Whether we like it or not, employees are out there speaking on behalf of our brands. It’s because the way we communicate has changed. Conversations are often started now around pieces of content. “Hey Matt, have you seen this?”
How many times have you seen that in your social media feeds? How many times have you started a conversation like this? It’s no different in business.
However, the thought of a misaligned Facebook post or rogue tweet, even if shared with good intentions, is an irritant many business leaders would prefer just to avoid. But fear not, loudmouth employees can actually be good for business and particularly beneficial to the bottom line. Loud employees can personalize what to most may be a faceless brand and amplify your reach beyond traditional channels. That’s because sharing content can lead to better connections, better communication and empower employees to become thought leaders across your industry.
No longer can social media be viewed as a secondary marketing channel. It is the great mediator and the most prominent and forward facing customer-interaction tool at our disposal. With that in mind, brands need to get comfortable with the fact that social media is not just about solely broadcasting your message, but about facilitating conversation and interaction around the human experience.
According to the MSL Group, brand messages reach 561 percent further when shared by employees versus the same messages shared by an official brand social channel. Employees are also typically connected to 10 times the people than your brand, however unengaged employees make up 74 percent of the average company’s workforce.
So what does that mean? Clearly there is an opportunity to further mobilize our employees and get them talking to not only boost their credibility, but also that of our brands.
Social media is no longer an afterthought – it’s a part of everyday life. Operating a business today without some sort of content infrastructure and employee social media engagement is akin to not equipping your teams with a phone or email.
The question you need to ask yourself is if your brand is ready for this kind of change? Are you the type of company that enjoys a competitive advantage and thinks ahead or did you believe Blockbuster had a great business and should have never changed?
No matter how you look at it, providing employees greater flexibility as it pertains to social and brand advocacy can be an encouraging solution to help businesses grow from the inside out. Smart companies will see the value their employees can bring across social media or they run the risk of being drowned out by the competition.