Are there better advocates for your brand than
your employees? Isn't it about time you set them free and let them go online at work on social media?
Think about it, they work every day within the
business seeing all the small things that they do to bring value to your
customers. Getting employees as advocates or ambassadors online give you a
chance to leverage the insights and creativity of your team and to tell
interesting stories about your business.
The folks in the quality department may repeat
tests of materials coming in to your operation in ways that prevent defects.
They might have precision pieces of equipment doing amazing things on your
customers behalf – yet those stories are tucked away in their day job.
Colleagues who work in customer service may have
some fun anecdotes about a customer’s problem that was creatively solved by
your team. Celebrate it in a story but keep the customer’s name confidential.
Freeing an organization to use social media is a
great untapped marketing opportunity. Like any communications, it needs a few
simple guidelines to make sure it isn’t alienating existing or potential
customers. But most businesses could use the extra connections – particularly in
small local communities.
Not everyone in the company will want to
participate but many people will enjoy sharing with their friends and family
about the work they do and the products and services your company offers.
When instructing employees how to behave online
talking about social media, remind them that it is no different than being in a
meeting with a customer. Don’t do things online you wouldn't do in person.
Don’t ever post comments that touch on politics,
sex or religion. In some places, even mentioning sports teams might be
considered a mistake too. Stay away from controversy. Don’t be too salesy.
Tell people stories about the
great work you do in your job to help customers but don’t ask for them to go
online and buy from you. Just share information that allows them to understand
more about the culture and the people who are behind the business.
Be clear to everyone about what is and isn't confidential and/or a trade secret.
You may not allow pictures of your machines
to be shown, but it is okay to show trucks being loaded a special way to
prevent damage. You may not want to mention new customers by name, but it is
okay to share information about how you benefited your customer.
Here are some straightforward guidelines to consider:
Many employees and representatives already participate in social
media via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, etc. If you choose
to participate on behalf of the company, it’s important to be a good steward of
our brand and reputation. Below are guidelines to help you as you engage in social
It’s pretty simple: Conduct yourself in the same manner you would
in the office. As soon as you identify yourself as an employee of ___________,
you’re a representative of our company to those following you and – in many
cases – the general public.
Respect confidential information
Social media is external communication, so treat it as such. Don’t
post anything that is confidential or inappropriate for public audiences.
Internal events should not appear on social media like Facebook. External
events (trade shows for example) would be acceptable to show pictures or
Remember to comply with all applicable laws in your posts,
including copyright, trademark, privacy, and endorsement/testimonial laws. If
you question whether or not a post has legal ramifications, don’t post.
Treat those in the social media realm as you would treat clients
and colleagues – with respect. Use appropriate, clean language and good
grammar. Don’t do something online you wouldn’t do in person.
Stick to your areas of expertise. If you aren’t the expert on a
topic, say so or don’t talk about it. Perception is reality, and you are a
representative of ___________.
Remember that your opinion is yours, not a representation of ____________.
It’s okay to say so – provide a disclaimer.
Use “I” and “my opinion,” not “we” and “our opinion.” These are
If you have to think twice, don’t post
Chances are, if you’re debating about whether to post something,
If you think your CEO would approve of your post, and then go
ahead. If you don’t think the CEO would approve, then don’t post. Pretty simple.
Remember, CEO’s or other company leadership may end up seeing your posts.
When employees have questions about a situation involving
social media, give them direction who to check with on your marketing team. So go unlock the online bars and let everyone share stories about the great work your company is doing.
Looking for help igniting your communications and unlocking value, give me a call through Clarity. I offer seasoned advice.
Labels: employee advocates, employees online, Marketing Moments, social media, social media guidelines, storytelling