In today’s changing landscape, jobs are becoming less and less of a 9-5 construct; today’s workforce wants to find a job that’s not just a paycheck, but a passion. That’s great news for you as an employer, since these types of employees should be inherently great candidates for employee advocacy, or becoming your “brand champions” on social media. However, you can’t just expect that every employee will begin tweeting, posting and Instagramming things about your company as soon as they’re hired (nor should you want them to). You have to create an environment that inspires this type of activity in a positive way.
A company’s culture can be hard to identify. It is made up of a lot of different parts, including the company’s values and objectives. It’s influenced by how you and your employees interact and affects the overall feel of your office. You should consider the kind of culture you want your company to have and the culture you have now. Is your company highly professional and formal? Do you want to encourage creativity? Should your company rely on structure and routine, or is it more flexible? What do your customers expect you to be? Do you want to meet those expectations or challenge them? The right company culture can foster better relationships with customers and help you reach out to new customers. Plus it can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Once you understand what makes your company culture great, you can focus on hiring employees that will fit that culture. An employee who’s motivated and is able to stay informed about their own professional passions will believe in what the company is doing, and should not only feel comfortable sharing this information on social media—he or she will want to. Engaging with social media on the company’s behalf can often make employees feel even more engaged with the company itself, so it’s a win-win.
The motivation to be a brand champion will also align with their professional goals. For example, salespeople may work to benefit the company, but also a gain the personal advantage of engaging in social selling. If they know they’ll be contacting prospects through social media and trying to start a sales conversation, they’ll be more likely to post about your brand to draw those prospects in. The same goes for marketing professionals—they know that a large part of their job is tied up in the company’s brand image, so they should want to do everything they can to protect and build that image.
At the end of the day, employees functioning as brand champions on social media should be mutually beneficial for both companies and their employees. Employees get a chance to get their name out there and prove themselves as loyal and worthwhile additions to the company, while companies receive increased brand recognition and the ability to evaluate who truly believes in the company mission.