How to Transform Ordinary Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates
Your company can have a great product, perfect marketing, and amazing sales, but the only real asset that company has is their people. These people creating the brand of the company and benefits of a strong brand are tremendous.
These days, employees are actively engaging on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ello, and many others. You can easily find everybody on Google and connected information with your company. And all your employees are part of your brand whether you like it or not. Employees can become your company’s most important and loyal brand ambassadors, but without proper training or strategy, your people can kill your brand in a second.
Good brands also have amazing effects on candidates. If you were approached by Google or Amazon, you would immediately say, “Yes, I want to know more.” But if you are approached by an unknown company, there is a very huge probability that you would hesitate with your reply and miss an amazing opportunity.
Some companies are using brand ambassadors when trying to build a strong corporate brand. Brand ambassadors are employees that are thoroughly engaged, connected, and committed to the company brand. Personally, I believe that EVERY employee is an important part of your brand because a group can help you build a strong brand, but only one person could kill it. So that’s why brand engagement is critical, and it comes with many benefits.
People in sales and marketing already know that good branding is good for sales. But in recruitment, you are not selling goods. You are selling the image of the company and why it is cool to work for that company, because everybody would like to work for great company with good reputation.
Building a strong brand requires that all employees feel connected with the company and corporate brand.
Educate Your Employees
Turning employees into brand ambassadors requires more than just Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other account. Your employees need to know how they are connected with the company brand and what your company and business stand for. So it’s good to refresh from time to time information from onboarding because your company is evolving, and you can give your people new information. For recruitment purposes, the employees are the most credible source of information about the company. That’s also the reason why referrals are working better than the job boards. You will also trust your friend if he is going to tell you whether the company is good or bad.
Not everyone is a born marketer or interested in marketing. But if you want your employees to become better ambassadors, provide some basic marketing training for them.
Create Rules for Your Social Media Policy
While it’s important for guidelines to be in place, don’t invent too many restrictions. Keep the no-no’s to a minimum. Create social media policy that encourages sharing and eliminates fear. Every employee needs to feel confident about any social sharing guidelines to be a good brand ambassador. Trust your people!
Keep Your People Excited about the Brand
Don’t make your employees search for content to share. Create an internal page with material for social websites. Communicate with your people regarding what is going on and what the strategies are. Let’s them ask, encourage questions, and find out what they want to know. They can promote new, exciting things that are coming from your company, and they can easily create positive online buzz. Getting your employees involved is vital for any brand.
Encourage and help your employees to be active in their community. Give them company T-shirts to wear or stickers. Is there is a special event, and only a few of your people are going? Just give them some branded, funny freebies they can shares with their new friends. It’s a great ice breaker and possibility for your people to leave a good impression about your company.
Maybe you never heard term personal brands, but almost everybody is working on theirs personal brands. Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. You are building your personal brand every day. And some companies understand that personal brands are connected with the company brands. When employees are clear about who they are and what makes them exceptional in the company structure, they can use their skills, and knowledge to activate the company branding goals. Each person is unique and will be able to find his unique way in helping your branding activities.
Natalie Kessler from Adobe had an amazing idea. She started to promote the lifestyle that comes when you are working for Adobe. The idea is simple and brilliant! Employees on Twitter are using hashtag #adobelife. They are adding this tag into their Tweets so everybody can find posts of Adobe employees. They are sharing updates using the hashtag with their colleagues, friends, family, products, etc. Also, you can use this hashtag on T-shirts, stickers, etc.
Check the Results
Check and monitor your branding activities, so you can find what is working. There are many tools for these activities, but I like these two tools. Agora Pulse is a toolbox for Facebook and Twitter, and this tool brings together all information from anywhere on the web where your company is mentioned so that you can see information about your brand in real time. Second great tool for creating the enterprise social networking community is Socialcast. This app brings executives and employees together in a two-way dialogue in unified workspace. Break down barriers across locations and job titles by giving everyone a voice.
It’s important to recognize employees who are bringing the brand to life within the organization. If you see that your sales are going up because of an employee’s activity, support him and give him a special reward. Engaged employees who successfully represent the company brand provide a competitive advantage to your business and big value. And as you already know, people are motivated by praise and prizes.
Benefits from a Recruitment Perspective
- Viral power of social networks to reach millions of candidates.
- Retain and attract talent.
- Better trust between managers and employees.
- Help to build better employee culture and teams.
- Reduced recruitment costs (adverts, agencies).
- Trust employees to use their judgment.
- Make it easy (rules and processes).
- Be transparent in all communications.
- Give employees the information they need.
- Communicate frequently.
- Train your employees.
With the right encouragement and trust from management, employees can become your company’s most important and loyal brand ambassadors. And this could help to clear channels of communication throughout the company. Employees are more likely to feel positive, empowered, and able to make a huge difference. Turn every person in the company into brand ambassadors, and it’s not going to help only your brand, but your people, who will be more connected with your company.
A great company culture breeds happy people, and happy people are amazing employees.