At a time when businesses are constrained by shrinking marketing and advertising budgets, business leaders surprisingly overlook an important enabler of competitive advantage – their employees. Studies show that brand messages shared by employees garner 561% more engagement on social media as opposed to the same message being shared by the company. This offers the perfect opportunity for employers in the digital age: as technology becomes ubiquitous and consumers become digitally-savvy, employees can help amplify brand messages via their personal online networks.
Your employees understand the business better than anyone and can act as the bridge between your organization and potential customers, helping generate brand awareness to boost your marketing efforts.The question is: how can you help your employees become great brand ambassadors? Here are five scenarios that are conducive to turning employees into brand ambassadors.
When employees feel engaged and valued
It is a well-known fact that companies with highly engaged employees experience increased sales and customer satisfaction. What is less known is highly engaged employees are more excited about the brand they are associated with and tend to promote it at any given opportunity through various platforms. But how can you create an engaged workforce that is happy and motivated? Ensure that the contribution of your employees is duly recognized and make them feel empowered
When employees understand clearly the vision, mission, and culture of the company
Employee engagement is directly co-related to how well they understand and relate to their company’s vision, mission and culture. According to a research by IBM, nearly 80% of employees were said to be more engaged when their work was closely aligned with the core values and mission of their organization.
The key to ensuring such understanding and alignment is clear and strong communication. Make sure that your employees understand the value of products and services that are delivered to end customers. When employees understand the messages being communicated by the top leadership and speak the same language in their own networks, you know that they will do a fair job of representing the brand.
When employees feel empowered to use social media channels for brand promotion
It is common for employees to feel a bit apprehensive about sharing any company information on social media, as they might be wary of attracting legal penalties. Employers who advocate the usage of social media to post, tweet and chat about the business make their employees feel confident and empowered. So set some clear guidelines and encourage your employees to actively promote your brand. Positive publicity leads to multiple benefits, such as lead generation and increased brand awareness and conversion.
When employees love their work environment
A positive environment at the workplace helps employees enjoy their work more. Offering work-life balance, flexible work timings, recognition and growth opportunities are some of the ways to cultivate satisfied, productive employees who will want to talk about how great it is to work for your brand. This way, your employees start to advocate all the workplace benefits and spread the word about your company in a positive light.
When employees trust the product or service
Trust is the key when it comes to building and developing brand awareness. Employees who have rich knowledge of and trust in their company’s products or services make excellent advocates of the brand. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 41% of people believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.
While engaged, happy and valued employees are undoubtedly the company’s best resource when it comes to advocating a brand, a little bit of guidance and training can certainly help in ensuring that employees know how and what to communicate. The bottom line is quite simple: if employees enjoy their role and feel motivated, they will automatically get the word out, share their knowledge and spread the excitement with others.