You’ve shared your content through the proper internal channels. You’re seeing more employee posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Overall, your employee advocacy program seems to be performing well. But can you prove it?

To accurately measure employee advocacy initiatives, you need to have a clear goal in mind. Whether your needs lie in brand awareness, human resources or sales, employee advocates can play a vital role in achieving business objectives. You just need to zero in on the right assortment of metrics to prove it.

In this article, we’ll break down the 14 key metrics that you can use to evaluate the success of your employee advocacy program. The right combination of metrics will help you track employee engagement, business value and program performance over time.

How do you measure employee advocacy?

The success of your employee advocacy program can be measured by several metrics that fall into either of the following categories:

  • Internal metrics, which measure overall program adoption across your business.
  • External metrics, which measure how employee advocacy efforts impact key business areas, like sales, recruiting and marketing.

An employee advocacy tool like Sprout’s can be used to track both kinds of metrics. It’s important to note that external metrics may require additional information from other sources like your CRM or Google Analytics.

During the early stages of your employee advocacy program, we recommend focusing on internal metrics. After all, the external metrics are almost impossible to reach if your colleagues aren’t participating in advocacy efforts.

As participation builds, you can begin tracking external metrics. If you’re not sure what exactly to track, reflect on why your company needed an advocacy program in the first place. Maybe it was to increase brand trust or reduce time to hire. Whatever the reasoning, it can surely be tied back to one or more of the metrics you’ll find below.

Employee advocacy metrics to measure for adoption

Tracking internal adoption over time helps ensure program longevity. These metrics may not be as exciting as those that have a more direct link to ROI, but they’re absolutely vital to the success of your program.

As we said before, employee advocacy is not a “set it and forget” game. For the best results, you should treat it as a campaign aimed at your fellow colleagues. Keeping an eye on one or two of the following metrics will help you track success (and identify ongoing opportunities to boost or sustain participation).

Conversion Rate

Let’s kick things off with a true essential. If you’re new to advocacy, we recommend onboarding employees in cohorts. This will allow you to give more time and attention to advocates as they learn the program basics. Tracking employee conversion rate is a great way to measure what percentage of invited employees are actually participating.

Active participation rate

Active participation rate measures what percentage of all employees are engaged and sharing advocacy content. Remember, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach 100% participation. Some people just won’t be interested (or may not be active on social in their personal lives either)—advocacy only works if it’s entirely voluntary. Once you’ve concluded advocacy onboarding sessions, keep an eye on this metric to monitor how many employees are keeping up with the program.

Top Contributors

There are two types of top contributors: those who share often and those who receive a high level of engagement per post. A thoughtful recognition strategy designed to incentivize both groups is the secret to gaining internal traction during the first few phases of your program. Track top contributors to ensure you’re rewarding power advocates.

Story Contributions

If you’re using an advocacy tool like Sprout’s, your employees have the opportunity to submit content for other program participants to share. Regular content submissions do more than support your curation efforts. They show that your colleagues are taking advocacy duties into their own hands, which is a solid sign of engagement.

Employee advocacy metrics to measure brand awareness

These days, increasing the reach of your social media efforts typically comes with some kind of price tag. Whether it’s through ad spend, influencer contracts or some other form of paid promotion, getting more social bang for your buck feels like it’s costing more and more bucks.

Employee advocacy can do wonders for brand awareness at a fraction of the typical cost. If you need to prove the ROI of your efforts, there is no better place to start than with the following awareness metrics.

Engagement

Studies show that employees have an average of 10 times as many connections on social media as a standard brand. This increased reach sets your brand up for a world of new engagement opportunities. Track comments, shares, likes and clicks to better understand what content is resonating so you can queue up comparable posts.

Website traffic

Whether you’re looking to attract new candidates or get in front of potential customers, the end goal of your advocacy program is ultimately more web traffic. Your employee advocacy tool should allow you to attribute traffic directly back to your advocates. That way you can differentiate between traffic driven from colleagues and traffic driven by your brand account.

