In today’s world, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages on a daily basis. From old-fashioned print advertising, to television, radio, mobile, and online advertising, the average person has become accustomed to the bite-sized sales pitches companies are putting out there, and most of them have learnt to tune them out. While you still need to market in the traditional ways for those consumers who are actively seeking your product or services, building a brand story and focusing on word-of-mouth advertising will help your business stand out from the pack.
In order to achieve word-of-mouth advertising, businesses need to earn it by living up to your brand’s promise and always giving your customers excellent service. A happy customer who eagerly tells others about your company and services is known as a brand ambassador. There is another source of possible brand ambassadors that many businesses overlook however – employees.
Happy and engaged employees are an excellent source of brand ambassadors, especially on social media. If you’re ready to realize the potential of your employees as brand ambassadors, you can get started with a few easy tips.
Make it easy
Do you restrict your employees from engaging in social media at work? That’s going to make it hard for them to be brand ambassadors online. Smart phones mean employees have access to their social media accounts whenever they have their phone, so restricting it on company computers isn’t necessarily stopping them from checking in on Facebook. Obviously you need to have some procedures in place so that your star employees aren’t playing games online all day, but consider allowing your employees a little freedom in this area. You might just be surprised at how little it affects productivity (if anything, it might actually improve it!)
If you’re serious about utilizing the power of social media in your marketing, also consider using hashtags to make it easier for employees to endorse your company and culture online.
Choose the right people
Some of your employees are blogging, tweeting, and active on Instagram already. Others might prefer to avoid the social media platforms altogether. If you’re building a team of social media ambassadors, you want those people who are already comfortable in that realm, and already have a network in place.
Talk about your plans at a staff meeting and see who might be interested.
Give them the knowledge (and the power)
Once you’ve chosen your team of ambassadors, invest in training on how to best handle any negative comments that might occur on social media. Have guidelines and procedures in place so everyone is on the same page. Let them conduct their own research on other companies who are succeeding in the social media space. And finally, give them the autonomy they need to be successful.
Your customers are social-media savvy enough to detect canned responses and insincerity, and they won’t respond well to a team of ambassadors who can only work within the confines of your marketing templates. Let your team be authentic. Let their personalities shine. Having a few rules in place is a must, particularly with regards to profanity, political statements, and religion. But beyond those basic guidelines, your ambassadors need the freedom to be themselves in order to be successful.
Notice and reward success
Once your team becomes more active on social media, you need to measure results. If something isn’t working, you need to know about it so your entire team can brainstorm new strategies. And if something is working and working well, you need to highlight it! Sing the praises of that ambassador. Offer some kind of reward system, and duplicate that successful tactic where appropriate.
Zoe Anderson is a writer with an interest in business issues and trends. Zoe is also an employee of StudySelect.