Turning Your Employees into Ambassadors for Your Brand
If you want to promote your company and protect its reputation, then your employees are probably the best people to do so. After all, they know and probably like the company. They count on you for payment as well, which ideally situates them for promotional work.
Of course, if you want your employees to show their unconditional love, it might not be as easy as you think. If you are not careful, your employees can end up causing more damage than actually providing help. Sometimes, employees will take the anonymity the Internet provides and use it to hurt your company through negative comments or the proliferation of company secrets.
We are going to talk about how you can use you employees as online brand ambassadors, including using social media and brand monitors to great effect.
Take care of your employees.
You have to start by treating your employees right. If you treat them with respect and dignity, they will be happier and be more likely to speak well of you.
On the other side of that coin is the reality that if you treat your employees poorly, they may go onto anonymous review sites and rant about your mistreatment of them. They may also disclose information that is usually kept confidential and that can hurt your company.
You could be doing all you can to keep your employees happy, and they may still want to vent now and then. You have to be aware of that and realize that you won’t ever make everyone happy all the time.
Prompt your employees to share on social media but make sure they know your polices regarding content.
If you have been treating your employees well, there should be no issue with asking them to promote your company online in the social media spaces they already use. Don’t get an army of bloggers and social media users out into the world, though, until you make your polices very clear regarding what they can post about your company and how they should be posting it.
You can write up a social media policy for your company before you start urging your employees to write about their employer. If your employees aren’t sure what they are supposed to be doing, even the ones that are trying to help can cause serious problems.
The policy should include information such as how employees should react when they see someone speaking ill of your company online. As a general rule, they should let the PR manager know about the issue so that someone with training can deal with it. If you don’t have specific instructions laid out for your employees, they can try to defend the company on their own, and it could backfire into a PR nightmare.
Don’t just unleash your employees on social media without putting down some rules first. Give them tools that will help them function well online, and make sure they are able to contribute in a controlled way. You may be able to involve your employees in social media content you already have set up. For instance, if you have a blog for your company, you may want to allow your employees to guest write that blog from time to time. That way, you can control what they are writing and edit it yourself, but also give them a chance to promote your company and improve your company’s online reputation.
Show your employees what to do by being the example.
A boss should be leading by setting the example for everyone else to follow. That entails using social media tools responsibly and providing the cues your employees need in order to function effectively on social media. If you don’t take the time to talk about your company in social media, your employees probably won’t bother either. Your employees need an incentive and an inspiration to do that sort of promotion.
You also need to understand that not everyone will be able to use social media effectively. CEOs may not be able to post certain information online if you have a publicly traded company. Also consider using social media regularly may not be something that many of your employees have time for anyway.
To sum it up, you need to understand that people will be using the internet to learn about your company. If you have a team of employees that is social media savvy and excited about their company, then they can set the tone for online interactions and ensure your company has a positive online reputation. If you use the right tools and have the right attitude as an example, then you can improve the way your employees communicate about your company online.