The reality is that social networks need sustainable business models to grow and scale, which explains why most of them have become or will become advertising platforms.
Reaching their audience organically has been a challenge since day one for digital marketers, and today it has almost become an utopia. In his last piece*, my colleague Chris discussed "The Death of Organic Reach on Facebook" and I really encourage you to read it. Facebook won't be the focus here though.
Despite what's been said, there are still under-exploited opportunities when it comes to broadening your reach on social media. One of the biggest resides in your employees' network and their potential for advocacy. Leveraging this opportunity will obviously occur on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn recently released insights that showed:
"Socially engaged companies are 57% more likely to get increased sales leads, 58% more likely to attract top talent, and 20% more likely to retain them." - LinkedIn Insights
The first step in achieving any of these objectives is to maximise the number of contact points with your target audience, in other words, broadening your reach. Your employees could be the keys to achieving this first step. I don't expect you to believe this without any proof, so let's look at a simple model that will let you estimate to the opportunity that's being offered to you.
That's about 2.4 million potential impressions per year right there ... for free.
Based on data collected from working with some leading FMCG organisations, we measured that one paid impression on LinkedIn costs about £0.02.
Coming back to our 2.4 million impressions earned for free thanks to your employees engaging with your company updates, that would represent a total investment in paid advertising of £48,000 ... every year.
Now go ahead and do the math for your own company & employees, I'm sure you'll be amazed by the potential that sits with them.