Few weeks back I participated the annual Advertising Day in Helsinki, Finland. One of the keynote speakers Alexander Peitersen, the managing director at Reputation, told us the harsh truth about Finnish branding: "Finnish companies fail to create strong brand value."
Peitersen also told the audience, that branding is the way to take companies to the minds of customers. Mr. Peitersen didn’t mention employee advocacy, but I started to think: companies could build more value for their brand by introducing personal elements into branding.
Encourage authentic interaction
Setting up an employee advocacy program is a good way to start humanizing your brand. However, the point is not to build an army of share-o-bots. You need to set your employee advocacy program goals beyond the reach.
The real impact to brand value comes from authentic communication: messages your employee advocates write themselves. Employees who season the content with the carefully formatted personal message are going to have stronger personal brands and are more likely to achieve the perks of Employee Advocacy. Moreover, those employees benefit the company brand the most.
Do your brand a favor, teach your employees not only to share but to care. Teach them to care for the message — and, therefore, the audience, your potential customers. Train them to think about the customer personas and their needs. Let them have a voice of their own.
Motivate employees to build their personal brand
SmarpShare puts employees first while humanizing brands — and so should you. Start that by implementing the idea of personal brand strategies. Help your employees to define their own personal brands. Let them unleash their inner entrepreneurs.
Encourage your employees to answer the following questions:
- What are my values?
- What interests me?
- What do I want to accomplish in life?
- What are my strengths?
- What is unusual about me?
- What kind of education and experience have I got?
- What goals do I want to achieve?
- What about me fascinates other people? (Really, do ask.)
- Who and how can I help?
Answering these questions should help employees to define their personal brand. It will assist them in improving their online presence.
Some of these answers can be used to build bios, headlines, and summaries. Other answers orientate what kind of imagery could be used, and perhaps it will also affect the language they are going to use while sharing.
Interests, education, and experiences, for example, could give precious ideas whom to network with. Things to improve are one way to approach good content curation. The last two are maybe the most important ones when it comes to content creation because, in the end, the best personal brands are about the audience.
So, to build an outstanding brand, consider humanizing it. Encourage authentic interaction and nourish personal branding. Put employees first and engage them. Employees who are engaged are 20 % more likely to feel inspired, and it will help them to make your brand bigger in the mind of customers.
Hanna Takala, Zento
Hanna coaches Finnish organizations and their employee advocates to communicate better on social media. She is a trained visual designer and communications professional. Hanna is a regular guest blogger at smarpshare.com.