Employee advocacy is a powerful marketing tool used by businesses to boost their brand reach through their existing staff members. Through this strategy, businesses encourage their employees to share company-related content on their own social media accounts and elsewhere. The employees essentially become brand ambassadors for the business.

A successful employee advocacy program can be a great way to spread the word about your business, attract new leads, and even attract new talent if you’re recruiting. Research by LinkedIn suggests that, when combined, employees’ social networks are, on average, at least ten times larger than their company’s own follower base.

There are lots of employee advocacy statistics out there. Here at Business2Community, we’ve compiled the most pertinent data to help you decide whether this strategy is right for your company.

Employee Advocacy Statistics Highlights

  • As of 2023, 68% of social media marketers said their company had an advocacy program in place.
  • In 2022, 61% of employees shared company content because they were offered a financial incentive.
  • Not all word-of-mouth marketing was created equal; influencer marketing was the least trusted form of advertising in the UK in 2022.
  • 65% of companies with an employee advocacy program reported increased brand recognition in 2020.
  • 72% of engaged employees said they would post company content if it was pre-written for them.

What is Employee Advocacy?

In 2019, approximately 98% of workers were on social media. And half of them were already posting about their employer. Also, more than half of social media users spent over an hour a day on their social media site of choice, noted a 2022 Sprout Social survey.

So when it comes to employee advocacy programs, the “raw materials” are already present, even if there isn’t a formal program in place.

Companies that don’t have any kind of employee advocacy program in place are already behind. As of 2023, 68% of marketers said their company had an advocacy program in place. Some were informal in nature, but others involved dedicated social media marketers and sophisticated tools to measure success.

sprout social employee advocacy program

Also, in 2021, 90% of brands said they are either actively pursuing or planning to start some form of employee advocacy program. Things are moving fast.

And it’s not hard to see why.

In 2018, brand messages shared by employees rather than brand channels saw a 561% uptick in reach. Employee social marketing is a way to humanize your brand and benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

In 2021, 92% of people were more likely to trust recommendations from people they know than ads.

People buy from people.

In 2020, 79.1% of companies with an employee advocacy program reported increased visibility, while 65% reported increased brand recognition. Other benefits of employee advocacy, as reported by companies who have a program in place, include:

  • Improved search engine rankings
  • Decreased marketing costs
  • Increased conversion rates

employee advocacy benefits hinge

Peer-to-peer marketing is undoubtedly powerful.

On LinkedIn, the clickthrough rate on the same piece of content is two times higher when it’s shared by an employee versus by the company itself. People are three times more likely to trust company news shared by a staff member versus updates shared by the CEO on social media.

A Deloitte report found that customers referred by other customers had a 37% retention rate. And 1 in 3 people checked out a brand as a result of a recommendation.

But that’s not all; leads developed through employee advocacy converted seven times more often than leads developed through other means.

Engaging 1,000 employees in an employee advocacy program can generate approximately $1,900,000 in advertising value. Given the high stakes, implementing a successful employee advocacy program is key to growth.

What Does a Successful Employee Advocacy Program Look Like?

Offer Social Media Training

Employees are sharing content about the company on social media with or without an employee advocacy program in place.

Yet, a 2020 Hinge Research Institute report found that 72% of employees hadn’t received any social media training from their company.

This could backfire. Employees could share the wrong company content, or they may choose not to share anything at all due to a lack of confidence. The right training is all about empowering employees.

According to the research by Hinge, employees feel that specific training will be of particular help. For instance, in 2020, 53.6% of respondents said they wanted to learn how to use social media to create engagement.

There were other topics of interest too. For example:

  • 47.8% of respondents wanted training for specific social media platforms (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • 40.7% wanted help generating and building leads on social media
  • 36.7% wanted to learn about brand advocacy strategies on social media
  • 34% wanted to learn more about targeting specific audiences or buyer personas

Only 1.5% of those surveyed said they didn’t need any training whatsoever.

To take an example, software company Gainsight developed an advocacy program where employees were encouraged to share thought leadership content.

Once this was formalized and tracked, the company’s potential reach increased by 1.3 million audience members.

Helping employees develop their own personal brand and post thought leadership content is one strategy. But there are other options available.

Write Content for Your Team

In 2023, a Sprout Social report found that 62% of all employees would publish employee advocacy posts if they were written for them. And the number was even higher for engaged users who frequented social media.

