Employer Branding

How HSBC is Banking on Employee Advocacy

How can one of the world’s largest banks execute an effective employee advocacy program? I’ve spoken to Camila Romuld of HSBC to find out! Be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast and never miss an episode.

What prompted HSBC to launch an employee advocacy program?

I can say from two different perspectives. So from a marketing perspective, there were three points. One was to dismiss the perception that relationship managers are solely operational and not capable of having more strategic and high-level conversations. Second, we really want to increase the HSBC brand familiarity and increase familiarity across products, building relationships with prospects and current clients. Third, from the HR perspective, is to gain understanding of how employees are sharing content and then how it impacts hiring across various target markets and functions.

What types of content do you distribute to employees?

We have a wide range of content, a mix of HSBC content that is produced by HSBC and this type of content comes from the marketing, from the business, HR or corporate comms areas or non-HSBC content that we source from, let’s say, trusted sources of content such as Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist and everything else. The mix between HSBC and non-HSBC content is what we want as I don’t think our employees should be only taking about HSBC products and content. But we should also show current and the relevant industry news to show to our network that we are up to what’s going on in the world.

What are the benefits to HSBC and to employees in this program?

From the perspective of HSBC, our relationship managers are building the networks faster. The HSBC company page has been attaining more followers and more prospective hires are applying for jobs than previously. Then we also asked them (global teams) about sales leads if they had any. Three main comments were; they have noticed that they receive interaction from potential vendors, stakeholders which may be useful down the track. Someone else said that no sales leads yet, however he says it has helped HSBC out in the market among my connections and also to increase engagement within their networks.

How do you measure success and can you share your results?

We have three initial points there we set up to decide on how we’re measuring success. One was connecting audiences and communicating more efficiently within our network. The second one was to retain prospecting clients and unlock new business opportunities and the third one was to increase HSBC visibility and credibility. So far the results have been amazing. We have seen a huge spike on the amount of impressions. Impressions is how many people have seen the content that has been shared. Engagement and the content being shared by our employees has been great, too.

So to give you a bit of some numbers, the numbers of impressions mean the content being shared went from just over 1,600 to over 5,000 pieces of content which means the average employee advocacy user drives 3 times more impressions with Elevate than without it. When it comes down to engagement, our engagement rates went from an average of 37 every month to 80 which basically show us that the average employee user drives two times more engagement than a non-Elevate employee.

The amount of content being shared by our employees on LinkedIn, they went from 0.8% to an amazing 7.7%. This means that on average Elevate user shares content eight times more than a non-Elevate user. So you can see that the number speak for themselves and these are great results.

Can you tie back this success to actual ROI?

The Elevate team is pretty good and gave us some amazing reports which allow us to give a bit of insight to the actual ROI. So the best for it is to use an engagement rate. Assuming that $3 is the cost for engagement, I can say that in June alone, we had the media value of $25,000 and this is massive because we only have 20% of the licenses allocated and I’m hoping that by December once we have allocated all the remaining licenses, now we’re going to see a significant jump on the media value with employee advocacy.

More on this topic at Employee Advocacy: The Ultimate Handbook.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.