Social media messages need to be interpreted as natural and organic. There will be a team of dedicated sales and marketing strategists developing and implementing your campaigns but it is more effective when they are carried out by your employees who truly love your brand. When you get your employees talking about your brand on social they serve as an unofficial public voice and online presence whose voice carries more weight than you probably give them credit for.
In order to harness this powerful voice through brand advocacy you have to establish an employee ambassador program. Doing so will allow you to drive successful social media marketing programs. Tap into the power of engaged employees who will foster relationships with your customers and boost your brand awareness.
There are three key areas to help you build an effective brand ambassador program:
1) Enlist the RIGHT people
If you are forcing your employees to participate in your program you won’t get the best results. Find and select those who are engaged and passionate about your organization. Don’t recruit people who aren’t social media savvy or who have no desire to wave their flag proudly for your brand to their social networks. Find those who genuinely respect the company and who are excited to share and show it on social media.
Not every employee needs to be an ambassador. Make sure the ones who participate have passion and enthusiasm for your company. Once identified, leverage their social media know-how and network to boost your brand’s awareness and reach.
2) Provide training and education
Now that you know who should be participating in your program, help them do their best by offering training and education. Don’t just set them loose in the social media universe and expect them to instinctively know how to navigate the waters. Not only will training and education help them know what to do it will also ensure they are all on the same page.
Have classes, meetings and lunch-n-learns to discuss what is appropriate to share, how to share it and more importantly what not to share. It is also advisable to have a social media policy in place. This policy will help your employees know best practices that may be established. Outline employee conduct and expectations to prevent any embarrassing posts. Please understand, mistakes will happen but don’t delete them or terminate someone for them. Instead respond fast and well and use them as a learning object.
3) Provide the right tools
If you want your newly formed brand ambassadors to thrive and succeed at nurturing your customers and building relationships with them you will need to give them the right tools. A brand ambassador platform is a great place to start. This doesn’t have to be new technology or some new SaaS. It can be tools you may already have such as SharePoint. This will provide a central hub for your ambassadors to create, share and manage social medial messages and campaigns.
With this platform your employee brand ambassadors will be able to drive authentic engagement for your company on social media channels. The platform will also ensure your employees have easy access to content that can be shared.
These are the three must have key areas to get you started with an employee brand ambassador program. Find the right people, train and educate them and provide the tools necessary that make it easy, fun and engaging. The last thing an employee brand ambassador program should be is another task to check off in an employee’s already busy day.
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