Every single person who works for your organization is a brand ambassador.
Each and every touchpoint your clients/customers have with your brand makes an impression.
Are you missing out on opportunities to extend your business and brand “story”?My guess is that you probably are.
According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, company employees have more credibility than executives.
Happy employees who are empowered to use Social Media properly and disseminate information about your company are the easiest and best way for you to extend word-of-mouth awareness.
It’s also smarter for your bottom line. Gallup Research showed that companies with high employee engagement levels had:
- 37% less absenteeism
- 25% less turnover in high-turnover organizations (such as retail)
- 49% less turnover in low-turnover organizations,
- 18% higher productivity, and
- 16% higher profitability
Think about how much time and money you are spending on curating your content while this untapped opportunity sits dormant.
Here are 4 ways you can leverage your employees to help extend your business brand:
- Set clear boundaries.
First, be sure to have a Social Media policy that outlines the “dos” and “don’ts” of appropriate use. Have clear boundaries (written in everyday language – not in legal terms) on what they can and can’t post. Be sure to also outline plan of action for crises, trolls and haters.The U.S. Airforce allows their Airmen to act as brand ambassadors and have clear cut rules to follow.
So, if the people responsible for national defense are allowed to use Social Media – couldn’t your team?
- Train them to use the tools.
Provide your team with a “boilerplate” paragraph they can include on their LinkedIn profile and train them how to use LinkedIn properly to build quality connections. Showcase how your company is different and how your business helps your target audience.
- Make sharing easy.
Encourage your staff to follow all your Social Media sites and re-share status updates, blog posts, Instagram images, videos etc.
- Invite your team to participate!
Have them write blog posts about your organization from their perspective. Make your staff member the “hero” of the story by showcasing them. Create a sense of shared ownership and give your team kudos for a job well done.If you’re concerned about managing your employees across the organization, then start with a small team of advocates. Find ways to bring in the early adopters who are eager to participate and change the face of communication within your company.
Increasing customer service, sales, engagement, retention, employee satisfaction – and ultimately profitability – through empowering employee brand ambassadors seems like a no-brainer to me!
What do you think? Employees as brand ambassadors: Is it a valuable investment or does it have a high potential for disaster?
(Let me know if your organization requires training and/or Social Media policy development.)
Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Social Media Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media
Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997. Founded PUNCH!media in 2009, our clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Jones Lang LaSalle.
PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so that you convert higher-paying clients.