In this article you will find how brands are turning their employees into brand ambassadors. Why is this important? Not only is it less expensive, it can drive your sales through social media. It is an easy way to spread the word about your brand. Consumers have more trust when it comes to recommendations from others than just trusting in ads and other marketing strategies. The Edelman Trust Barometer reported the trust in CEOs has been slowly decreasing while trust in employees has been rising. Having your employees become brand ambassadors can expand your reach exponentially.
Assess employee advocacy first
SocialLook leaderboard measures employee advocacy through Twitter accounts. These measures are based on the accounts who mention working for a particular company in their bios. SocialLook leaderboard will show the number of employees that your company has on Twitter, the percentages of employees on Twitter from your total workforce, and the total workforce that was active in the analyzed month; plus the total number of tweets posted by your employees that mention the company or products and services provided.
Do your employees know what your company stands for, what your products or services are, or even company history? Having educated employees can make a big difference when it comes to your company’s brand. If an employee does not know enough about the company, they could potentially do more harm than good for the brand. Set up some ground rules, but do not make it so employees are timid to post. When your employees use social media sites, encourage them to share about the company. You want your employees to be comfortable with talking about your brand. If your employees are worried about what they are going to say, then they are most likely not going to share on social media. Providing training may help ease employees into talking about your company on social media. Giving your employees the proper training can boost their confidence for social sharing.
Combining Personal and Corporate Branding
Some believe that combining personal and corporate branding can be damaging to the brand. This is false. You want to have your employees to join their personal brands with the company’s corporate brand to further enhance the credibility of your company’s workforce. For instance, Adobe has no restrictions on their employees’ use of social media. While there are some guidelines that are put in place, Adobe encourages their employees to engage on social media sites to the public and promote their own brand while using the company hashtag, #AdobeLife. This shows the public that these people work for Adobe and have the knowledge, brand, and credentials to answer questions and engage with the public over social media.
Get your employees engaged, getting them involved with a project, regardless of what department they are in. Engaged employees are much more likely to spread the word about your brand as well as being more productive and staying with the company. Some ways of increasing engagement in employee’s include:
- Encouraging self-discovery; doing so can unearth an employee’s individual strengths and let’s them know that their business cares about more than just how much money they make.
- Create a new “hashtag”; You want to encourage workers to be brand ambassadors so by creating a new hashtag where the employees can write about the company is a helpful. Such as #AdobeLife mentioned earlier.
With social media, your employees are a great asset to your brand. They help promote your company for free! Just be certain your employees truly know what your brand stands for, and enough solid information about it to promote positively. Encouraging and training employees will help to create them into brand ambassadors. Incorporating your company’s brand and your employees brand together will provide good marketing for both. When your employees talk good about your company, more people will trust your company, building the brand even more!
This article was written by University of Missouri – St. Louis Social Media Marketing Undergraduate students Renee Richardson, Miquel Subira Ribas, Kyle Dermody, Kathleen Harris, and Martin Gwozdz.