Have you considered recruiting your employees to help?
When you empower your employees to talk about your company on social media, they’ll share a human perspective people naturally gravitate to.
In this article you’ll discover how to set up a successful employee brand ambassador program to enhance your social media marketing.
#1: Assign a Community Leader
The first step is to designate a captain, someone who is able to take the reins. However, don't think of this person as someone who will bark orders. Instead, choose a person who can guide a group of people who already know the ropes.
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Your community leader will:
- Provide a common voice and/or vision for the team
- Coach employees on responsible social media strategies
- Oversee and approve social media content
- Collaborate with co-workers to come up with new methods, stories and ideas for campaigns
- Lead the measurement and analysis of social media efforts
You'll want to be sure your community leader is also capable of handling crisis situations. Your company will undoubtedly stumble into a social media mistake at some point, and you'll need a leader who can think fast on his or her feet.
We're all aware how small things become magnified online – no matter how silly they seem to be. Starbucks' latest controversy about their holiday cups is a great example.
The coffee chain didn't withdraw their original design. Rather, they made a statement in their official blog and stuck by it.
#2: Communicate Your Vision
The second step is to impart a single vision to everyone based on your company's mission – why your business exists.
Starbucks' vision is to “inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” The coffee chain embodies this concept in everything they do, including how they encourage employees to showcase inspiring ideas through social media.
Adapting the tactic for your business will make your employees feel empowered, and at the same time encourage them to promote your company in their own circles.
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#3: Share Your Expectations
No campaign can be successful without guidelines. Although you encourage active participation and uniqueness, your employees still need a set of rules so content remains consistent.
Adobe does a great job of educating employees to act as brand ambassadors through their Social Shift program. Here's an image from a short presentation, which shows how they divide their strategy into different courses.
During their training, employees are made aware of certain rules of engagement and protocols so their social media posts are consistent with the company's vision. To get a good example of how these guidelines work, take a look at the Adobe stream on Twitter.
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You can make your rules as detailed or as simple as you want, but you should ensure everyone agrees to them before they post.
Here's a glimpse of how #AdobeLife tweets reflect a productive, fun and enriching work experience.
— Malcolm Jones (@bossjones) December 11, 2015
According to Talent Cove, 78% of workers who feel recognized are more motivated to perform their tasks.
Head of Adobe Employment Branding Natalie Kessler and her team like to reward employees with the best social media posts using #AdobeLife. Every week, they choose from compiled photos and messages online and then highlight them in Adobe offices. This shows employees how important their efforts are to the company.
If you want to boost productivity and amp up your social media presence, make sure you‘re providing the right rewards for your brand ambassadors. You can arrange a small party or even offer giveaways or exclusive items. What's important is that you give recognition due for effort.
#4: Make Materials Readily Available
Similar to a real storage unit, your social media warehouse should contain collected ideas, articles, photos and other content employees can use in social media posts.
When you use a tool like Trello to house everything your team might need online, there's no need for anyone to wait on something for a post. Employees simply choose from a vast pool of cool, unique ideas from your warehouse.
WordPress support firm WP Curve uses Trello not only for managing their projects, but also for their editorial needs.
When dozens of employees are involved, your community leader will thank you for having a single tool that makes managing social media content fun and easy.
#5: Reap the Rewards
What does a successful employee brand ambassador post look like?
When Adobe Digital Imaging Principal Product Manager Lex van den Berghe wrote about a Lightroom team member's trip to the Mekong river, his inspirational post was syndicated to Adobe’s main blog, as well as other platforms like Pinterest.
This helped the story gain momentum on social media and put Adobe in a positive light as a company that supports their employees' dreams.
What About You?
It's no longer a question of whether to let employees on board in your social media marketing. Rather, the question is whether you have a plan in place to focus their efforts. With a bit of preparation and some teamwork, you can create a successful outcome.
What do you think? Are you bringing your employees on board as brand ambassadors? What is your goal? What types of content do you expect? How will you reward participation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Team leader photo from Shutterstock.
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