Empowering employees to be authentic brand ambassadors
Editor's note: The following is a contributed piece by Bridget Roman, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Experience Manager Livefyre.
The labor market is tight, and top talent has unlimited choices for whom they work. This is especially true for millennials, whose experiences growing up have made them leery of corporate promises. The cost of losing an employee ranges anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to two times their annual salary. And according to the Center for American Progress, the average economic cost to a company of turning over a highly skilled job is 213% of the cost of one year’s compensation for that role.
People are a company’s most important assets. That’s why it’s important to laser-focus your efforts on employee experience and retention — otherwise things can get very expensive, very fast.
What’s the solution? Your company (your brand) must find authentic ways to differentiate and create personalization at scale that is compelling to existing and prospective employees. After all, the reality is employees and their personal brands have drastically more power than traditional brand marketing.
A new era, a new opportunity
Employees have the most socially credible point of view; they’re trusted sources. Because of this, I cannot underscore enough the value of mobilizing all employees as brand evangelists and using social media to keep your business transparent and real.
This is precisely why user-generated content (UGC) — all of the tweets, posts, images and videos found on social channels — is one of the hottest and most powerful marketing tools out there for brands.
Today’s employees value personal growth, socially conscious companies and a nurturing work environment. But here’s the big challenge: HR is not revenue generating, so you have to be extremely creative with little money. As much as we would all love unlimited budget and resources, that’s far from the case.
So how can companies create engaged employees and then, ultimately, turn them into advocates? This is where UGC can play a big part and often with a surprisingly small investment.
UGC — the ultimate marketing tool
UGC has become one of the most affordable, easiest and authentic ways to engage employees and build your brand internally. It can also aid in recruiting candidates. The key is to ensure everything posted is truly authentic and your employees’ personalities come shining through.
The below details the steps companies can take to make UGC a competitive advantage:
- Nurture employees. Get them excited about becoming advocates, train them on social media best practices, and give them a hashtag to spread the word.
- Get employees to post about cool things such as an employee’s first day of work, events, product launches, philanthropic causes, favorable media announcements about the company, and more.
- Use UGC technologies to search social channels using hashtags or keywords to find the content you’re looking to highlight.
- Stream the curated UGC into visualizations (media walls, film strips, carousels) to your public-facing website; your intranet — and don’t forget to add tons of interaction to internal and external websites with polls, comments, etc.; and the physical screens around the office — employees love to see their posts highlighted.
In today’s technology and information age, people are constantly getting recruited and can easily be distracted by shiny new jobs when they want a change. By unlocking the power of UGC, brands can build loyalty among their employee base and drive true business impact by retaining that talent. The ability to tap into everything shared on the web to create a constant flow of fresh and high-quality content on your own sites is unparalleled.