How to Encourage Personal Brand Advocacy by Employees
The core concern of online social media training is to open the eyes of an employee to the vast potential of his or her existing networks. This is brand advocacy at its best: espousing the virtues of a brand and its proposition without any apparent motivation on the part of the brand itself. Peter, Social Media Consultant explains:-
Consider the situation. An employee takes it upon himself or herself to advocate his or her brand outside of work hours, through his or her commenting and overall behaviour on both private and professional social media streams.
The implication, for people in his or her networks, is that there must be something genuinely special about a brand for which you feel compelled to evangelise, when you’re not being paid to do so. A positive comment or piece of behaviour from someone not being paid to give it, speaks more volumes for a brand than a thousand advertising campaigns.
Online social media training describes ways in which this effect can be promulgated through the huge quantities of contacts, of networks and spheres of influence, already enjoyed or inhabited by the people who work for you. These methods of brand advocacy range from simple behavioural things to technicalities – from the ways in which your employees speak and act when they are on the social media streams (which of course reflect back on you), to the words and phrases they use when they do so.
It’s possible, for example, to significantly boost your SEO potential by simply training your employees in the relationship between social media presence and key phrases. If your employees all know what key phrases your whole online brand presence is optimised for, then they’ll know to insert them in any stream, or conversation that’s relevant. The cumulative result of this is that your brand presence online becomes more coherent in the eyes of the search engines and their robots.
It’s clearly important to deliver this kind of training in an easy to understand and relevant fashion. Screen capture videos work very well as they show the employee what he or she should see, without running too fast to keep up with. Plus voice over text can be paused and re-read to make sure the information has gone in properly.
Most modern companies are slowly waking up to the fact that their employees are their biggest advocacy asset. It’s extremely important for everyone within a brand to talk the talk and walk the walk. Social media training shows companies how to keep the brand voice unified, from the highest to the lowest levels of employment.
By presenting a uniform voice to the world, through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, a brand’s employees again provide the solidifying effect already referred to. It’s the same kind of thing that knowledge of key phrase and how to use them in social media updates provides. A unified voice across all platforms means a brand that can be trusted. A brand that speaks with one voice is a brand that gets heard.
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