As a business owner, you surely know that when your customer speaks, it pays to listen. Customers are those who send loud and clear messages about your products, services and can even hear from your employees on social media. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, consumers will trust more ‘another person like themselves‘ than academics, experts, or your CEO.
However, in a world where one wrong post can destroy a brand, businesses need to approach this matter with tact and wisdom. Social media have transformed the business landscape, and brands need to recognize this change. Businesses and their employees have equal power over social media. Employees can now have the power to question, praise, or provide feedback to the companies they work for. At the same time, they can also use social media as a weapon against their companies to serve their agenda.
Employees are now empowered to take on the roles of journalists, watchdogs, or opinion influencers. But, possessing the ability to voice their opinions on multiple social media platforms can also cause irreparable damage to the brand’s reputation.
How Can Employees Benefit Brands on Social Media
Empowering employees to share their opinions on your brand’s behalf is called ’employee advocacy.’ This can be a powerful tool for boosting a business. Here are some benefits of this tactic:
Employee Advocates Seem More Authentic
When potential customers trust your brand, they are more likely to turn into customers. Your brand can earn that trust by way of employee advocacy. Brand messages shared by employees are typically re-shared 24 times more often than your brand’s messages. Plus, customers see those shares as more authentic than brand shares and are more likely to connect with them.
Customers See Social Active Brands as Thought Leaders
Employees can now fill the void with relevant, timely, and insightful ideas, meaning your brand can now stand out as a thought leader. They can share your brand’s views to provoke new ways of thinking, start discussions and debates, and inspire action.
Customers Will Likely Buy from Socially Active Brands
Content is what draws buyers to your company and can help guide them to purchase. The best way to get the content in front of your customers might be your employees. Their authenticity is a powerful tool that can drive brand interest, establish your company as a thought leader, and foster lasting relationships.
However, as mentioned, employees can also damage brands on social media. They can:
- Alienate your customer base – All it takes is 140 characters to drive your customers out the door;
- Create public controversies by venting their frustrations or leaking private and sensitive information – All it takes one disgruntled employee to damage your brand seriously;
- Post inappropriate things, even off the clock.
Every employee you hire represents your brand in some way. The goal is to define your organizational culture in relation to social media, including having the proper guidelines to provide as a reference for employees when something goes wrong while they’re posting about your brand online.