The importance of Employee Generated Content in recruitment

Thanks to digital transformation and social media, user-generated content (UGC) is huge. In fact, 92% of consumers trust online content from friends, colleagues or family more than brand messages from companies. 🤯 But did you know that a variant of that UGC exists for employees? Employee generated content (EGC) is unfortunately still a far cry for most companies… 😴

What is Employee Generated Content (EGC)?

As the name kinda gives it away, employee generated content succeeds on all forms of content created and shared on social media by your employees themselves. Whether it be videos, photos or blog posts, it also includes their opinions about your company’s mission statement, and the products and services you offer. We are exposed to EGC more often than we realize. Just think about the Instagram post a friend of yours posted about his first day at his new job. Or that one Instagram story your cousin posted about the assortment of sandwiches in the company cafeteria 🌭. 98% of employees use at least one social media channel for personal use, 50% of them also regularly post about their work/company. Just something to think about…

7 reasons why

  1. Credibility and trust. As consumers, we are fully aware that companies will do anything to get our attention (or rather, buy it). Our distrust of companies and their sponsored messages is therefore rapidly growing. We prefer to trust what our peers, family and friends post online. Beware, because we can smell fakeness from a mile away, and we’ll know when the message is forced! ⚡️ All messages must therefore be posted out of the employee’s own free will.
  1. Storytelling. Let’s be real, we prefer it when things are brought to us in the form of a story. A blog about how a watch with activity tracking inspired someone to put on his running shoes and run a half marathon moves and inspires us more than a boring webpage about the technical features of the watch.
  1. Employer branding. Even if it’s not explicitly about what it’s like to work for you, seeing that your employees are generally positive about your company is a powerful boost to your recruitment strategy and employer brand. 🙌🏼
  1. Fresh content perspectives and ideas. While marketing is essential for content creation, other departments (or even regular employees) can bring fresh ideas and perspectives. It also shows that your company is open to innovation and encourages creativity.
  1. Reduce marketing costs. Who doesn’t like to save money? By using employee generated content, you save money that you normally spend on – often expensive – advertisements. Reaching your target audience organically while simultaneously reducing costs = two birds with one stone! 💸
  1. Grow brand visibility. If your company has 100 employees and only 10% of them are doing EGC, you already have 10 extra people writing and talking about your company. This way, your company message is spread through different social networks and your brand visibility grows.
  2. Benefit for the employees. “What’s in it for me?” is the question we usually ask ourselves. Well, as an employee, they also benefit from posting employee generated content. It creates a sense of belonging to your company and it helps create a personal brand.

5 ways how

  1. Educate employees. 👨🏻🏫 The most effective way to encourage your employees to create employee generated content is to teach them new things. In fact, most employees are unsure about what is or is not allowed to be shared. Therefore, show examples of good EGC posts and clarify why. Also encourage them to interact with colleagues’ posts and teach them which hashtags to use to increase your reach.
  2. Set out clear guidelines. If you are concerned that your staff will harm your business with their “creativity,” set clear boundaries. Remember that the majority of your employees use social media on a daily basis, so they usually know what is okay to post and what isn’t. We therefore recommend that you don’t write a book about the do’s and dont’s, but rather a few clear rules. For example, think about what words you’d rather not see linked to your company, what photos and videos can be used…
  3. Have an approval process. ✅ Of course, it is ridiculous to approve every tweet or Instagram story, we know that too. But if there are slightly larger pieces written about your company, we think it’s best to review them.
  4. Allow different content types. Not every employee is a fluent writer or an excellent photographer. Therefore, welcome all types of content, such as photos, vlogs, artwork, animation, music…
  5. Have an employee hashtag. #️⃣ An employee-exclusive hashtag is one of the best ways to group content together and to find posts by other colleagues. You can then promote that hashtag on your website or social media channels so everyone knows about it.

Another little tip...

Want your employee generated content to really succeed? Then keep your marketing team away from it. After all, 🙅🏽 If it were up to them, they’d like to be in control of everything that is sent out into the world regarding your company. But as we said earlier, the new generations (Y and Z) notice very quickly what is fake and forced. Modern consumers don’t want to see censored and filtered messages, but rather authentic stories that show who your company really is.

All that’s left to say is: what are you waiting for?

man encouraging, sympl blog

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