It’s often said that employees are a company’s greatest assets. These are the employees who have been inspired by the company’s mission and have an outward response that turns them into ambassadors for the brand, which in turn can help your business grow. What can you do to turn your employees into brand advocates?
Brand assets, brand ambassadors, brand advocates – they’re all terms that mean the employees have an invested interest in the brand’s mission and align themselves with the core values of the brand. Today, because there are so many outlets for expression, there are a large number of ways to increase your brand advocacy. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – these are all powerful social media sites that can help your employees sing their praises about your brand, but in a personalized fashion, not as a thinly veiled advertisement.
While many of your employees will be friends or follow each other on various social media sites, they all have their own web of friends and followers. This means when they talk about your brand, they’re reaching a variety of groups that could become customers. There are millions of people using these sites, so the potential for brand advocacy through social media is excellent.
While you can’t possibly monitor all employee action on social media sites, you can offer tips for your employees for successfully sharing your brand. For instance, LinkedIn has more than 300 million users in 200 countries. It’s a site where your employees become the face of your organization. Let them in on some LinkedIn usage tips, like personalizing connection requests instead of just sending a generic request or thanking new contacts when they accept a request. Make sure they’re creating value-added content that inspires others.
Is it worth the effort? The answer is a resounding “yes.” While you’re probably doing everything you can to optimize your website and your company social media pages, the fact is that most consumers have a greater level of trust in your employees’ platforms than they do on the company platform. They are more influenced by individuals than by a company, which is why your brand advocates are doing more for your company than your company platforms can do alone.
If you are considering developing an advocacy policy, draw up a list of what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate to say online. Give them examples of how brands have destroyed themselves through improper use of social media. Offer periodical training for your employees so they can stay on point with the latest features on social media sites. This also gives them a chance to talk about any concerns they have about the content they offer up on their preferred platforms.
Employee advocacy is a great way to get your whole team involved in sharing the mission of your company and making sure your brand stands out in a crowd. Start with a few small goals for each employee, evaluate those after a set time and adjust as you need to moving forward. Your employees can be one of your most valuable marketing assets, so start involving them as key players in your marketing strategy.