Whether you work in a B2B or B2C industry, selling happens between people. Aside from your products or services that most important asset your business has is people.
One way to expand the reach of your business is to leverage your own employees as brand ambassadors for your company.
It is important that your employees are on board with your mission-based marketing goal so they are communicating a consistent brand strategy.
What the experts are saying
Nadia Hussain sums it up perfectly, writing “The first step is to recognize that there is no company without its community. Community is the DNA of any social-oriented business, and it’s important for your entire company to understand, appreciate and celebrate it.”
Your employees’ use of social media can be an important extension of your company. Whether it be reposting your company’s articles on Facebook or Twitter, sharing and liking statuses, or connecting with people on LinkedIn, social engagement can be one of your brand’s most powerful assets.
Many companies restrict employees from using social media in any way that connects them to the company. Instead, consider educating your staff on best practices and encourage activity. Many brands have even held social media seminars from expert speakers. The personal network of team members can strengthen your brands’ professional reach.
In an article for Social Media Today, Warren Knight wrote “Introhive found that 98% of sales professionals believe that building relationships is the most important part of selling. Thousands of businesses are losing clients daily because they are not focusing on relationships.” This isn’t limited to just your business Facebook page or Twitter account. Having an assembly of brand ambassadors to create natural interactions for customers raises both awareness and a positive attitude surrounding your company.
When you identify these brand ambassadors, highlight their contributions on your own platforms — in effect making them recognized experts about your product.
Some easy ways to accomplish this:
- Write a blog about a team member and/or displaying them on your front page
- Provide them with behind-the-scenes, inside information about your product
- Track traffic and activity around employee contant and how it is spread
- Share visual (image or video) content that includes the employee
Here is a good case study on giving employees an opportunity to act as an extension of your brand (taken from an article by Sarah Fister Gale of Workforce.com):
([Jason] Averbook [CEO of Minneapolis-based consulting firm Knowledge Infusion] points to one of his most successful HR consultants, Wes Wu, whom he hired away from Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson & Co.) five years ago. Wu has been the author of SystematicHR, a popular HR Tech blog, since 2005, but while working for Towers Perrin he was required to write anonymously because they didn’t want the blog associated with their brand.
When he came to Knowledge Infusion, Averbook encouraged Wu to reveal himself as the blog’s author and to make it clear who he worked for. Linking Wu and the company to the blog brought attention to them both, Averbook says. “We’ve had many customers ask specifically to work with Wu because of that blog.”
The Harvard Business Review recently shared some great tips for engaging employees:
Three Ways to Actually Engage Employees http://t.co/Jb0GDEDrqt
— Harvard Biz Review (@HarvardBiz) June 16, 2014
Who are the most active members of your team? If you don’t know the answer to this question it’s time for a change!