You spend most of your work day conveying your brand to customers. You create smart and creative advertising and marketing campaigns, prepare impressive presentations for partners and spend time sharing reports with stockholders and investors. But when was the last time you communicated your brand to employees to build employee advocacy?
Think about it. Do your employees simply read a script for every sales call or are they passionate about your brand? You can work hard all day to create killer brand awareness but employees can be the best kept secret when it comes to promoting brand advocacy.
What if your customers actually had no idea why your company, service or product line should matter to them? This could actually be a reality depending on how your employees boast about your brand. They may only be sharing what the script says but they deserve far more credit than that. An effective internal brand can change the way the outside world views your company.
5 Steps to Empower your Employees to be Brand Ambassadors
- Define your company brand to employees. A business can spend countless resources developing and promoting its brand to current and potential customers but what about their employees? How well do they really know their own company brand? Start by identifying parts of the brand that may be confusing by asking employees to describe your company. Once you collect your feedback, it’s time to formally define a core mission statement or they key message of the company.
- Encourage social media interaction. Establish trust with your employees and allow them to use their personal social media for the good of the company. If your employees are online talking about how much they enjoy working at your company, that is a good thing and brings positive awareness around your brand to the general public.
- Provide the right tools to make sharing easy. Once you’ve defined your company brand and established social trust with your employees, it’s time to start sharing. Provide employees with the proper tools to become brand advocates. The social media sharing tool, Oktopost that we use at Sugar Market, previously Salesfusion, allows for one-click share employee advocacy. It’s also important to be sure you’re providing employees with valuable content to want to share on their personal sites. It may also help employee advocacy by giving your employees items with your company logo on them and encourage them to share pictures using these items (i.e. t-shirt, water bottle, jacket, etc.). Everyone loves company swag right?
- Recognize and show employees what’s in it for them. Just as you would with any successful customer advocacy program, it’s important to recognize the employees who are advocating and bringing your brand to life. Recognizing employees that share your content and brand’s message not only rewards them for a good job, but also inspires other employees to get involved.
- Measure and tweak your program. Implementing employee advocacy is just like any other company initiative. It takes work and you may not get it right the first time. There are several ways to evaluate your employee advocacy success. Look at what goals were achieved, which weren’t and also what challenges affected the outcomes. Did your employees have the right tools to share information? Was your content engaging enough to empower employees to share with their personal network?
Employees are the most trusted sources for your customers. They’re how business keeps coming through the door. Engaged and motivated employees who thoroughly understand and want to share your brand and your overall mission will generate happy clients. Finally, as much as measuring and tweaking your program is key to success, don’t forget to incorporate employee feedback about your advocacy program along the way. It’s your employee’s hard work that will make or break the program’s success and if they aren’t happy with your brand or with the tools given to share your brand message, your employee advocacy program will never be successful.