2023 | Influencers

This is a guest post by Ambassify

Consumers have historically interacted with brands online, but we can all agree that social media has changed the game by paving the way for consumers to influence each other’s purchasing decisions.

A brand’s presence on social media is pivotal to boosting sales, but that brand’s perception is not limited to that. What other people – consumers, employees, customers, prospects, etc. — say about you can massively impact how others feel, think about, and interact with you. As a matter of fact, research shows that 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that have a robust presence on social.

Social media is a fertile ground for conversations about brands, opportunities to share product or service feedback, and, thus, the ability to influence other people’s purchasing behaviors. And that’s why influencer marketing is such a big deal nowadays, and many brands turn to it to spread their brand.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing can help organizations grow their online presence and brand awareness: partly due to the influencers’ relative online fame and presence, and partly due to the brand message’s renewed credibility when it’s not propagated through the brand’s voice. In other words, letting others talk about your brand – instead of doing it yourself – will make you look more authentic and credible, thus taking your brand image up a notch.

Influencer Marketing has become very popular, and most companies start to understand that it’s a good idea to add Influencer Marketing to their marketing mix. Influencer Marketing has gained a lot of popularity, and companies are really starting to realize how big a role it can play in their marketing strategy and thus incorporate it into their mix. Your Influencer Marketing strategy leads to establishing the thought leadership of your brand. Whether your business is B2B, B2C, or B2B2C, consumer preference continues to incline toward brands that share their values in an honest way.   

If authenticity and an honest voice are what brands need to stand out among their competitors – which has been proven to be more successful with consumers and potential customers — then looking inside their own house (or company) might prove to be the winning card.

This means that there’s a group of people involved firsthand with the brand and the company life day in and day out who know and embody the company culture and work daily to achieve the company’s goals. You guessed it, it’s the employees.

Employees as micro-influencers

In the context of influencer marketing, we call employees corporate influencers or micro-influencers. Not every employee can be considered a micro-influencer, granted, but a large group of them match the exact definition.

In Belgium, micro-influencers are typically described as social media users with between 1,000 and 20,000 followers. Depending on the social media platform, there are definitely some employees in your teams that match those numbers, whether that be on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Turning employees into micro-influencers means that those people will advocate for you on social media and present their view of their company and their brand on their channels — through expertise in their own field or insights into their daily work for the company.

The revolutionary role of employees here is that they have a bigger stake in it than any other influencers you can find out there — and they are cheaper to work with. Influencer marketing can get pretty expensive. Plus, the exact return on investment is not always easy to measure as there are multiple conversion points in the digital ecosystem. But when it’s your employees influencing potential customers’ decisions and behaviors, you can more easily track those numbers and amplify results by having not one influencer at your service but a whole team of them.

How to turn your employees into micro-influencers

What is crucial is that employees consistently share the company’s brand story with their network on whatever channel they are most active on. This creates a massive impact in the long run on the maturity of their social profiles and the brand perception of the company.

A way to formalize this process and their efforts, of course, is to set up an employee advocacy program. Ambassador marketing is a form of influencer marketing where, in fact, it’s your employees who advocate and amplify your brand online. Setting up an actual program will legitimize their efforts and give structurally make advocacy a part of their work. You can share with them the content you wish them to talk about and re-share on social media but also encourage them to use their personal experience as a driver to share insights on the brand, product, or service.

An essential part of installing advocacy in your organization is measuring attribution and performance. Being able to do this is so important for your program because it gives you an idea of how the program is performing, whether or not you’re actually taking steps forward and getting closer to reaching your goals, and, last but not least, you will be able to measure your ROI. This is something that can be done manually based on the goals and KPIs attached to those goals, but certain metrics are of course harder to track and measure with a spreadsheet.

Having a platform to automate this process will be a lifesaver. Plus, employing an employee advocacy platform, such as Ambassify, will also help you facilitate the creation of content for your ambassadors to share and interact with. You will also be able to track individual and group performance and impact with custom dashboards and reporting, and measure the reach and traffic generated by your ambassadors. Measuring attribution and ROI is what’s really going to make the difference and impact your brand growth.

Benefits of having employees as micro-influencers for your brand

On social media, people react to authenticity and honest, genuine content rather than an openly orchestrated paid promotion. That is true across all platforms and channels – and that’s what ambassador marketing hinges on: when it’s an employee talking about their company and sharing company stories and content, it shows real commitment and passion. Employees who share authentic messages using their own words and their own voice have the power to express their vision and dedication, which ultimately is what people appreciate.

Your employees can make a significant impact on your business if you are consistently able to practice this. In turn, they also gain credibility as they build up their expertise and thought leadership on social media, portraying and establishing themselves as leaders and experts in their industry.

That’s ultimately why having employees as micro-influencers allows both the business and the employee to boost their credibility, build up their profiles, and grow their online presence.

Consumers typically trust the opinions of other people and rely on the voice of their peers when compared to businesses, and leveraging the networks of your own people to appeal to a whole new audience and achieve wider reach is the easiest and most logical way for organizations to truly make an impact online and move the needle. An employee advocacy program facilitated by a platform will empower you and your team to take both your content marketing to the next level.