Employees as Brand Ambassadors. The role of the employee within the modern workforce is now more important than ever before. While they still must take on traditional roles whatever their part is, the employee also needs to become a brand ambassador to convey the value of a service or product of the company to the customer. The Edelman Trust Barometer and Nielsen report found that the clients are 77 per cent more likely to purchase a good or a service if they are informed of its existence by a trusted representative[1]. The primary question is therefore how an employee can leverage the benefits associated with this influential role. As one may imagine, the success or failure of any (brand) ambassador relates directly to the influence of management. What are some methods to utilise?

Proactive Advocacy and the Brand Ambassador

Proactive advocacy is another term which mostly relates to the employee sharing his or her personal stories with the larger consumer community. Which is also one of the primary tasks of an ambassador; to punctuate the virtues of a brand through personalised engagement. Every company should, therefore, encourage its staff to help build a powerful brand name by using modern communication channels.

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Brand Support

Not every employee has the skills or the desire to “take the next step” and to begin adopting the role of an official ambassador. Many will need to learn how to connect with their demographic in a proactive and yet engaging manner. To put this another way, a basic understanding of marketing and social media skills is often pivotal in determining the ultimate efficacy of any ambassador programme. More experienced co-workers will then be able to teach novices about the importance of metrics such as branding, social media and client engagement.

Valuable new ideas and perspectives can arise through a social media brand ambassador program. A LEWIS survey among employees showed that almost half of the respondents would like to be involved in creating content for their companies’ social media channels and recommend their company to have more video content[2].

Encourage the Use of Social Media Channels

One critical point often associated with the modern office is the use of social media portals such as Facebook during working hours. Many companies still ban these sites during the average day. The central premise is the belief that such interactions impede productivity. But this approach may result in more harm than good in the long run.

The LEWIS survey also shows that 78% of employees share company related content at least once a week. Almost three quarter of them share content on their personal social media channels. This is significant, but here are two even more noteworthy statistics: More than half do so due to a feeling of providing, while more than one third have a desire to be an advocate! Do companies make optimal use of employees’ dedication to share valuable company content? No! 73% of respondents feel that their company should be more active on social media.

Of the people who do not share, almost half state that their social media channels are private and that therefore they do not want to share business updates. This is a fair point, though companies can make a lot of progress if they successfully create common values among all employees.

Any worker who is proud of his or her company tends to make their feelings known within online circles. In turn, this can lead to positive publicity. Do not overlook the obvious benefits associated with branding. If the employee is taught the correct ways to interact with the main social portals, the results can far outweigh the few moments spent creating and sharing a post. The use of social media is pivotal, the era of digital marketing ambassadors has arrived.

Related: Building Relationships Online With Social Media Marketing

Leverage Media Content During Training

It has been shown that embedded media such as photos, memes and videos receive up to 94% more views than campaigns associated with other content. This is also very important from the point of view of a brand ambassador, as workers will be more likely to share such content with friends and contacts.

In the LEWIS study asked employees what kind of company content they share the most. 59% of the respondents are likely to share news related updates; 56% of the respondents are likely to share video and photo content. One third shares HR content such as job vacancies. Interestingly, fun-related content is less likely to be shared. Many also noted that they would recommend their company to share more video and photography content.

Incentivise Staff Members

Motivate all staff members to produce the best results. This helps to expedite their transformation from mere “workers” into qualified brand ambassadors. 41% of the respondents in the LEWIS study would like to receive specific social media training. In addition, almost half suggest a reward for sharing content. It is the responsibility of management to develop specific rewards programmes that can serve to provide valuable incentives. As examples, you can accomplish this with in-house competitions, increased social connections, figures and the highest ROI associated with a particular team.

The Big Picture: Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Ultimately, the role of the branding ambassador will become even more prominent as companies continue to face increased competition from within the digital environment. Leveraging the power of any workforce to improve peer-to-peer interactions is a critical determinant of momentum. Managers and supervisors who appreciate this observation should enjoy success well into the future. Still, training and the proper guidance are both essential to produce active and efficient employees as brand ambassadors.

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