“Turning employees into brand advocates or Ambassadors is the best way to positively spread the word about your company and services.”
Every company wants their employees to be happy and productive. In today’s business climate, building brand advocates within your company is the best way to generate word of mouth advertising that is authentic and highly influential. Turning your employees into raving fans and advocates of your Company will improve new employee on-boarding, employee retention, and brand reputation – which leads to easier top-talent recruitment. An employee advocacy or ambassador program can be a powerful tool to improving your brand awareness and attracting new customers. But where do you start? Here are 10 tips to help you develop brand ambassadors.
Develop Employees to Mentor New Employees
Anyone who is new to a company could use a little help learning the ropes. Assign new employees to volunteer mentors (employee ambassadors) who give them a VIP glimpse into their new company, including a campus tour, lunch the first day, etc.
Use Incentives and Show Your Appreciation
A little incentive goes a long way to engage, inform, and motivate your employees. Perks and company branded promotional products and apparel can certainly keep them interested, so make your programs, events, and contests fun and compelling. Illustrate your appreciation to your employees with company branded products they can use in and out of the office. You will get a lot of traction with this! The latest branded products and apparel they would be proud to use and showoff is a great way to say “thank you, we appreciate you”. Expressing your appreciation develops loyalty and that is the start to an effective Brand Ambassador program.
Give a Warm Welcome
Nothing feels more awkward than that first day of work. Building Brand Ambassadors takes time and a consistent message of appreciation. Why not reduce the stress of the first day and welcome each new employee with a uniquely curated welcome gift? A Company branded backpack or tote they would really want to use, (and not stash in the back of a drawer) filled with great drinkware, journals, writing instruments, and comfy and stylish apparel is almost certain to show up on their Instagram feed!
Provide Curated Content
Give your employees a hand in sharing content to their brand networks. Develop content that lives on your website and on your company networks that can easily be used to syndicate to their own networks. Make it fun and interesting, colorful, graphic and use amazing images to compliment your company, then encourage them to share the love!
Encourage Personal Branding
To develop Brand Ambassadors, empower your employees to be the best professional version of themselves. Equipping employees to become industry-specific influencers can lift their respective careers, which also benefits your business, as they are your organization’s digital (and real-world) representatives. Make it advantageous for both company and employee, and you’ll generate sustainable interest.
Teach Your Employees to Advocate
Have a support system in place from the beginning. You don’t have to start out with a social media training academy like Dell or Adobe, but do have stablished guidelines, tips and best practices, and identify the social media stars who can help. Strive to consistently create educational content. Use webinars, how-to videos, training sessions or short monthly meetings to reinforce what’s acceptable to share. Also, take time to show employees how to hone their expert voice on various social media platforms.
Start From The Top
It’s important not to underestimate the impact that your support programs can have on your people. However, this method of leadership requires a fair degree of trust in your employees, and this can be challenging for some managers.
To those who are on the fence, I’d argue that more often than not, when you enable your employees to take greater ownership over their roles and exercise influence in the company, they’ll surprise you in positive ways. We benefit the most by encouraging diversity of thought and allowing others to express their unique thoughts. What better way to develop Brand Ambassadors for your Company?
Invest in Your Company
By developing Brand Ambassadors, you can extend the longevity of your employee’s careers at your company, and the enjoyment and satisfaction they get from working with you. You can encourage them and empower them, so they begin to feel more like owners than employees – becoming raving fans of your brand and spreading awareness of your company’s compelling story. It takes a commitment to build an employee advocate program that will groom Brand Ambassadors, but investing in your company and your employees in this way will be totally worth it!
Safeguard Premier Branding Solutions can help you develop an Employee Advocate program – contact us for ideas and to help you get started.