Now that the world is slowly starting to open itself up again, more and more employees will soon find themselves either returning to the workplace or starting their journeys into a new hybrid working arrangement.With this in mind, employers need to utilize this opportunity to get employees engaged and boost their morale. Having spent so long working from home throughout the various periods of lockdown, many employees may have lost their drive to get work done and feel less affinity to the company they work for.
As such, the onus falls onto employers to get their staff back to working as productively as they were before the pandemic. Encourage them to restore their love of work and their desire to act as brand ambassadors on behalf of their company.
To help with this transition, we have compiled a few of the best techniques to use when trying to get the best out of your employees and make your employees a key component of your company’s overall marketing strategy.
If you want your employees to vouch for your company by taking the time and effort to spread the word about who you are and what you do, you need to guide them in the right direction. This includes providing them with content to share and suggesting actions on social media to carry out.
An employee advocacy platform makes this very easy to do. They’ll see what suggested content they should share and social media actions they should carry out on social networks. All of these actions are of course voluntary, but making sure they understand what they get out of being active on social media helps in a huge way.
They’ll see firsthand how being active online extends their social media reach, boosts engagement, and grows their followers among people in their industry. They’ll also get better at their jobs. Salespeople who are active on social media are more likely to hit their goals, while HR people find it easier to recruit top talent, for example.
Whether it be through informative social media content they can share on their profiles, prizes or competitions they can actively get behind, or arranging networking events for them to attend, the more ammunition you can provide your staff with, the more likely they will be to want to advocate on behalf of your company.
Through gamification, you can motivate your employees to be active on social media long-term. With an employee advocacy platform, you can tally up points based on how many actions your brand ambassadors carry out. This injects some friendly competition among your employees, and it makes it easy for you to acknowledge those who are most active.
You can reward your employees with company-branded merchandise, such as
branded stickers and labels, gift cards, monetary prizes, and more. It can be a fun and creative way to both enhance your brand and encourage more people to be brand ambassadors.
Activities you can suggest to employees include following an industry analyst on social media, commenting on posts, and sharing content. The type of content you share should not always be branded content.
A best practice is to mix in third-party content, thought leadership content, and industry news. You should align the suggested actions and content you share with employees with their personal goals.
But more importantly, you need to communicate to employees what’s in it for them. Why should they advocate for your brand? Why should they do any of your suggested activities on social media? What do they get out of it?
Being active on social media drives engagement and connections, and doing so while targeting your brand’s target audience boosts your credibility in your industry. Sharing thought leadership content makes people look more knowledgeable and makes it easier for people to connect and engage with you.
Finding strong brand ambassadors for your company will largely depend on the current culture fit you have in your company.
In essence, you should only ever source members of staff that share the company's values and cultural beliefs.
Combatting this effectively will largely depend on two key areas: your recruitment strategy and your current employees.
Likewise, by listening to the needs of your disengaged employees, you will be able to improve your workforce’s policies and procedures, helping ensure the culture fit encompasses every individual staff member’s requirements.
Finally, introducing new employees to your employee advocacy program will get them acclimated to the idea of brand ambassadors. They can opt to be part of your program or decline, but they’ll be familiar with it.
Research shows that social media posts shared by a company's employees can reach 561% further than posts shared by a company's handles. Therefore, encouraging your staff to share your content could not only make a huge difference to how well your company performs but also the types – and numbers – of people it attracts.
Doing this effectively will largely rely on maintaining a work atmosphere that is as positive as it is constructive – a safe space for staff members to talk about any issues they are having and where they are rewarded for the hard work they put in.
Offering a variety of incentives can significantly help in shaping this working atmosphere. Whether it be through offering specific bonuses, team bonding exercises, learning and development opportunities, or regular pay reviews, the more staff member feels as if they are being rewarded for their work, the happier they will be and the harder they are likely to work as a result.
When managed in the right way, turning your staff into brand ambassadors can not only be an incredibly easy thing to do but a highly profitable exercise as well.
The key thing to remember is how important it is to shape a working atmosphere that fulfills the needs of your employees and makes them want to work for you.
Whether that be through investing in a few print marketing materials, providing an extra work-based incentive or two, or taking the time to listen to each employee’s individual needs, the more effort you can put in now as their employer, the more brand awareness you should get back in return.
Dakota Murphey has over 10 years of experience in employee engagement and business growth. Dakota enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through her writing. Find out what else she's been up to over on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey.
Stay up to date with the latest in employee advocacy.