Using Social Media to Create Employee Advocacy and Internal Brand Ambassadors
In the noisy landscape of social media, your brand’s social accounts may not be enough to stand out.
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The way in which brands successfully use social media marketing has changed dramatically over the past five years. No longer are sweeping, generic campaigns enough. You actually need to invest in experiential campaigns that focus on one-to-one relationship building. Here’s a little secret: The best way to do this is by leveraging employee advocates.
The Power of Social Media
The beauty of social media is that it has the ability to connect brands with consumers in ways that were otherwise impossible in decades past. Think of social media like a window. It allows consumers to look in and know businesses on a more intimate level, while businesses use it to peer into the lives of customers and understand them better.
“As experientialists, we thrive on one-to-one interactions that immerse consumers, empowering them to evangelize on the brand’s behalf,” says Brad Nierenberg, award-winning experiential marketing expert. “Nothing is more empowering and measurable in our narcissistic society than social media, which has made digital extensions an imperative to interactive marketing.”
However, somewhere over the past few years, the efficacy of corporate social media accounts has waned. Instead, consumers want to interact with the people behind the brand. From a business perspective, the best way to capitalize on this desire is by turning employees into social media advocates for your brand.
How to Turn Your Employees into Social Media Advocates
For businesses, getting employees to become social media advocates – or raving brand ambassadors – isn’t as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips for getting people on board and starting the process.
Develop a Social Brand Value
The only way to get your employees to truly become online brand ambassadors is to clearly outline a social brand value. “This brand value shifts the extent of the company’s influence from the brand to the person, as such,” says Jorgen Sundberg, CEO of Link Humans. “It is important to gain social capital through ‘normal’ people without a premeditated sales pitch or advertorial. People want to connect on a personal level, and these days the platform for this connection is online.”
Read: Hootsuite’s Lessons On Building Community and Brand Love
Identify the Right Employees
You must target the right employees for your employee advocacy program if you want to be successful. Start by looking for employees who already exhibit signs of willingness to share your company’s message. These natural tendencies will help in the long run. It’s also smart to look for people with large circles. These are the individuals who have thousands of followers and active social lives outside of work.
Enhance Your Employee Culture
Everything starts with your employee culture. If employees are naturally satisfied with their jobs and excited about coming to work each and every morning, this gratification will spill over into other aspects of their lives – social media included. Really focus on building up your employee culture so that employee advocacy is natural and easy for them.
Guide, but Don’t Spoon-Feed
The key to a successful social media advocacy program is to guide your employees without spoon-feeding them. In other words, you want to influence the content they post and share without telling them exactly what to say.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to present to your employees: In order for a piece of content to be posted or shared, it should either be share-worthy, support the brand, or add value to the customer.
Begin Leveraging Social Media Advocates
In the noisy landscape of social media, your brand’s social accounts may not be enough to stand out. If you want to enjoy a healthy return on your investment, it’s time to begin leveraging social media advocates for valuable one-to-one interactions. Give it a try and see what happens.
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