Your very best brand advocates are sitting in the cubicles right outside your door. They know what makes your company great, and they most likely have social media networks that extend far beyond your marketing’s reach. Hearing positive things about a business from an employee conveys that your company is trustworthy, so if you aren’t giving your employees the tools they need to be brand advocates, you should start immediately. These are the things you’ll need to do:
Develop a great company social media policy.
This doesn’t mean creating a gigantic list of “don’ts.” Though you may have visions of lawsuits and scandals dancing in your head, you need to stop viewing your employees promoting your brand on social media as a risk and instead view it as a fantastic opportunity. A rigid policy will make your employees afraid to post anything, so build one that’s based on common sense, transparency and trust. And as new events and announcements arise, be clear with the entire company when information can be posted on social media and when it needs to remain classified. If you really want to be thorough, develop playbooks for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other platforms you may use that give concrete examples and tips for good posts.
Invest in social media training.
Whether your company is filled with Millennials or soon-to-be retirees, every employee can benefit from social media training. Bring in a professional or have the director of your company’s social media team host various training sessions, ranging in complexity from the basics of creating profiles to advanced personal branding. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s a step that will empower every employee to represent your brand well.
Make sure you have a company culture worth bragging about.
As the saying goes, don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Before you can convert your employees into brand advocates, you have to build an organization that treats both its customers and its employees extremely well. Are you hosting fun employee events that demonstrate your appreciation for the hard work that they do? Are you consistently developing exciting new products and services? Is your customer service worth talking about? Don’t expect your brand advocates to search for things to talk about or, worse yet, lie. Give them the materials they need to work with.