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How employees can become brand ambassadors

Date: 21. June 2021 | Author: Eliane Knecht | Category: Blog | Read Time: 6 min.

Do you work in management or in the marketing or communication department and do you wish your colleagues would share your social media posts? Then you need to read this article! This article gives you tips on generating internal brand ambassadors and, in the same context, explains the importance of ‘internal branding’.

 

Internal brand ambassadors, also known as corporate influencers, are potential multipliers for the distribution of company information on private social networks. You are already aware of the benefits of this. For example, you could enjoy increased brand awareness! But even though you have asked your colleagues to share the content several times, they have not bothered. Does this sound familiar? This blog post explains the background reasons and offers some tips and solutions.

Why do colleagues not act as brand ambassadors?

 

In our experience, the reasons why colleagues do not want to act as brand ambassadors can be broken down into 3 categories:

 

1. Lack of knowledge or limited resources

 

Your colleagues

  • are not familiar with the social networks and their communication styles,
  • do not now how they are supposed to communicate company news,
  • do not see the benefit of your initiative,
  • are already bogged down with other work.

 

2. Lack of loyalty to the company

 

Your colleagues

  • do not feel the brand promise is accurate,
  • do not want to be associated with the company,
  • are unsatisfied and unwilling to do the company a favour,
  • do not identify with the brand values.

 

3. Personal reasons

 

Your colleagues

  • do not like to have an online presence,
  • do not see the benefit of the content for their networks,
  • think the company’s post is unappealing or unprofessional.

 

 

To guarantee the authentic communication which forms the basis of the success enjoyed by influencers, your colleagues should be acting as brand ambassadors on a voluntary basis. If they do not have much of a presence or do not wish to share content because they think it is not relevant to their network, this should be respected.

 

However, there are measures you can take to overcome the other reservations. We will explain these in the sections below.

 

How to improve your colleagues’ knowledge and motivation

 

6 measures to reinforce confident communication on social media

 

  1. Offer training on ‘social media platforms and communication styles’.
  2. Produce social media guidelines for your company. These should be derived from your existing social media strategy.
  3. Define topics, core statements and company hashtags in line with your marketing/social media strategy.
  4. Organise workshops on ‘Publishing content’, ‘Designing your personal profile’ and ‘Personal security settings’.
  5. Select content which is suitable for sharing.
  6. Use an ‘Employee Advocacy Tool’ to make the processes easier for your colleagues, e.g.:EveryoneSocial

 

In order to motivate your colleagues, communicate the benefits of corporate influencers, for example:

  • Expanding the network,
  • Stronger link to existing network,
  • Perception as ideas person on specific topics.

 

Also contact the relevant department manager so the time taken to publish content and manage the network can be included in their team schedule.

 

If several colleagues find the post design is not appealing, you may need to assess the impact on your customers in more detail. Social media indices such as reach and link clicks, and competition comparisons, target group surveys and A/B tests can all provide indications about the effect. If customers share your colleagues’ views, you should consider redesigning the posts.

 

However, your colleagues’ loyalty to the company is the first prerequisite to becoming successful corporate influencers. One survey suggests that less than 30% of employees believe the promises of their company brand.

 

If employees are not convinced by their own brand promises, they cannot realistically represent the company and the brand. They are not prepared to share content which they do not believe represents reality.

 

Read on to find out how to improve employee loyalty to your company.

 

How to improve employee loyalty to your company

 

Investigating your colleagues’ relationship with the company in more detail and improving it requires ‘internal branding’ measures. Before we explain how to improve loyalty, let us tell you a little bit about ‘internal branding’.

 

What is ‘internal branding’?

 

Internal branding” is a strategic measure which aims to improve the brand perception of your own employees so that they represent the brand externally as desired.

 

“Internal branding” has an impact on

  • your colleagues’ relationship with their own company;
  • how your colleagues portray the company to external people (Forbes).

 

 

A brand is only perceived as authentic if there is no discrepancy between internal and external brand perception.

Brands like Starbucks and Walmart have already demonstrated that “internal branding” is a prerequisite for successful brand positioning.

 

Every one of your colleagues is already acting as a brand ambassador to a greater or lesser extent. They represent the brand behaviour through their statements, their gestures and how they are when talking to customers. So they have a significant effect on their perception of the brand.

 

Management or members of the marketing department can deliberately target the communication of the brand promise to the outside, but they cannot have a direct influence on the brand behaviour of their own employees.

 

However, you can initiate measures to promote brand identification among your colleagues.

 

Our experience suggests that a clearly defined brand identity and analysis of internal brand perception is an excellent basis for your internal branding measures.

 

Then you can work with the personnel department and management to define practices, processes, management styles, standards, structures and behaviours to reflect the your brand’s values.

 

9 measures to help you implement “internal branding”

 

  1. Brand-oriented communication of company messages, for example, through regular employee newsletters, the intranet, a newsroom, employee gatherings and meetings.
  2. Immediate communication of important events.
  3. Management reflecting defined company values.
  4. Brand orientation training for new employees and mentor schemes.
  5. Regular workshops and online training to reinforce brand knowledge.
  6. Tell employee success stories in line with the brand values, especially when interacting with customers.
  7. Brand-oriented management, motivation and management style training.
  8. Brand-oriented performance, promotion and reward schemes.
  9. Brand-oriented recruitment, e.g. brand-oriented job adverts and evaluation of brand fit during the application process.

 

We would be happy to draw up some tailored measures for your company.

 

Conclusion

 

Asking colleagues to publish and share corporate content is often not enough. It often requires work by the marketing and personnel departments and management in advance.

 

A successful corporate influencer needs to establish a positive relationship with their own company. You can reinforce your colleagues’ loyalty to the company based on a range of “internal branding” measures.

 

You can also produce communication guidelines, training and other measures to assist your colleagues in being more confident and efficient in their social media communication.

 

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Author

Eliane Knecht

Head of Analytics & Consulting Schweiz

Eliane Knecht is the Head of Analytics & Consulting Switzerland at ARGUS DATA INSIGHTS. She has been working in the media industry for 20 years and has international experience gained across German-speaking countries. Her department offers solutions covering the whole communication cycle, from strategic data-driven decision-making to editorial planning and campaign deployment with subsequent evaluation of communications.

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