Making Employees Your Brand Ambassadors

Posted by AmandaKeeney on January 7, 2014

I’m not quite a fossil, though no carbon dating has been conducted. My self-described status comes from the fact that in my past I often said “…let me fax that to you.” I’m as old as both the mobile phone and Sesame Street, can remember playing Atari’s Pong and watching MTV’s first broadcast.

Sesame Street expanded to its virtual street. Mobile phones slimmed down from their original bulk and scaled globally. Gaming evolved beyond the dot-and-paddle game, and MTV grew beyond just music. And, the fax machine? Well, let’s just say I don’t reference it anymore in conversation.

Witnessing these in-the-moment milestones, if you will, afforded me an unparalleled view of technological innovations and communication shifts. My generation observed first-hand how the practice of communication and the dissemination of information changed and changes still.

The tools we use or the channels in which we communicate have indeed changed and are now converging. And the traditional communication cascade, a top-down approach, could be lost or overshadowed by other networks as opinions are pinned, tweeted, liked and shared, in real time.

But, as my dad would be quick to remind, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Making employees your brand ambassadors

What hasn’t changed is that for so many of us, we continue to want – and some would argue need – to engage in a conversation and connect with others. And in today’s workplace, that connection is essential to helping us do our jobs, understand our roles and to feel a sense of purpose.

Brand ambassadors? They’re really just informed employees. Companies who first engage with their employees are the ones who successfully launch new products, market services and build a culture to keep the conversation going with them and across their networks. It matters because effective use of employees can turn engagement into advocacy.

That’s why there is real power in internal communications. No one else can lend authenticity to your marketing and fill in the blank campaign like your own workforce. Unfortunately, there are countless conversations that should be occurring in workplaces around the world, but aren’t.

Think of the saying “ … you’re the wheel and I’m the spoke.” Employees are the wheel and your company messaging is but a single spoke. It represents just one of their many interconnected networks in both traditional and digital networks. That’s why it is absolutely critical that you create an ongoing cadence of transparent communications and ensure that when they hear from their company, it is those messages they trust most. Remember, they likely will be hearing from all those other networks or spokes, too.

Utilizing your own employees is the easiest – yet most commonly overlooked – way to scale and sustain your message as they in turn leverage their own personal and professional social networks. Those employees – your brand ambassadors – are the ones who will share your good news with the world.

You just have to take your message old school and ‘talk’ to them in whatever way they choose to be communicated with.

What are your thoughts on leveraging internal communications? Tell us in the comments below or tweet your response using the hashtag #mcgblog.