How to Turn Employees into Social Media Advocates

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

In the world of business, credibility and transparency is something that is rather important to the public nowadays. People want to know what is going on ‘behind closed doors’ within certain companies and how they deal with successes and failures. 

This is why treating employees as a part of your team of ambassadors is so powerful. When the public sees that the employee would personally recommend their company’s service or product to their direct network; they surely have confidence in the quality and stand by the brand.

Apart from the social media manager or marketing team making use of social media platforms to market their brand, alternative individuals working at the company might act as ambassadors on their social media channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you could get your people to become employee advocates for your company:

Create Social Brand Value

In order to get your employees to become a brand ambassador online is to create a social brand value. This term, Social Brand Value is explained by Michael Bartl:

“The concept is defined as the extent to which people share a brand or information about a brand as part of their everyday social lives at work or at home”.

This brand value shifts the extent of the company’s influence from the brand to the person, as such. It is important to gain social capital through ‘normal’ people without a premeditated sales pitch or advertorial. People want to connect on a personal level, and these days the platform for this connection is online.

It is then understood that if there is a strong social brand in place, the credibility of the company and its operations is likely to strengthen.

Choose the Right Brand Ambassadors

Even though passionate employees might be sharing your company’s message without you even urging them to do so, it’s still important to choose the right candidates for your team of ambassadors. Being part of this team doesn’t initially have to be a formal responsibility; scout which employees seem eager to showcase the message, services, and products online by sounding sincere and relevant. If you can identify employees who already use and enjoy social media in a positive manner, you have won half the battle.

Have a Strong Employee Culture

If employees are happy in their workplace they would be more likely to put the brand in a good light online as well as offline. Find ways to create a unit within the company by creating a strong company culture. This works well when establishing certain workplace routine or surprising your employees every now and again. Think along the lines of Pizza Friday, Wednesday Drinks or enter a sports team in a local tournament. Consider what would be fun and enjoyable to your employees and make a habit of keeping them in a good mood.

Creating a strong employee culture can be a science in itself, here’s how Southwest Airlines defines it:

The development, improvement, and refinement of the originality, individuality, identity, and personality of given people.

Encourage Activity on Social Media

In order for your employees to spread to word via social media channels, they have to be active on these platforms. Encourage your employees to create profiles on the main social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The platform they use will depend on their personal preferences as well as the application platform for your brand.

Some companies don’t even allow their employees to be active on social media during work hours because it can be a distraction. But because you aren’t restricting your employees, you might even subtly encourage them to share the positive things happening in the workplace. For your employees, interacting with other industry specialists online might even inspire and increase productivity.

Be sure to provide clear social media guidelines and training to encourage social media use, here’s an example from KPMG:

Get Them Engaged

In order to have your employees represent and advertise your brand online, they have to know what the company and business is all about. Many companies don’t feel the need to share their vision, goals, and mission with each employee, but this is essential to the social brand.

Six traits of engaged employees:

  1. Believe in their organization
  2. Have the desire to work to make things better
  3. Understand the business context and the bigger picture
  4. Are respectful and helpful to colleagues
  5. Are willing to go the extra mile
  6. Stay up to date with developments within their industry

Praise According to Analytics

It’s one thing to create influential brand ambassadors online, but keeping them out of the loop of your business’ growth won’t make them feel included. If a tweet goes viral or there is a sudden increase in website traffic, find the source and praise the individual responsible. This way all the employees will feel connected to building the brand and spreading the word.

These are just a few ways in which you can get your employees to be strong candidates for being the brand’s online ambassadors.

RELATED: How Nokia Turns Employees into Brand Ambassadors


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