Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, and the fire has been fuelled with the rise of social media and other online platforms. Companies know this and many work with celebrities, sportsmen, or other high-profile figures to represent their brand and evangelize its products or services.
But, think about it – who knows what your brand stands for, its products and its services better than your own employees? Essentially, they’re already the face of your company.
To maximize the collective word-spreading capacity that they hold, let’s look at how you can turn your employees into brand ambassadors for your organization – and be sure that they’re spreading the right message.
Start with the foundation of brand ambassador building
Before you can expect your employees to share positive sentiments about your organization, you need to ensure that your employees are engaged, happy, and motivated.
And unfortunately, the stats reflect that companies have some work to do in establishing cultures that their employees are proud to be a part of – and represent.
According to a 2017 Gallup report, only one-third of the 100 million full-time employees that make up the American workforce are engaged at work, meaning that they love their jobs and contribute to making their organizations better every day.
If you’re concerned that a toxic work environment might be impacting how engaged your employees are, read our blog on fixing (or better yet, preventing) such a situation. Some key strategies include:
- Building and carrying out a strong integration strategy
- Opening up the channels of communication
- Creating opportunities for development
Ultimately, employees want convenience, culture, connections, and career advancement. And, when these boxes are ticked, you’ll more likely have a happier and more engaged workforce, comprising individuals who are willing to share how much they love working at your company and the great things it’s doing. Read more about what today’s employees are after here.
Investing in your company culture will go a long way in ensuring that employees can act as brand ambassadors with authenticity, enthusiasm, and consistency.
Pave the way for your employees to act as brand ambassadors
Adding to this, there are a number of ways that you can encourage employees to take up the role of brand ambassadors. These include:
Have an internal marketing strategy in place
It’s important to know what you want to achieve, how you’re going to get there, and how to measure success. Think of this as an internal marketing plan. During planning phases, you can ask employees for their point of view and thoughts. This is a good way to make them feel valuable and a part of the process from the outset.
Share your vision with employees
Once your vision has been consolidated, it’s important to share it with employees. You need to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. But it doesn’t end there. Keep the channels of communication open, remain transparent, gather feedback, and ensure that the right ‘voice’ and ‘message’ is distributed across the board.
Provide employees with the tools they need to create a buzz for your brand
If, for example, you’d want employees to create and share social media content on behalf of your company, you might want to consider equipping them with the tools that will help them to do so most effectively – it would show that you value their input and take their role as brand ambassadors seriously.
But perhaps your company isn’t quite in the position to provide every employee with fancy equipment, like smartphones or tablets. In that case, simply giving them access to collateral like high res photos, design templates, logos, hashtags, and so on will make it easier for them to spread the word about your business with creative flair (and in line with your corporate image or brand specifications).
Allow employees to contribute to your company’s voice
High performers tend to want to innovate and contribute in a meaningful way, and giving them the opportunity to do so will likely be met with a positive response. You could do so by allowing them to write posts for your company blog, for example. Since it would be their own work, they’d be more likely to share the content far and wide, with their network of family, friends, colleagues, and peers.
Give clear guidelines about sharing company-related content
While employees don’t want to feel micromanaged, or stifled, it is very important for you to have clear guidelines in place, especially when it comes to sharing information about your company with the public, for example via social media. Setting clear guidelines about what employees can and shouldn’t share from the outset will offer them the autonomy to share content without wondering whether it might get them into hot water. That hesitation might deter them from sharing approved company news, articles, infographics, videos and the like that would boost awareness of your brand.
Reward your brand ambassadors’ efforts
At the end of the day, you want your employees to remain motivated and passionate about their roles (and your business). The last thing you want is for your employees to feel like they’re expected to carry ‘extra weight’ by acting as brand ambassadors, as this can quickly dim their enthusiasm. A simple way of showing that you value their commitment to your company is by rewarding them. This could be in the form of hosting team building events, offering them incentives, giving them some kind of bonus, or offering them new company perks – and remember, an expression of gratitude also goes a long way too!
Manage your team of brand ambassadors with modern HR tech
Your employees, or brand ambassadors, are an asset to your company with the potential to enhance your brand awareness, create a positive association with your company, and aid in your recruitment efforts. Be sure to give them the best experience at your company, supported by vi’s modern HR tech – talk to us to find out more.