Mark Keeton, Vice President
Most conventional marketing emphasizes the customer or client experience. It’s the right thing to do. Without an outstanding experience with your product or service, a customer is likely to choose a different brand as their go-to.
Unfortunately, a singular focus on customers can be short-sighted. In addition to conventional methods enlisting employees to serve as “brand ambassadors” can amplify marketing efforts by making the entire workforce a champion for your business. Research shows that customers will listen to an employee’s experience when considering a company.
Great! So you want to include an opportunity for employees to share your next great product, service or promotion in your marketing plan. But how do you do it?
The first step is making sure that your employees already feel like champions for the company. Asking disengaged employees to act like champions can backfire in a big way. According to Gallup research, only 26 percent of U.S. workers believe that their organization always delivers on the promises they make to customers.
Even more alarming is that Gallup research finds fewer than half of U.S. employees (41 percent) strongly agree that they know what makes their company’s brand different than the competition.
- Communicate with your employees and help them connect to your brand. Be authentic and clear when sharing your mission and how their work relates to it. Feeling connected to a mission and goals can help employees feel confident in their roles and understand how they can help the company achieve success.
- Give employees permission to talk about your company on social media (though this doesn’t mean a free-for-all — see next tip).
- Establish ground rules about what’s appropriate for employees to share on social media. It might seem like common sense, but remember that everyone has a different level of understanding of what’s appropriate. It’s important that you reiterate what is okay to share and what is not.
- Provide your employees with appropriate content to share. Send them suggested posts or tweets to give them a model of what’s appropriate. Consider offering a training session around being a brand ambassador.
- Create a brand ambassador program or contest to get your employees excited. An “employees as marketers” campaign can help employees feel more aligned to company values and achievements. Employees who consistently share appropriate content can be rewarded with prizes such as branded swag, which will further showcase your company.