How to create digital brand ambassadors in your organisation
A huge amount of effort goes into brand building, whether through sales, marketing, advertising or sponsorship. However, there is another very simple way to grow your brand profile - by harnessing the power of your own workforce.
In a digital age, everyone in your company from the temp on the front desk, right up to the managing director or even the Board, is a brand ambassador and helps to make up your overall digital footprint.
Even if only 10% of your employees are willing to be active on social media or at least contribute to your company’s content reservoir, that’s still a massive shot in the arm for your brand profile.
So how can you go about harnessing this untapped potential with the minimum of fuss and who are the key groups of people to work with?
Firstly, there needs to be a proper digital strategy which has been well communicated to staff. Why is the business on social media, what channels are they using, which target audiences are they trying to reach out to
You then need a nurturing, supportive and creative environment within the company - one which is happy to embrace change. Within this, there must be proactive social media guidelines which actually empower staff rather than restrict them in their online activities.
We can now look at who the brand ambassadors are. As you can see below, there are five levels, each with an increasing amount of importance to the brand.
At the base you have your general employees. Depending on your business - particularly B2B - you may wish to get as many people in the organisation onto LinkedIn, using the corporate ‘boilerplate. You cannot force anyone though and it’s about inspiring people to be active in a professional manner on social media. This includes sharing company content on their own social channels.
Next up are the Managers. They should all be on LinkedIn with properly branded profiles and must be using the site on a regular basis for news, competitor analysis, networking and market intelligence. Some may also want to have Twitter accounts which they use reactively to monitor what is happening in their industry.
Above them are the Digital Ambassadors. These are people within the business who have regular jobs but are keen to go the extra mile to promote the company brand online. This could include writing blogs, being active on the intranet, sharing corporate content and perhaps become thought leaders on LinkedIn or even YouTube.
These members of staff are likely to be Millennials but there’s no reason why some of the older Gen Xers (38 - 52 year olds) and even the Baby Boomers (53 - 72 year olds) may put themselves forward. It’s all about having a growth mindset and being willing to work with their colleagues in sales, marketing, PR or communications.
Which brings me neatly onto the Communications Team - or in some cases the outsourced agency. These should all be brand ambassadors - creating content, sharing content and reaching out to audiences online. Their job is also to inspire and to guide the other digital ambassadors to ensure they stay on message.
The ultimate brand ambassadors though are the leadership team. Whether this be the Managing Director in small firms or the senior management team or Board in larger firms, they all have a duty to step up and promote the brand online.
Gone are the days when leaders could delegate down to their marketing departments. They now have to be seen to be leading. This is something that President Trump has done with his eponymous late night tweets.
Leaders should now have exemplary LinkedIn profiles, in some cases Twitter accounts and regularly engage on social media. In her excellent new book Get Social: Social Media Strategy and Tactics for Leaders, Michelle Carvill sets out exactly how today’s corporate titans can harness the power of social media for their organisations.
So next time you run a social campaign and wish that you could get more engagement, why not look internally at your own employees. They may prove to be the magic formula you need to reach your chosen audiences.
Here at DNAsix® we can build the digital strategies you need for this to happen; we can also work with you to help identify and incentivise your brand ambassadors. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.