Grow an Army of Brand Advocates From the Inside Out

 

Word of mouth and social sharing by your staff can influence customers, supplement your brand message, propel content, and if you’re lucky, make them better employees. When you consider that only 15 percent of people trust recommendations from brands, yet 84 percent trust them from people they know, training your people to eloquently speak your brand language is an investment that’s bound to pay off.

Your employees have, on average, ten times more social connections than your official brand channels (Source: Social Chorus). Tapping into that influence is a no-brainer. According to a study by MSLGroup, messages reached a whopping 561 percent further—and were re-shared 24 times more frequently—when shared by employees versus official brand social channels.

Work time online can be time well spent.
There was a time when employees were discouraged from using social media during work hours, but not so much anymore. In 2010, half of US companies blocked social access, but in 2014 that number was under 30 percent (Source: Gartner). Of course, in order for them to spend this time to your advantage, your employees must understand and be able to clearly articulate your message.

Benefit from cocktail party chit-chat and over-the-fence discussions.
When your brand and positioning messages are ingrained in your staff’s workplace narrative, even casual conversations outside the office can work to your benefit. “So what do you do?” can be a starting point to increased awareness and lead generation. With that in mind, ensuring those conversations properly communicate your brand message is essential.

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Make believers out of your employees.
Launch an internal campaign to create brand advocates and help your employees understand (and clearly articulate) your brand message. Forbes reports that fewer than 50 percent of employees believe in their company’s brand idea—and you’d think that, of all the skeptics, they’d be the easiest to get on board. If the people helping run your company don’t believe what you’re saying, how can you expect your customers to buy in?

A strong internal campaign creates an emotional connection that gives them a reason to care about what your brand stands for, and helps them remember the message. It should inspire loyalty, engagement, and unity with fellow co-workers. Make it fun and engaging. Executions could include anything from videos to posters to a theme song. Whatever your approach, a reference playbook in every hand is a must.

What’s the best that could happen?
When you go beyond simply informing your employees about your latest ad campaign or brand refresh and rally your team around a common message, you can inspire them with a purpose, enhance their productivity, and motivate them to live the brand in their daily lives.