When you think of good PR tools, a well crafted press release or a flashy advertising video might come to mind. However, your employees can be just as important for PR purposes as any other tool in the book, yet they are often overlooked. Your employees already have an intimate understanding of your brand, company goals and your target audience, so it makes a lot of sense to harness their goodwill and enthusiasm and use it to generate positive PR for the brand. Here are some of the ways you can encourage your employees to become brand advocates.
Social media is your friend
Social media is an excellent tool for promoting your content, engaging with customers and in those unfortunate circumstances, handling crisis communications. By encouraging your employees to advocate your brand on social media, this can boost your digital presence exponentially.
Create a hashtag specific to your company and encourage your employees to share their thoughts, feelings, experiences and pictures which pertain to their working life at your company (additionally, consider using the #employeeappreciation hashtag). This not only helps to solidify a sense of community within your company, but it also creates an excellent impression of brand unity on the outside world. Happy employees will be inspired to reflect the brand in a positive light. You should encourage them to do so by giving them the green light to share, but do have a few key boundaries so that your teams know what is and is not permissible, but not too many rules or people simply won’t share!
As Louise Julig, writing for Social Media Examiner, states: “Employees need to feel confident about social sharing guidelines to be good brand ambassadors. If they are worried about being reprimanded, they’ll be less likely to share.”
The more options for brand advocacy, the better
Diversity within a workforce is a great thing, so when it comes to brand advocacy, remember that people may want a variety of options available to them. For instance, an outgoing HR professional may relish the opportunity to volunteer their services to local communities on behalf of your brand, whereas an introverted copywriter may prefer the option to post content on behalf of the brand to his or her social media account. The more options you offer your employees for brand advocacy, the more comprehensive and effective your efforts will be.
Lead by example
It’s often been said that a workplace takes on the values of its leader, so if you’re the one in charge, then lead by example. It’s hard to get people to advocate for your brand if you aren’t doing it yourself, so dive in head first with social media endeavours, local community volunteering, wear branded apparel/accessories to meetings and anything else that you’d also like your employees to do. Positivity is infectious, so when the person in charge takes on this kind of mindset, your employees are likely to follow suit!
Appreciation goes a long way
It’s important to always show recognition to employees who are going the extra mile to advocate your brand. Prizes are always great, but intangible rewards such as respect and gratitude are always appreciated too. Recognise/credit star employees in internal newsletters and emails. This will not only reward those who are doing well, but it will help to inspire more people to get involved with brand advocacy. Employees who feel appreciated will be more likely to talk positively about their place of work to everyone they meet (be warned – the reverse is also true). Need tips on how to reward your teams? Check out Zoomshift’s mega list “51 Employee Appreciation Day Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank”.
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