People matter. People have value. And yet, sometimes we treat those we interact with on a daily basis with the largest range of emotion, positive to negative. It’s a frequent issue that individuals take the most constant or valuable constituent for granted. Nevertheless, when relationships are properly fed and watered, a brand’s own workforce can serve as its best advocates.
How to create internal brand advocates:
1. Build your employees internally
How can a management implement this concept? Build employees’ careers through the freedom to make decisions and to learn from outcomes. Actively motivate your employees to seek out opportunities for personal development. This might translate to attending a conference, pursuing a professional certification, or working cross-functionally with other units to learn new skills or gain perspective in their current roles.
2. Build your employees externally
While for some, it may seem counterintuitive to build employees so that they are more appealing to others, including competing corporations, by building your employees externally, you indicate that you are investing in your people. An investment indicates that you associate value with an individual. In return, employees will be more invested in your organization thereby creating a brand advocate at the base level. I call these first responders.
Build an employee’s digital presence. Provide training on key social media platforms, including best practices specific to employee involvement surrounding the brand. Clearly message your employees that you value their input, reiterating the value you recognized at their hire, and that you wish to enable their communication with your internal and external brand community.
3. Provide a communication toolkit
Communicate with your people! Without clear internal communication, you are at risk of misalignment. If employees are not up to speed with both high-level and low-level strategy, goals, objectives, and tactics, then your company limits the ability of employees to amplify your message and its intended purpose. Valued employees want to support internal goals. It is the corporation’s responsibility to provide the toolkit to enable success.
4. Engage your employees in the full customer experience
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of inviting your employees to engage in social media and the interwebs, is that it connects your employees to your customer audience. What better way to help your workforce understand pain points and the benefits of beloved features then by asking your people to listen to those they are asked to serve. The internet is a beautiful thing. It enables communication across the globe and can enhance honest and direct feedback so you can have a direct impact on your bottom line while providing a more engaging and delightful experience to your customer.