Turn Your Employees into Company Influencers

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

That is at the heart of marketing and sales, but not all of marketing efforts happen on television, radio, or the Internet. It also happens in the interactions between your employees and the rest of the world.

Turning your employees into ambassadors is the natural way to make your brand desirable and approachable. Here’s why you should capitalize on that.

Employees Are Natural Brand Ambassadors

Your customers and prospects don’t connect with a list of features and benefits, as much as we would like to think. Instead, they believe your story and motives-yes, every company should have them.

Leaders can communicate those beliefs, but it’s not as believable as your actual employees telling a story. They don’t have as much of a vested interest in the company’s success, and are more likely to move between companies (thus appearing more honest in their opinions).

Employees aren’t random people paid to give an “endorsement.” They chose to work for your company for some reason. Maybe that was financial, and that’s ok. But there will always be employees who really believe in what you’re doing and why you do it.

Those are the team members you’ll want to put in the spotlight for your clients and customers to see.

Encourage Them to Leverage Social Media

Did you know that Millennials are as old as 35 now? Some of them have kids and hold senior positions, but most can be found in mid and entry-level positions. And they’re good with social media.

You don’t need to push employees over 40 to be on social media when they don’t want to be. Forcing people to endorse a product they don’t believe in is a bad policy, both culturally and for performance’s sake-people will know when someone doesn’t believe what they sell.

Younger employees will be happier to do it.

Someone in your company will prefer Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn. It doesn’t really matter, although LinkedIn might be a better overall choice for industries with a traditional culture.

Sharing this content will give you an idea of what works with different audiences while you spread your company image in the most native kind of advertising, and that’s invaluable.

Provide the Structure to Become Influencers

Create a company newsfeed, or engage with individuals on social media channels directly. There are tools to enable companies to streamline the process for exactly this purpose.

If you’re not a large corporation with a custom intranet, then fear not-you can still use Hootsuite Amplify or Buffer to great effect. Most important is that you have employees keeping an eye out to co-promote your posts. It only takes a few minutes to email those people with a link to your post so that they can share, retweet, regram, or pin whatever you’ve created.

This comes with one condition: you need to let employees help craft your corporate story on their own terms. Stepping back is crucial here, because you can’t micromanage influencer or ambassador relations. If you do, it will be obvious to anyone reading-and backfire.

Authenticity rules the day here.

Add a little incentive and reward for promoting the company: connect these people with your PR department, give them little thank-you grab bags, and even company swag if you can produce it economically. Even just snapping a photo of swag is a powerful action.

Turning your employees into brand ambassadors and influencers is the new standard of modern public relations and marketing. It’s straightforward, natural, and easily affordable. Capitalize on it to draw the kind of attention you need to build trust in customers and future influencers to your camp.

You might be surprised with the results.

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