5 Tips for Converting Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors
If your team isn't your most trusted brand champion, you are underutilising one of your strongest and most vocal assets. People notice when somebody loves the company that they work for — and their advocacy for your products or services is your most credible report card.
A good internal communications programme goes beyond imparting the basic handful of skills and company boilerplate to your employees — but really integrates staff into your company's culture and beliefs. And happy employees aren't just great for word-of-mouth marketing; they're good for bottom lines too. Companies that tap into the knowledge, insight, and talent of their people, and build a strong open and transparent corporate culture within their firms, equip their employees with a voice that is so in tune with their business that they begin to tell their company story for them. Here are a few pointers to help you turn your staff into effective brand storytellers.
1. Remember Your Culture is Your Brand
To convert employees into loyal brand advocates, you must first look at your company's culture. Pulse check your brand's core values to ensure they're aligned and start fostering those values within your staff members. Once you have established a strong company culture, everything else will start to come naturally.
2. Start at the Top
Internal communications is essentially marketing to your employees. You need to build awareness, understanding, and trust with your staff members, just like you do with your customers through your external marketing activities. Utilise senior executives to champion transparency and knowledge sharing within your firm — it's essential that your c-suite participates in and engages with company initiatives to inspire your staff to do the same.
3. Engage Employees at Every Level
You can still be effective in your internal communications efforts without telling everything to everyone. Consider who needs to know what, and to what extent, and tailor your messaging to each set of recipients. Communicate company news and messaging directly to your key stakeholders and teach them what to share when, with whom, and how much.
4. Hand Over the Mic
Encourage employees to share their stories. Form an internal communications committee to establish an easy system for employees to submit their stories, as well as to actively seek out stories to tell. Give people the flexibility to create new opportunities to talk about, like a team celebration, extracurricular achievement or work milestone, and provide them with the internal platform to share the news they're proud of.
5. Choose Your Channels Wisely
If people aren't using your physical [or digital] suggestion box, there's probably a good reason for it. Assess the channels that your employees are active on, just as you would your external communications, and deliver your message in the right way on each platform. It's way easier to find out where your employees are reading and interacting with content and meet them there, than trying to tell them where to go to get the information. Encourage employees to engage with your company on these outlets – but be sure to provide guidelines for creating and sharing company-related news and posts on external platforms.