Who knows your business best? It’s the people who work in it day in, day out; it’s the people who commit their time and energy to making it better - your employees.When you align these people as the face of your business, whether that’s via social media or through your blog, you’re tapping into the trust that consumers have for them. As the infographic below shows, consumers trust company employees as much as they trust friends and family.
Which sources of information about a company do you find most credible? (2017)
Leveraging the power of your employees to market your business is known as Employee Advocacy, and it's becoming a bigger deal by the minute - 90% of brands are already pursuing or have plans to pursue some form of Employee Advocacy.
Why Trust Is Important
In an age where consumers have their pick of the bunch, they’re much more likely to go with a brand they trust.
Why? Because consumers are savvier than ever. They don’t buy into polished marketing campaigns and instead look to the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing, which includes checking out reviews, asking advice from friends on Facebook, and getting insider info from employees.
As a result, getting your employees onboard with creating and promoting content can dramatically boost the trust consumers have in your content and keep them coming back for more.
How Can You Leverage the Power of Your Employees to Boost Trust?
1. Get Employees Engaged
First things first, if you want employees to be your business’ biggest fan, you need to get them engaged.
Engaged employees are more enthusiastic, inspired, empowered and confident at their job, and this will reflect on how they present the brand to potential customers.
You can engage your team by, for example:
- Providing constructive feedback
- Showing them the bigger picture and how their role fits into the company’s overall goals
- Recognizing their key strengths and allowing them to exercise those in their role.
2. Tap Into Their Social Networks
The average employee has 420 friends on Facebook, 400 LinkedIn contacts, and 360 Twitter followers. That’s a lot of people that are primed and ready to listen to what your employees have to say about your business.
Encourage your team to take part in Twitter challenges or simply share anecdotes about their day at work on Facebook or LinkedIn. These short stories provide a real and authentic look into your business - and, let’s face it, everyone likes a peek “behind the scenes”.
Just look at brands like Zappos and Southwest Airlines that are tapping into the power of Employee Advocacy. At Zappos, employees get special Twitter training and are awarded points for sharing updates at work, while Southwest Airlines employees regularly share stories on the Nuts About Southwest blog. Gamifying your Employee Advocacy program is a great way to incentivize your employees and create a good atmosphere around social sharing.
3. Get Experts On Board
Look around at your team.
There are so many different roles and so many different people with different areas of expertise at your fingertips.
Content shouldn’t just be about promoting your product, it should also educate and entertain your audience. This boosts your authority and positions you as a brand to listen to in your industry.
You can easily leverage this by interviewing experts in your field about their role or niche knowledge, or by encouraging your top management to create content.
4. Provide Training - But Keep it Authentic
Not everyone knows how to hammer out a Tweet that goes viral, especially the members of your team who aren’t involved in the marketing world.
By providing training, you can remove the blockade of sharing on social for your team and encourage them to put themselves (and your business) out there.
It’s still important to maintain quality, though.
Sharing employee content for the sake of it won’t reap the results you want. Instead, sift through for the best bits and share those to create authentic and high-quality content that attracts consumers and builds trust.