Imagine if you will: Your company is thriving. Employees are happy, clients are seeing positive returns on your media efforts, and you have a full slate of great, wonderful projects on the horizon.
However, despite your best efforts, social media isn’t buzzing about your organization. In fact, it doesn’t seem like anyone is excited about it, including your own employees – or at least it appears that way because next to no one is posting about it on social media. After all, if the company’s own staff doesn’t seem interested, why would the general public be, right?
If so, your organization is not alone. However, given a 2019 Social Media Today report which revealed that 65 percent of companies that implemented a formal employee advocacy program saw an uptick in brand recognition, it is clear that turning employees into evangelists for your brand on social media is now more important than ever.
Do you have an employee advocacy program? Are you interested in increasing brand recognition? Discover how to excite and encourage your biggest natural fanbase (your employees!) with these simple tips to get started.
PROVIDE A MODEL
Michael Jordan became a star athlete. He signed a mega shoe deal and became a brand. He starred at the Olympics. He won NBA championships, hosted Saturday Night Live, became a commercial pitchman and made Space Jam. LeBron James grew up watching Michael Jordan and became a star athlete. He signed a mega shoe deal and became a brand with the same company Jordan did. He starred at the Olympics. He’s won NBA championships, hosted Saturday Night Live, became a commercial pitchman and stars in the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy (aptly named since James’ legacy follows that of Jordan’s to a “t”).
In the same manner, when an organization’s leadership provides a blueprint of success, employees become motivated to follow it – and this works for creating brand ambassadors, too.
Remember the scene in the cult classic Office Space where Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) gets badgered by her manager (Mike Judge) about her uniform flair? Well, if you’ve seen the movie (and if you work in an office, you really should!) you know how that turned out. In much the same fashion that Joanna eventually decided enough was enough, requiring employee participation is much more likely to garner the opposite of what you want: resentment, sarcasm, and possibly even negative posts that do more harm than good if they pull a Marshawn Lynch.
Instead, motivate employees by illustrating how they are thought leaders whose work is valued and strengthens the organization. Invested employees not only share good news about a company, but how the company treats them, too. Posts such as these draw positive attention to your organization and can also serve as a powerful recruiting tool. Who doesn’t want to work for the “it” company where employees are happy and thriving?
This doesn’t work, of course, if leadership isn’t posting on a regular basis and showcasing its employees good work. You can use LinkedIn’s Company Pages tools to let your employees know about the good things your company is doing, but it’s a lot simpler when they instinctively do so on their own. Therefore, much like Gatorade once encouraged us to do, when it comes to your employees, be like Mike and inspire them to follow your blueprint.
Sure, you want employees to share news about that big client you just landed on their LinkedIn page … but what about sharing the news of that person in accounting who just got married, became a parent, or went on a memorable vacation? When the organization shows it cares about its employees beyond the bottom line, it also shows a personal side to the organization. Smartphone selfies from a company retreat? Share them! Is someone volunteering in the community to make it a better place? Let’s talk about it!
Humanizing your company by showing the people behind it isn’t just good public relations, it’s good business, too. What you share helps to attract the types of employees you value, the customers likely to be loyal to your brand and the clients that want to work with someone like you.
When happy employees are spreading the word about all of the good things happening at your company, your brand’s best ambassadors won’t be hard to find.