With social media giving everyone a voice, employee advocacy - and expanding your marketing reach throughout your employees' social networks - has become a much more significant consideration. LinkedIn is one of various platforms that have sought to tap into this trend, via their employee advocacy program 'Elevate', which aims to help encourage employee engagement on social in a way that helps boost your wider brand efforts.
According to LinkedIn, on average, employees have around 10x more connections on social than companies do, and through tools like Elevate, businesses can use this as a means to expand their reach.
But employee advocacy is not prescriptive - you can't just send out a generic post template and ask, or even pressure, your employees to share it. We've seen various 'experts' suggest advocacy programs along these lines, where social sharing is made an obligation, but that's not how effective advocacy works.
In order to encourage employee advocacy, brands need to educate their staff on the benefits - not only for the company, but for the individual employees as well. In addition to this, brands need to provide content that their employees actually want to share - which is where LinkedIn's latest research report comes in.
After analyzing the data submitted through their Elevate platform, LinkedIn's provided with a range of insights around the types of content employees are more likely to share, which can help guide employers seeking to expand their messaging.
Here's what they found.
SlideShare Presentations Generate Shares
Of course, LinkedIn owns SlideShare, so there is a level of vested interest, but according to their data:
"SlideShare presentations are the most popular type of content to share. In the past year, SlideShares received 44% more shares than any other content type."
This data is LinkedIn-centric, but the numbers suggest that packing your information into a slide presentation can generate significantly more shares, which could help boost your content reach.
LinkedIn concludes that:
"Employees are eager to share content that can educate their network and boost their own thought leadership, and SlideShares fit the bill."
That makes sense, but the second finding probably rings more true in a general content sense.
Video Generates the Most Engagement
While SlideShare presentations get shared, video content triggers response.
"To foster maximum engagement-clicks, likes, comments, reshares-include video content in your mix. We saw that engagement on videos was 6x higher than for any other type of content. Videos saw 23% more reshares per impression, too. This is likely because video is more easily consumed than text, especially on mobile, and video posts tend to stand out in a feed and attract attention."
As is the case across virtually every social platform, video sparks audience response - and while shares alone is great for brand awareness, engagement is better, as through those responses the reach of your content is boosted, particularly as algorithms play a more prominent role in content distribution.
LinkedIn also found that different types of content drove specific outcomes on their platform.
As you can see, if you're looking to generate certain response on LinkedIn, the content you choose to publish matters - posting articles is better for increasing page views, while SlideShare presentations drove more connection requests.
They're some interesting insights, and will no doubt help marketers looking to make better use of LinkedIn, and not just through employee advocacy, but more generally. Particularly relevant is the consideration of how each content type can help drive certain actions. There's never a definitive 'best' way - what works for one company may not be as effective elsewhere, but the data provides indicative insight into where you should look when planning your campaign.