Earned media value

Earned media value is any publicity or media generated by organic methods beyond your own marketing, whether that be through customers, social media fans or employee advocates. When used to measure employee advocacy efforts, it allows for a more direct comparison to paid efforts. This is a highly effective way to prove dollar-for-dollar ROI when reporting on your employee advocacy program.

Employee advocacy metrics to measure for social selling

Social selling can bring enormous value to your sales team. In fact, 72% of salespeople who use social media as a part of their process outperform their peers and exceed quota 23% more often. While that data is impressive, it may not be enough to get your entire sales team sharing content regularly.

To get your sales team engaged in advocacy, you’ll need to show how they can benefit from participating. Use the following metrics to prove your program’s value on a more personal level to sales leadership and representatives alike.

Lead volume

Employee advocacy efforts can help individual sales reps build their personal brand on social, increasing their visibility to high-value prospects. To see how your advocacy program is impacting pipeline generation, make sure you pick an employee advocacy tool that uses UTM parameters to measure conversions by rep.

 

Conversion rate

In many cases, leads that come in through employee advocacy efforts have already engaged with your brand or their sales rep in the past. This existing relationship increases trust from the jump, which can also increase the likelihood of a closed-won deal. To track this metric, work with your sales operations team to make sure that employee advocacy is a recognized lead source in your CRM. Compare it to other sources over time to see where your program stacks up.

Time-to-close

Designing a program that circulates both awareness and consideration content can streamline the buyer’s journey, priming prospects to purchase faster once they’ve entered your sales funnel. Similar to conversion, this can also be measured using a proper UTM strategy and your CRM solution.

LinkedIn SSI

A strong brand presence on LinkedIn can support multiple business functions, but for sales, it’s a goldmine. Help your reps up their social selling game by introducing them to the LinkedIn Social Selling Index. This nifty tool measures a salesperson’s ability to find and connect with the right prospects on LinkedIn. As sales team members continue to share curated employee advocacy content, their scores will continue to climb.

Employee advocacy metrics to measure for recruiting

Finding the right candidate to fill a role is no easy feat. The Society for Human Resource Management states that it takes an average of 42 days to fill a role at a cost of just over $4,400. If your business needs to grow quickly, optimizing your hiring process is critical.

Almost a quarter of recruiters say a lack of employer brand awareness is a top hiring concern. Your employee advocacy program can become a reliable, cost-effective way to make your company stand out in a competitive hiring market. If recruiting is a top priority for your advocacy program, here are some metrics you can use to measure its efficacy.

Employee referrals

Your employees have vast professional networks, filled with qualified people they’ve met through networking opportunities and previous positions. When you use your employee advocacy program to promote open roles, you increase your brand’s visibility in those networks, increasing the likelihood of a referral. It’s simple, yet incredibly effective. Research shows that referrals can save up to $7,500 per hired employee in productivity and sourcing costs.

Job portal traffic

Ninety-two percent of people would consider changing jobs if offered a role at a company with an excellent corporate reputation. As you cultivate a group of advocates who champion your brand’s values and company culture, you will probably start to notice an increase in overall job portal traffic.

Time-to-hire

In a competitive job market, time is of the essence. Time-to-hire is the amount of time that passes between when a candidate is first contacted by a company and when they accept an employment offer. Increases in job portal traffic and employee referrals can shorten time-to-hire by establishing a pipeline of qualified candidates.

Build an employee advocacy program that drives measurable ROI

There are a lot of metrics that can measure the success of an employee advocacy program. Remember: you don’t have to track every single one. Instead, align with internal stakeholders to determine which will make the biggest impact on your brand.

For even more tips on how to get the most out of your advocacy program, check out this employee advocacy launch checklist. This step-by-step action plan will help you refine your advocacy strategy so you can meet your goals and start celebrating more team wins today.