In the increasingly social world, your company has brand ambassadors whether you've actively recruited them or not. A happy experience with your brand can equal a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram snap, which can help you drive more business without investing a dime.
If you're cultivating a brand ambassador program, don't forget to include one of the best pools of potential advocates: your workforce!
Benefits of Employee Advocacy
Brand ambassadors personify a corporate identity both in person and on social media, and who better to do that than the people who are actively involved in your business every day? Employees who are also brand ambassadors can turn their passion and excitement into action, circulating stories that offer a realistic glimpse into your company culture. By communicating within their social networks, those employees not only amplify your company's reach, but they also build credibility on behalf of your brand. Plus, numerous studies have outlined the tangible benefits of employee engagement. Business 2 Community explains that the perks include improved search engine ranking, brand loyalty and higher conversion rates.A well-run program might look something like the one profiled recently on HRCloud — a restaurant chain trained new hires on building Twitter profiles and representing the company online. The employees were then able to spread the word about specific menu items and present a fun, inviting atmosphere that increased the company's social reach.
Creating Strong Brand Ambassadors
Your employees can only be as successful as they are empowered to be, though. To run an effective brand ambassador program, members must understand and be able to explain the company's values and long-term vision, and in return, the organization should treat employees as valued advocates. Your social media policy must be positive and inclusive, and you should give your employees content to share! Don't make them come up with everything on their own — create hashtags and encourage their use across platforms. Marketing Land recommends composing posts for employees to share, so that your message will be conveyed with a unified voice but individual employees will have the opportunity to personalize the post. Social media training can help alleviate concerns over what could go wrong, as well as create a valuable feedback loop within your company.
Honesty and authenticity are key components of a successful social campaign, but posts shouldn't be dry or a boring recitation of your vision statement — effective content is fun to read and share. Encourage your ambassadors to pump up the interest of their posts by offering prizes to employees who get the most likes or retweets.
When employees share their experiences through social networks, it not only boosts the company's profile, but their personal accounts as well. Employees who are connected, committed and engaged are a powerful tool that can benefit your company and further your marketing efforts.