6 Steps to Empower Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Employees are actively engaging on social networks such as twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, tumblr, Pinterest and others that seem to pop up every day. With the encouragement and trust of senior management, employees can become your company’s most important and loyal brand ambassadors.

Engage Your Employees

Below is a presentation (slightly revised) that I presented at a recent HR.com webinar on Social Media and Employee Communications. My presentation entitled “Empowering Employees as Brand Ambassadors” included:

  • The steps your company can take to develop a corps of brand advocates – from identifying ambassadors, training them, developing a pilot program, and then launching your advocates on social media.
  • How companies like IBM, Zappos, and Comcast are engaging their employees to burnish their brands and sell more products and services.
  • How to develop a social media policy that works for your company.

If you would like a larger view, you can see the presentation on SlideShare.

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Comments

  1. Jeannette: I loved the HR.com presentation and the concept of using your employees as brand ambassadors. We have formed an internal committee to put together a strategy for improving internal communication and breaking down silos. I think that a social media policy and the use of social media will play a major role in this process.

    It would be helpful to see what some smaller companies are doing in this arena but I know it is more difficult to find these examples.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.
    Rita Wilson Harris, SPHR, MBA

    • Rita — thanks so much! I’m glad you got information you can use from the webinar. Best of luck in creating a social media policy for your company. The important thing is to allow your employees to go on social media to promote your company — within your guidelines.

  2. Jeannette has done an incredible job researching this highly topical subject and makes it come to life with her insight but also with the inclusion of a significant number of little known facts. The graphics are exceptional. We certainly live in a social and networked world.

    • Thanks, Frank. We do indeed live in a social world. And employees are a big part of it — especially the Gen Y demographic. Why not leverage that enthusiasm for the benefit of the company and its employees?

  3. Excellent slide Jeannette! Gave me some ideas for a presentation I’m doing on a completely different subject.

    The idea of employees as ambassadors on social media is great. They are anyway much better to give guidelines and cooperate to get results that the company benefits from.

  4. I don’t have employees per se (I hire freelancers as needed) but I do like the ideas and concepts in your presentation, especially Zappos stats. And what a well branded presentation, by the way. Nicely done.

    • Dennis — thank you for your comment about my presentation being well branded. Coming from a design pro like yourself I take that as a real compliment!

  5. Great post, Jeannette. Indeed, employees are definitely brand ambassadors. It’s interesting how non-profit groups like Toastmasters International also see members as brand ambassadors, and with the recent rebranding, selected a number of “Brand Ambassadors” around the globe, to whom they gave the new name badges, pins and other newly-branded materials so that they could promote them to other clubs and members.

    • Doreen — thanks for letting us know about the Toast Masters Brand Ambassador program. I wasn’t aware of it. They don’t have anything about it on Toastmasters website, so I gather it’s not something they are promoting to the public.

  6. Jeannette, The slide that piqued my interest the most is the survey of college students and recent grads not accepting jobs where the use of social media is banned. That statistic is so meaningful. If there had been a way to share it on Pinterest, Employees can be our most valuable resource and it makes sense to encourage them to be our brand ambassadors. Great presentation!

    • Sherryl, that statistic was pretty startling to me, too. You can’t control your employees on social media so why not collaborate with them for the benefit of the company? Makes sense to me and I think that more companies will see the light — at least I hope they do!

  7. Excellent presentation Jeannette and your steps for companies to take just make sense. Companies need to adapt and unfortunately it isn’t always easy and this is a big change for some to work out how best to do it.

    • Susan, the essential element is trust. Companies have to trust their employees to say and do the right things. They want their companies to be successful because it will open up more opportunities for their own careers. It’s happening slowly, but we’ll get there!

  8. Thank you so much for linking up to the Bliss Habits “Speaking of Trust” party!

    As a salesperson I ALWAYS thought of myself as my company’s brand spokesperson but I can see how powerful it would be when companies engage all employees this way! Awesome!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kathy. Yes, salespeople are the paid brand advocates for a company. But companies can have an army of unpaid advocates if they engage and reward their employees to represent them on social media. I was glad to join the “Trust” party and will be topping by for the “Love” party.