The power of employees: ‘destroys the competition… they’re ground into dust’

As crazy as it might seem, given that we are only just about to hit summer solstice, marketers need to start preparing for Christmas.

Do you remember the phenomenally successful John Lewis ‘Excitable Edgar’ Christmas campaign a couple of years back?

PR Week reviewed the success of leading retailers’ festive ad performance that year… and EXCLUDED John Lewis from their analysis. Why?

‘Well, because John Lewis smashes everything else out of sight. It doesn’t just win the Christmas ad battle, it destroys the competition to the point where they’re ground into dust at the foot of the chart.’ Matt Edwards, PR Week.

So why was it so phenomenally successful?

It was the year they took the decision to allow their Partners (employees) to launch the ad, giving them exclusive access to share it on social media via our Togethr App, between 6-8am, two hours before it was launched on the brand channels.

It was a bold, bold move – and one that paid off massively.

Within 60 seconds it was trending on Twitter in the UK and globally within the hour.

They achieved 1.5 million impressions in that first hour from posts shared through the Togethr employee advocacy app alone.

‘The decision to give employees control of marketing its iconic Christmas campaign on social media has not only driven stronger consumer take-up of in-store services for John Lewis & Partners, it’s also improved employee engagement.’ CMO Australia

The key point here is that John Lewis & Partners didn’t just launch into Employee Advocacy in the November prior to Edgar’s launch to achieve success, they spent many months building and cultivating their Partners’ (employees’) social media capability over the preceding year, with Employee Advocacy Training and with their Employee Advocacy programme #WeArePartners, building on the success of their Employee Advocacy Pilot.

Many other brands have since followed suit. 

The Post Office empowers their postmasters to share content via the Togethr app to raise awareness at this critical sales point of the year with their Employee Advocacy Programme #WeArePostOffice.

The result? A massive spike in impressions and engagements in November and December, the time of year when customers want more information about postal services and postmasters rely on the increased footfall in store.

Inviting your employees to share relevant timely content to their followers over the festive season means you increase your reach by over 10x, engagement by more than 24x and drive 2x more clicks to your website (MSL Group).

The reason it works?

Every post becomes an opportunity to connect with customers old and new.

Every post tells a story. And stories connect people. They make people feel something, people remember them, they share them, they tell their friends about them.

And having your employees share on your behalf enables you to share what your brand stands for.

Employees have a role in shaping the future of marketing. And sharing content on behalf of the brand is a reimagining of marketing for the world we live in now.

Updated from original blog article:

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