Among them, 72% said they would post pre-written content. The takeaway is clear; pre-written content creates socially engaged employees.

This worked at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The company realized it needed to make it as easy as possible to share the organization’s thought leadership. The content was centralized and it started to pay off quickly.

Now, BCG employees were sharing company content nine times more often than they did before, which helped develop their personal brands while helping BCG meet its own goals.

But it’s not just about making it as easy as possible to share brand content.

Create Shareable Content

Staff members are also more likely to engage with and share certain types of social content on their personal social channels. Nearly half of engaged users said they’d share educational content, and over half said they would share employee updates.

Brand content, trending topic commentary, and giveaways were among the most popular types of content that socially engaged employees shared.

sprout social what employees think is shareable

Implementing a Formal Employee Advocacy Program

Employee advocacy programs can be formal or informal in nature. Formal advocacy programs will typically have a defined strategy and measurable targets that encourage employees to get involved.

Informal advocacy programs emerge when employee engagement is high and employees are already enthusiastic advocates of the company.

Companies with spontaneous, informal advocacy programs should give themselves a pat on the back. It’s not always easy to inspire this kind of enthusiasm.

A 2022 Gallup poll found that 65% of the US workforce is not engaged.

Employees within this group neither like nor dislike their job, and, as such, have little incentive to engage in effective employee advocacy or the company’s social selling efforts.

So companies with volunteer brand advocates are likely in the minority. But still, formalizing employee advocacy efforts helps.

In 2015, high-growth firms, defined as those that had a revenue growth greater than 20%, were more than twice as likely to have a formal employee advocacy program in place.

Approximately 27.1% of high-growth firms claimed their formal employee advocacy programs shortened their sales cycles, and a further 64% of firms said the programs helped them attract and develop new business.

So how do companies get their employees to create and share content?

According to Sprout Social, 61% of employees shared content because their company provided a financial incentive.

Some other reasons included:

  • Being happy with their job (59%)
  • Being encouraged to share by the company (56%)
  • Being proud of the content they shared (52%)
  • Building their personal brands (38%)

While money is a significant incentive when it comes to employees participating in developing the employer brand, cultivating a positive company culture and creating happy employees could be an effective strategy, too.

Companies also need to be careful when they adopt word-of-mouth tactics such as employee advocacy.

While employee advocacy can be a successful way to share news, influencer advertising was the least trusted form of advertising in the UK in 2022.


Only 16% of people trusted influencers, while 34% trusted TV ads and 23% trusted online ads.

Still, more than 85% of social media users said they felt consumer recommendations were the best form of advertising. So authenticity wins.

Where to Implement Your Employee Advocacy Program

Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media platform LinkedIn is among the most successful employee advocacy platforms for B2B companies right now.

In fact, 40% of B2B marketers said LinkedIn was the most effective social media channel for generating high-quality leads.

Here at Business2Community, we have an in-depth article about the latest LinkedIn statistics to help you navigate this platform.

Employee Advocacy Platforms for More Online Visibility

There are several employee advocacy platforms that companies can use to help boost their employee advocacy efforts on social media. Some of these platforms and tools include:

  • EveryoneSocial, which focuses solely on employee advocacy and comes with a freemium model.
  • Hootsuite Amplify, which is designed to help employees share the company’s marketing material on social media.
  • Sprout Social’s Employee Advocacy platform is a solution that helps companies turn employees into thought leaders.
  • LinkedIn’s My Company tab which has employee advocacy stats and analytics, as well as ways to share posts with the wider community.

The right employee advocacy tool can help boost employee engagement and drive results. In fact, if you’re using employee advocacy for a recruitment campaign, take note.

Employee Advocacy Programs for Social Recruiting

Engaged employees are linked to achieving seven times more job views and four times more job applications on LinkedIn, according to the platform’s own internal data.

Social recruiting, where recruiters use social media to attract talent, is growing. And employee advocates can play a key role in employer branding.

Careerarc, an automated social recruiting platform, posted several recruitment campaign-driven examples of employee advocacy.

Employees create content that highlights the benefits of working for a company and links job openings. This, in turn, creates a strong employer brand. Here, employee advocacy helps attract top talent. Job seekers are reassured by the personal thoughts of employees within seemingly highly engaged teams.


How effective is employee advocacy?

How do you measure the success of an employee advocacy program?