When it comes to promoting your brand, the employees on your team can be your biggest advocates. They each have their own professional networks and as the face of your business, are a great source for sharing stories, news and other information about your internal workings. In turn, this leads to both increased brand awareness for your company and for your employees’ personal brands. The benefits for both sides are clear, but turning this practice into action can be difficult without a plan. Here are some tips to get your employees to become brand advocates for your business.
Create a Clear Vision
For many people, social media is an escape from their everyday life. It’s an opportunity to connect with friends and family, participate in political discussions and share photos. Rarely does that include posting about their place of work unless they want to vent about a long day or a fun experience. This is where a clear vision comes into play. Encouraging (not forcing) team members to share or generate content about your brand on a weekly basis is an easy way to establish a plan that works for everyone. By suggesting one post a week, your brand will be seen by a whole new audience, while your employees won’t feel like their personal social media accounts are being taken over.
Note, however, if employees are sharing content on their personal feeds, they need to disclose it, as the FTC requires. Simply saying, “Check out what we’re doing at work!” is enough and so are hashtags such as #work, #job, #career or something similar.
Provide a Weekly Wrap-Up
In order to share content and become a brand advocate for your business, your employees have to be in the loop on what is happening. If you keep this information to yourself or only to a select group of people, nobody will know what they should be sharing. A weekly wrap-up is an easy yet still effective way to keep your entire team up-to-date on your business. Talk about any successes that your company achieved the prior week, such as a new client or an award you received. Share any upcoming news about your business like promotions or new hires. All of this is relevant information about your company that will increase brand awareness if shared by your employees, but only if you provide it to them.
Make it Fun
Encouraging employees to share content about your company without forcing them is the key. Your employees work hard, and they don’t want to feel like they are being required to use their personal social media accounts during their free time. However, healthy competition can be a fun way to encourage participation. Maybe an extra hour for lunch or a gift card to the team member who generates the most engagement on their post. Or, perhaps a challenge between departments in your office to see which group can receive the highest number of likes and a prize for the winners. By making it fun with competitions or challenges, it will be much easier to encourage employees to become brand advocates.
Provide Content to Share
Chances are some of your employees will struggle with how to craft or share a post to promote your brand. Generating content for a brand isn’t exactly the same as tweeting or posting on Facebook as an individual. Without prior experience, it won’t be surprising to see members of your team find this challenging. Sometimes it’s just best to provide them with the copy. You’ll still receive that increased brand recognition you seek, while they won’t feel overwhelmed with a task that is foreign to them. Don’t forget to include graphics or photos. These will generate more engagement from your employees’ followers and continue to reinforce your brand. When drafting copy for a co-worker’s personal social media account, continue to keep a casual and fun voice. Photos or posts of teamwork and client success are a nice change of pace on many timelines that are filled with political disagreements or relationship drama.
But Still, Leave Room for Creativity
This may seem like a contradiction to what was just stated, but providing the content for your employees may not always be necessary. For those that have experience or are looking to get more involved in your content marketing efforts, allow them to craft some messages of their own. Every member of your team has their own voice, and allowing them to share their own content promoting your business will give your brand more personality. Having one person solely responsible for any and all content for your company can come off as repetitive and even boring. Who knows? By allowing team members to include their own personality in posts about your business, you may find out that someone from accounting is secretly a whiz at creating content.
Practice Makes Perfect
Over time, the benefits of having your employees as brand advocates will become clear. The members of your team can position themselves as a thought leader and even build new professional connections, while your brand will gain exposure from new audiences that it otherwise may not have reached. Much like any other content marketing strategy, it’s also important to measure and assess results. After a few weeks of implementing this new plan, take a step back, determine what worked and make changes where necessary.
Even at our agency, figuring out the best ways to share content is a process. Here at Ghidotti, we encourage our team members to share anything from blog posts to podcast episodes and everything in between. We all have our own unique backgrounds and areas of expertise, which allows our agency to tap into a wide range of professional networks when sharing content. With everyone doing their part as a brand advocate, we all get to share in the benefits it brings to our agency. For the practice of promoting a brand, teamwork makes the dream work.