As a business, you’re looking to brand your products or services in ways that appeal to your target audiences. An effective branding strategy is consistent across every channel and touch point where customers interact with your brand—and that includes your employees.
Employees who are knowledgeable and excited about your brand can be your most powerful assets. These brand ambassadors will spread the word about your company without being told, increasing your brand’s visibility and strengthening its credibility.
But how can you turn your employees into brand ambassadors?
Here are four “real world” ways you can engage your employees to connect to your brand, and create an army of ambassadors to drive word-of-mouth and increased revenues.
- Encourage employees to share your brand: use social media at work
For a long time, most companies limited or banned social media usage in the workplace. Sites like Facebook and Twitter were considered unproductive, and even potentially damaging to the company’s reputation.
However, these restrictive policies end up backfiring more often than not. In addition, keeping employees away from social media is closing off a potentially powerful avenue for building your brand and engaging customers. Instead, invite employees to use social media in a positive and constructive way. They’ll spend less time hiding their social media usage, and more time developing great relationships with customers and generating leads.
Not everyone is comfortable using social media, so it’s a good idea to offer training for employees who may be interested in promoting your brand through social networks, but aren’t sure how to get started.
- Communicate openly and clearly with your employees
One of the biggest challenges employees face in using social media for business is what they should share publically, and what should stay internal. You can make sure employees know what’s acceptable by communicating frequently, and maintaining transparency about appropriate social media usage.
When you have something that employees can share with their social media networks, broadcast the information on every channel at work. Some people might miss a company email, but attend a meeting. Some may not check the bulletin board, but read every email that lands in their inbox. When you make a concerted effort to get the word out, your employees will follow suit.
Employees feel much more comfortable sharing company information on social media when they know the company approves. Don’t keep them in the dark about what to share, and what to keep private.
- Focus on the right channels – know your audience
You can amplify the effectiveness of your employees’ branding efforts by finding out which channels are best suited for your particular business, and asking employees to work through those channels.
The audiences for various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be very different. Your company might flourish on Facebook, but flop on LinkedIn. You may drive great engagement on Pinterest, but fizzle out on Twitter.
Look into the various social media platforms and find our which are most effective for your business. Then, share that information with your employees so they understand not only which platforms they should be using, but how they will drive success.
- Make it easy for employees to engage others
Everyone wishes they had more time in a day, including your employees. While some may want to participate in your company’s social media program, they may not have the time to figure it all out, or to come up with interesting content and status updates to share across their networks.
Make it easy by providing content for all of your employees to share. This will not only save them time, but will also help you ensure that your employees maintain a consistent company voice across platforms and channels. Ask employees to follow the main company pages on various social media sites, and repost any content their individual networks might enjoy. The easier it is, the more often they’ll share.