Do the employees who come to work every day to build your business and take care of your customers act as brand ambassadors? Do they say positive things about your company on social? Do they like coming in to work each day enough to promote your products and services and employer brand?
Those are the kinds of questions you should be asking about your employees, because employees who truly love what they do and where they work will represent your company in the best light. When employees are highly engaged, they don’t hesitate to talk publicly in glowing terms about your company. Engaged employees are a marketing secret that can’t be imitated because they are unique to your company.
What Engaged Employees Can Do
Engaged employees who sincerely love the company are very likely to share their enthusiasm in social media. Employees sharing company news with friends and family on social can dramatically extend your brand’s organic reach and provide a human face for your company. They are happy to participate in company culture videos and testimonials that are created for social media. They will create the kind of compelling content that attracts candidates and customers.
How to Develop Brand Ambassadors
The fastest route to developing your employees into brand ambassadors is to create a supportive work environment that makes employees feel good about why they come to work each day. Studies like the Towers Watson 2012 Workforce study show that employee performance is directly affected by how they feel at work. Employees want to feel valued and cared for, so an important part of creating engagement is genuine concern for employee well-being. Showing genuine appreciation for employee effort and achievement means more than just providing perks. It has to be a sincere effort supported by top management and integrated into the company culture to make a meaningful impact on engagement.
Companies like Google and Zappos don’t have employees lined up to work for them without good reason. They have purposely built supportive, engaging cultures and employer brands that their employees rave about and they get high performance from them. Companies that work to create highly engaging work environments believe in supporting employees to better handle their workloads, have better work/life balance, and experience more autonomy about how to get the work done. The employees who work for them will be happy to work harder and will be personally invested in business success.
Make It Easy for Them
Creating an engaging company culture is just a part of developing employees into brand ambassadors. Make it easy for them to promote your brand. Make sure you have a social media policy that makes your employees feel comfortable online and encourages them to participate in social media. Provide social media training so that they can feel confident in the social media online universe, and provide content for them to share. Let them share posts from company social media or share news and information from designated email and inter-office communications. Give them specific company hashtags to use and create a special hub where they can find brand content to share. Define your customers and communications and assign them to different employees to engage with on social media.
Take a few cues from Nokia Global Marketing Talent Acquisition Manager Becky Gloyne and use a little technology to pull employees into the brand ambassador roles. Nokia uses Socialcast, a social networking and collaboration platform that lets their employees connect with people around the world. The communications giant also uses Agora, a social visualizer, to pull conversations about Nokia from all over the web into a visual to see trends, perceptions, and other insights about the company. With tools like these, Nokia fully supports its employees on social media as part of a comprehensive social recruitment strategy. Nokia features its employees on all of its social media platforms, uses social media to recruit and engage candidates, and uses social attraction to generate buzz with the public.