By Sarah O’Connell, Business Advisor for Purple Cubed
As the workplace becomes flooded with digital natives, inspiring your people to be brand ambassadors is becoming an increasingly powerful marketing tool.
Employees with socially-encouraging employers are significantly more likely to help boost sales than those without this encouragement (72% vs. 48% according to Weber Shandwick). Such employees are referred to as ‘activists’ for their employers; true brand advocates both on and off line.
With social media now so ingrained in our culture, there are huge opportunities to harness this technology and encourage engaged, connected and committed employees to speak naturally and authentically with your customers.
Here at Purple Cubed, we are embracing social recruiting on Glassdoor and LinkedIn. We are sharing our stories, successes and challenges online as the lines between work and play blur. We are hungry for digital brevity, at a time when emojis are the fastest growing language and #hashtags (love them or loathe them) are changing the way we talk. And we’re not holding back.
Our own research campaign Engage, Enable Empower revealed businesses believe that ‘if employees are engaged, so too will customers be’ with 15% of respondents agreeing with this.
As noted in Forbes here, when a customer interacts with anyone who works for you, everything your PR and marketing departments do are put to the test. The indomitable power of social media has now become a fixture of how employees or consumers rate brands; this transparency means there is ‘nowhere to hide’.
According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.”
Simply put – at Purple Cubed we like doing business with brands who have people-focused cultures. (The Project 1898 #localgreats campaign is a nice example of how people culture is becoming at once a marketing and a talent attraction campaign for the new business.)
In a previous blog I discussed the central importance of a business’s people to its brand, with the likes of Innocent and Wagamama putting their people’s personality and energy at the heart of their consumer marketing.
People and marketing professionals need to take notice and work more collaboratively to inspire trust, advocacy and pride as the consumer and employer brand lines blur even further, and social tools mean the power is well and truly with ‘the people’.