Morgan McKinley Student Series | Employee advocates, the new brand initiative

Jane Hassett 25.06.2015

‘If we were to install wifi, all our employees would be checking their social media.’ What would happen if every one of our employees with a Facebook or Twitter account wrote about their part in delivering our product to the customer? How about some photos on Instagram of the first truck leaving with deliveries? Tastings, product launches, in-store points of sale, photographing and sharing the brand image at every occurrence….

The days of protecting the brand from inside high walls are fast declining.

There is a new initiative.

Why not attempt to create some passive brand sharing through activating company employees, and start today? Energising this body of product experts, customer facing communicators and goodwill ambassadors is the future of brand marketing. This method has been successfully achieved by global brands, Starbucks and Dell, but is equally adaptable to any size business.

Creating the willingness and pathway to sharing is the outcome we seek while other goals focus on publicising events and activities.

We will need to gather our army in a small room. The structure requires an Orchestrator, a Publisher and some employee advocates. This can be one person in the beginning. We will need some content to publish and a calendar to schedule its posting. Create a ‘How to Guide’ at this point and add boundaries and tips as you go.

The employees are listening anyway. They will want to participate and we can use them all. We need, Talkers, Walkers and Stalkers.

The Talkers with their passion for communicating verbally are ideally suited to Podcasts, You Tube presentations and live event blogging.

The Walkers are the more tech-savvy advocates who love to participate across all the social media channels and involve themselves in content creation.

The Stalkers are the ‘eyes & ears’ of the digital landscape. They specialise in social listening and interacting with brand mentions and are our customer response unit.

They are at the watercooler, at the bike rack, they are at the biscuits and they will connect.

7 Point Checklist

  • Find your Friends.
  • Locate Content & Voice.
  • Have a Central Contact.
  • Agree Tone through Training.
  • Share Scheduled Stories.
  • Analyse Data.
  • Share Results with Advocates.

 

5 Point Checklist for Events

  • Decide on a #hashtag and keep it short
  • Inform advocates of sharable content and allocate times
  • Reach out to accounts that are associated with your event and get them involved, eg. ‘Company Open Day’ @irishjobfairy
  • Instruct every advocate to Retweet every other advocate’s tweet
  • An event may only last one day but the #hashtag should be circulating on the days building up to it.

 

Start proving your employees are your best asset by putting their voices, their experiences, and their willingness to get involved to the forefront of the product journey. The new brand initiative.

The author, John Byrne, is an Online Marketing Executive working for Keelings on their ecommerce platforms. He also operates theflowermarket.ie. Connect with John on LinkedIn

 

Jane Hassett's picture
Programme Manager
jhassett@morganmckinley.com

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