Employee or volunteer-led digital advocacy on social media is one of the top three communication tools for nonprofits. Read more to learn the top benefits of empowering your staff members on social networks.

Social media is far more effective when it flows through real people.

True or False?

Unquestionably, social media marketing helps nonprofit organizations to tell their story. Social campaigns can increase your supporter engagement, boost awareness about your campaigns and promote your fundraising initiatives. As a charity marketer, you can create engaging posts, share videos, collaborate with influencers, or even promote your content through ads. But there’s more you can achieve by encouraging your employees to be your brand advocates on social platforms. Staff members can play a crucial role in amplifying your NPO’s content on social platforms without much effort.

An IG post from MANNA Worldwide as an employee advocacy example

Peer-to-peer fundraising 

Peer-to-peer fundraising ranks as the No. 1 technique to prompt donors to contribute to a charity and is also one of the best employee advocacy examples. What’s more interesting is that according to a Blackbaud study, peer-to-peer participants have a retention rate of a whopping 25.1%.

If encouraged to be brand ambassadors, employees can add value in reaching out to their friends and family (and even their extended circle) on behalf of a cause. Engaged and inspired staff members may share your nonprofit’s campaigns on their social networks, participate in fundraisers or maybe even initiate their own to create a ripple effect of influencing others within their group.

Community-driven fundraising

Community-driven fundraising is another massive advantage of a structured and comprehensive social media employee advocacy program. As a nonprofit, you can leverage the power of your supporters – who are, in this case, your employees – to inspire others to get involved. Investing in a formalized program can give your organization a competitive advantage since social media advocacy and branding get instilled as part of your internal culture.

A new study from Nonprofit HR reflects an emerging trend for nonprofit organizations. In the U.S. alone, 45% of responding nonprofit employees indicated that they would seek new or different employment opportunities by 2025. There is a gap in engaging employees – clearly, they are dissatisfied or not motivated enough to feel an integral part of the organization. The dissatisfaction can reflect how staff members connect or engage with your campaigns or share your content on social sites.

Employee advocacy programs can close the gap between employee dissatisfaction and retention by building a shared sense of purpose. One way we see this happening is by creating a solid culture of storytelling within the organization. When nonprofit leaders instill the practice of effective storytelling and coach employees down the line, it seeps into their day-to-day nonprofit communications.

Motivated and informed employees emerge as brand advocates and get active on social media in different ways. They are instrumental in rallying your cause and help validate it while promoting it to others.

A senior technician at Pencils of Promise explaining Water, Hygiene, Sanitation Program

Top ways your organization can benefit from employee advocacy on social media:

As with most marketing campaigns, the more effort behind a social media employee advocacy strategy, the better the results. Here are a few ways organizations can benefit from it.

1. Trust and Credibility – Promotions done through an employee are twice as likely to be trusted than the CEO.

2. Boosting reach and awareness – An Adweek survey revealed that 76% of participants were more likely to engage with content shared by their friends or acquaintances.

3. Thought leadership – Employee advocacy gives employees more insights into your ongoing campaigns. Continuous sharing of high-quality, curated content showcases your staff as experts and helps in networking.

4. Increased donations – Employees need access to your nonprofit’s content to create campaign awareness and raise funds. They must be active on social sites, as this is the first interaction your donors will have with your organization.

5. Humanize your efforts – AI and chatbots are taking the load off for nonprofit staff. But donors still want human connection. Employees acting as brand advocates on social platforms adds personality to an otherwise ordinary campaign.

Final thoughts

Employee advocacy could include anything from sharing social links to an entire formalized program with goals, metrics, and specified software like Hopeful. Tracking of employee advocacy metrics, objection evaluation, and attribution could be the best way for nonprofits to ensure success on social media.

Is your nonprofit thinking about leveraging employee advocacy on social media? We’re here to help! Let us know your comments below or tweet us at @hopefulcompany.