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Businesses are failing to make the most of their employees as brand ambassadors, according to research

Businesses are failing to make the most of their most important asset, their employees. Employees are happy to act as ambassadors for the brands they work for, but they are not being supported by their companies, according to recent research amongst 1,000 knowledge workers worldwide by marketing agency LEWIS.

The research found three ways that employers fail to encourage employee advocacy:

  1. They do not formally embrace it. Giles Peddy, UK managing director of LEWIS, says: “Despite the majority of employees believing that employee advocacy programmes increase employee engagement, only half of the respondents have a programme in place. Of companies that do not have a programme, half of the employees said they would like one. More than half of all employees surveyed (52%) would create content for their employer (such as social media posts or blogs), if they were asked to.”
  1. They are not exploiting social media. Peddy explains: “Almost three-quarters of employees said their company should be more active on social media. Around half of the companies surveyed, however, forbid their employees from using social media during working hours. Almost 40% said their companies are active on social media, but social media use by staff is not encouraged.”

How often do you share your company's content on social channels?

Why don't you share your company's content?

It is strange that companies are so reluctant to help their people publicise their business when 73% of those surveyed share company content on one or more of their personal social media channels. Peddy explains that the main reasons stated for this include, “a feeling of pride in the company (54%) and a desire to be an advocate (37%).”

  1. They do not nurture common values amongst their employees. Six out of ten employees use separate social accounts for personal and business activity. The primary reason why employees create separate accounts is because they think their personal beliefs may differ from their employer. Discussing the types of information employees like to share, Peddy says: “News-related content is most popular with 59% sharing this, followed by video and photographic content (56%) and HR updates (31%).

Businesses are missing a trick if they do not create a culture which encourages staff to share positive news. Not only should they be supporting their staff to be brand ambassadors, but they should be creating more content that their people can easily share on social media.


LEWIS conducted the survey between 27 February and 6 March 2017. There were 1,020 respondents from EMEA, US and APAC.

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