The term Brand Ambassador can be misleading, it’s a fairly grandiose name for something that any employee can be from the comfort of their own desks.
In reality, a Brand Ambassador can either be self-appointed or nominated by your company, to embody the company’s core values and to become an honorary business cheerleader for the brand across social media.
Either through your own personal Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (etc,etc) accounts, or if you have a work-specific account set up. You can share company content, news updates, case studies or even photos of office parties (preferably sober ones) to get your company’s brand image out there in the public conscience.
The benefits of this scheme, commonly known as Employee Advocacy, for the company are clear; it increases brand awareness, saves on targeted social ad costs, it boosts employee morale, and displays the company as a vibrant and exciting place to work. Household names such as Dell and Microsoft (to name a few) have used Employee Advocacy and achieved real tangible success.
But what does the employee get out of it? Mainly from company recognition and of course it boosts your own individual brand. In this day and age, with social media becoming just as much about business growth as it is about personal interaction, having your own brand on social media is now integral to building your career. Future employers will see that you’ve put your all in for your company, and will want you to do the same for them.
But how do you become a good brand ambassador? Here are a few pointers to set you on your way:
1: Set Up A Separate Work Account
As mentioned previously, you can share updates from your own account if you wish, but it can be hard to separate your work life from your social life. It’s always good to maintain one professional tone-of-voice when posting about work stuff, and a separate work account will help with that.
2: Create And Share Your Own Content
The best way to get followers once you’ve started your account is to share industry related trends. Once you feel confident on all the issues, take some tips and set up your own blog through sites such as WordPress, then you can share them with your new followers and make a name for yourself.
3: Interact With Industry Influencers On Behalf Of The Company
Interacting and engaging with industry influencers is key to getting yourself noticed. Pose questions, share content and retweet their pearls of wisdom.
4: Be The Knight In Shining Armour
Every company will encounter a dissatisfied customer on social media at some point, if you spot a complaint, turn on the charm, try and ease the situation by offering them exceptional customer service.
5: Avoid Any Drama
Twitter-spats can get ugly and out-of-control before you know it. If it happens whilst being a voice for the company it could have even bigger consequences. It’s always best to keep your cool if faced with an unhappy tweeter, try and take them offline and out of the public arena.
Strategies to turn employees to Brand Ambassadors
The power of brand ambassadors lies in their ability to promote corporate identity, values, and appearance. For a long time, brand ambassadors used to be external promoters who essentially had no relations with the company itself. But today, entrepreneurs understand that their employees are the ones who can represent their companies successfully from the inside.
According to the recent study, digital content has 2 times higher engagement when shared by employees than brands or businesses. It means that you have the opportunity to improve brand awareness utilizing the existing resources.
The way you promote the brand depends on the nature of your business and your overall marketing strategy. However, there are a few basic rules when it comes to making brand ambassadors of your employees. Let’s take a look at the seven most important steps here.
1. Prepare social media policy
If you want to make sure that your employees are representing the brand uniformly, you need to prepare a social media policy. A research even proved that companies with the growth of 20% or more were twice as likely to have an employee advocacy program as their competitors. Therefore, you need to establish general guidelines for your team before launching this social media feature.
You can focus on interpersonal relations within the company, images, employee testimonials, or even encourage live videos. You can also create a schedule for each member of the team to make them post status updates periodically. There is a variety of elements to coordinate here and you should analyze each one prior to the campaign launch.
2. Educate your workers
It seems like everybody owns at least one social media profile these days, which means that your workers are probably active in the digital world, too. But it doesn’t mean that they really know what to do when it comes to brand advocacy.
That’s why you need to educate employees and teach them how to represent and support the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social network. Let them know what is appropriate and what is forbidden. They should express real emotions and creativity online but it has to stay in line with your overall social media strategy.
3. Free their minds for content creation
Speaking of creativity, it is necessary to allow the members of your team to think about brand advocacy in everyday work. They should feel free to dedicate some time to brainstorming and content creation, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the work process. After all, you want uniform but not boring content.
4. Give them additional encouragement
The best way to encourage employees to promote your brand online is to give them additional stimulation. Namely, you can organize monthly contests and promise a reward to the brand ambassador who generates the most likes, comments, or shares.
Additionally, you can give small incentives for those who come up with the most interesting content. This is not only the step towards increasing brand awareness but also the way to boost imagination among workers and make them more engaged and productive.
5. What’s in it for your employees?
Brand advocacy might be great for your company but a lot of workers will be asking themselves one question – what’s in it for me? Employees are still not used to posting business-related content online. Sometimes they even share criticism or negative comments about their employers.
In order to prevent this from happening, you need to let them know that brand advocacy doesn’t only help the company. It can also improve their online authority and make them build the reputation as opinion leaders in this niche. This way, they promote both the brand and themselves, which could turn into a genuine career boost for some workers.
6. Utilize employer review websites
Social networks are not the only channel of brand advocacy. On the contrary, you could also utilize the most popular employer review websites to strengthen the company’s online authority. Here are some of the most influential websites in that regard: GlassDoor, Great Place To Work, Indeed, Vault and The Job Crowd.
Using these channels, employees can evaluate your company, talk about its advantages, and describe the good sides of working for you. When executed properly, these reviews can bring additional value to your brand.
7. Measure social media efforts
No matter how good your strategy might be, there are no guarantees that it’s going to be productive. This is why you should measure results of brand ambassadors and see if there is any room for improvements. You need to set and monitor concrete metrics, such as the number of social media followers or user comments, shares, etc. What you measure depends on the objectives of your social media policy but make sure to do it precisely and continuously.
Are you a brand ambassador on social media? What are your tips? Let us know