Turning employees into brand ambassadors – Why this is the best branding strategy
Is your business experiencing problems with the rise of advertising costs? Then, consider turning your employees into brand ambassadors. With a practical approach, your brand can reach a vast new customer base, strengthen the relationship between employees and the company with little to no cost.
Build a team of in-house “influencers”
Employee Advocacy is one of the Branding strategies using the lowest cost to produce massive results. To put it simply, Employee Advocacy is about inspiring and encouraging employees to share businesses’ content with their network of family, friends, and acquaintances.
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Through employee sharing, businesses can reach a wider audience with meager to zero cost. Companies can also improve brand awareness and enhance the credibility of their business in the eyes of customers or potential candidates.
A case study of Employee Advocacy
One of the businesses that have succeeded in turning employees into brand ambassadors is Shopee Vietnam.
Shopee Vietnam started their Tiktok in 2019. Since then, the brand has acquired more than 1.1 million followers and is constantly appearing on the platform’s trending page. Contributing to this success, we must mention the hashtag #LifeAtShopee. The hashtag is created and shared by employees of this business. These videos revolve around the environment, people, work culture, products, .. at Shopee.
Videos with this hashtag have received a lot of attention from Tiktok users. With more than 62 billion views on Tiktok and constantly appearing on the trending page, these videos have significantly contributed to their revenue growth and boosted their brand recognition.
Now imagine your brand having the same exposure. How much of an impact can employee advocacy have on your business.
Why do businesses need employees to participate in branding?
Employee Advocacy is all about the human factor.
Employee Advocacy is a relatively new term in Vietnam. However, many global enterprises such as Genesys, DELL, Reebok, StarBucks, Unilever, .. have all put this program into application in recent years. And this investment has paid off.
Since the bloom of digital advertising, every customer is surrounded and disturbed by advertisements. Businesses are fighting for a fraction of customers’ attention. Therefore, customers are up to their necks with the nonstop adverts and preaching content.
Nowadays, customers crave “human” feelings, which is one reason why 3,000-word blog posts are slowly losing their ground. While video blogs, podcasts, and now influencer marketing are slowly taking over the market.
One of the contributing reasons is the human factor. Customers choose to believe in a voice, believe in a face, and believe in a person. Hence they make the buying decision! And the human factor, in this case, can very much be an employee from your business!
Reach a large audience with 0 cost
With the change of algorithms on social media platforms, reaching organic followers has become a struggle with most businesses. According to the Social Flow report, the organic reach of global brands on Facebook has decreased by at least 42% compared to last year. This situation has forced companies to spend more and more money on advertising campaigns while advertising costs are constantly increasing.
However, businesses can now tackle this problem by adding employee advocacy to their Branding book. The average person has 400 friends on Facebook, if one employee shares business content and is seen by 50% of their friends. That company has easily reached 200 people without spending any money. If a business had 100 employees willing to talk about them on social media, they could reach up to 20,000 people at no cost.
Not to mention, a Cisco report states that consumers trust content shared by employees eight times more than content produced by businesses.
Enhance corporate culture and employee commitment
Enterprises spend a lot of effort and expense to be able to recruit talented people to the company. Besides, businesses invest a lot in developing these talents and keeping them stay with the company.
If we go back 20 years, the term “Corporate Culture” is rarely mentioned. However, at present, corporate culture is one of the crucial factors determining the participation, stay, or departure of many young workers. And 80% of businesses today have clear plans to improve corporate culture.
Increase business revenue
As mentioned above, employees have more relationships than businesses, and these relationships are often closer than the relationship a company has with its customers. This is an advantage that companies cannot help but optimize.
In a study, Ogilvy – a leading advertising agency, has shown that, among different touchpoints, word of mouth has the most significant influence on customers’ purchasing decisions. This is because employees know the business better than anyone else. If they are willing to talk about the company’s product or service with their friends, they are now an in-house PR agent.
More than that, when some employees publicly share about the business on their socials, other employees will also feel inspired to do the same. So, create conditions for employees to talk about the company, in a positive light, and the whole business will reap the rewards.
How do employees become the brand ambassador of the business?
Building a culture of transparency
One of the most important things to the success of hashtag #LifeAtCompany is the spontaneity, relatability, and honesty of these content. These content are created and shared based on voluntary; therefore, it delivers the genuine to the readers.
However, businesses still need to ensure that the brand experience flows across all channels, including employees’ social media channels. To do this, companies need to develop policies on using images and logos of the business accordingly.
Businesses need to balance censorship and let employees fully control what they want to share about the company. This is a hard thing to do. Keep in mind to limit the regulations on reviewing articles, or making available articles for employees to post. Because when that happens, companies are taking away the “human” touch and using employees’ social networks as clone accounts.
Make sure employees know what is in it for them.
As a brand, businesses need to answer the question, “As an employee, why should I talk about my company on social media?” Employees will certainly not be satisfied with something along the line of “Because this will help the business grow.”
Businesses can consider rewarding employees who are willing to share their content with their network. Furthermore, acknowledge and express gratitude to enthusiastic employees who actively talk about the company on their social networks. Use small gifts, vouchers, or a bonus to show your appreciation.
- Career growth opportunities:
Sharing industry information turns your employee into an expert in the eyes of those around them. From there, it is opening up many opportunities to connect and build a personal brand.
One of our favorite examples is Michael N. – ELSA’s Country Manager. Michael shares ELSA’s content on his socials consistently. This has boosted ELSA visibility as a brand and helped him build his personal brand of an intelligent, witty, genuine leader.
Most importantly, make your employees feel happy at work.
All policies and all business incentives will not work if your employees are unsatisfied with their current job. Therefore, companies need to remove physical, emotional, and mental barriers so that employees can feel safe, comfortable, and happy talking about the business.
Knowing what employees are looking for at work is part of a managing job. Finding out what they are missing, what they need, and support them to achieve their professional goals is a great way to make your employees happy. Don’t just focus on money. More money doesn’t guarantee a more content business “brand ambassador.”
With low cost, high performance, Employee Advocacy is definitely a Branding strategy that businesses should not ignore. Having a team of in-house “brand ambassadors” will be a substantial competitive advantage for companies. Increasing brand awareness, the number of sales, the ability to recruit top talents, and the happiness level of all personnel are some of the significant benefits that businesses should consider.
Empowering employees and creating conditions for them to develop their careers is the perfect formula to create happiness for the team of “brand ambassadors” for the business.
One of the prerequisites for career development today is mastering the ability to communicate in English. English is a global language and is an essential skill any employee would want to hone and master.
At ELSA for Corporation, we believe in a community of Vietnamese workforce who use English fluently and confidently. Thereby, unlock their career opportunities, bring value and revenue to their business. With the practical, effective, scalable solution, and constant improvements, ELSA for Corporation is the best choice in English training for businesses.
Book an appointment with ELSA for Corporation.