It goes without saying that Brand Ambassadors are needed as much as your own career channels to drive your employer brand. Brand Ambassadors offer an organic representation of your company that can be perceived by some job seekers as an even more trusted source than the communications that come from your company or career specific channels.
Your employees have their own personal networks online, some bigger than others, but each has the opportunity to become influential Brand Ambassadors online. The reason why Brand Ambassadors should be complementing your careers channels is simple. Trying to explain this in context, if you think of a huge rock (representing your corporate career channel) being thrown into a pond, you’ll see one big set of ripples from the impact (representing the impact of your audience engaging with the post).
This action represents your corporate career channel posting to its large following online. Now if you can imagine having other smaller rocks (representing your brand ambassadors) being thrown in the same direction, smaller ripples would appear and start to overlap with other ripples and the big set of ripples from the huge rock in the pond (representing the impact of your Brand Ambassadors audiences engaging with the posts). This action represents the impact of multiple Brand Ambassadors pushing your message online to their own networks and potentially overlapping with other networks of their peers and the audience of the corporate career channel. If you’re struggling to get buy-in from your leadership team to build and implement a Brand Ambassador training program, one question you must ask them is, “Would they rather have one big splash, or do they want to make it rain?”
Get them trained
Yes, you will have employees ‘who know what they’re doing’. They’ll know how to optimize their social profiles, post engagingly, engage with others, and share all the best content to best represent your company. Leverage these people as ambassadors to help educate their fellow peers and ensure there is education available to the rest of your workforce who need it. Brand Ambassador Training should cover the basics around what your company expects as a minimum from its employees when it comes to representing the company online.
The training can be one of the following or a mixture of; 1:1 face to face training, group training or presentations, webinars or recorded training and refreshers that can be housed on a learning management system for example. You’ll need to ensure that the training covers general best practices on social media as well as channel-specific tips for the channels that are best suited to your target audiences of talent.
If your talent prospects don’t exist on Instagram, then why would you train your employees to use a channel that will not have the appropriate engaged audience to attract talent? Aside from general social media best practices and channel specific tips, your training should also be covering aspects of how to optimize your profile, where to find the best content and how to construct the best posts, as well as how to engage with others and repurpose the companies content and follow the company online. Brand Ambassadors don’t just share your latest blog posts online, they generate their own organic content and engage with others. You need to ensure this training drives that behavior of best practice.
Identify who they are, measure their success and champion them
Once you’ve done all you can to train up your workforce, it’s important to know who’s taken the training. If you’ve launched training on your LMS, partner with your company’s education team to look at the reporting of who’s taken the training in the first place. Once you’ve got that information, it’s important to then identify who needs to be retargeted and trained. From the reporting, you want to obviously see who’s taken the training and is now in a position to do a great job in being an ambassador externally for your brand.
To see how well your employees are doing you need to use influencer tools, some of which are free online. Leveraging tools like Buzzsumo or SocialBakers where you are able to search for certain hashtags and keywords as their tools scrape keywords in bios and content shared. This is why it’s also crucial to have an employer branding hashtag like #LifeAtCA (that we use at CA Technologies) to track those users and traffic around those conversations online. Someone can say something positive about your company as an employer online but without the use of hashtags to taxonomies this traffic, it makes it increasingly more difficult to identify and measure the reach of your Brand Ambassadors.
You can track traffic by searching for these types of hashtags by using the search functionally on individual social channels or using social listening tools like Hootsuite. If you’ve also invested in a social / employee advocacy tool that distributes content autonomously, be sure to check the statistics around gamification to see who’s being active in using the tool. This approach will enable you to measure the reach and how often they’re sharing content. Identifying the success of these Brand Ambassadors and championing them should go hand in hand. Do not take these employees for granted; they’re there to be championed.
When championing your Brand Ambassadors, at a minimum you should be doing the following; engaging with their posts, reposting their content on your career channels (with their permission), collaborating on careers content and promoting them internally to raise their profile for the great work they’ve done to drive your company’s employer brand. If you need to hand out a monthly, quarterly or annual award, why not? Track who’s making the most noise around your employer branding hashtag through measuring tools and always champion them to ensure you have a wave of Brand Ambassadors complementing your own career channels in driving your employer brand.
About the author: Stuart Hazell, is an Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing leader at CA Technologies. His work helps to increase CA’s employer brand through bespoke recruitment marketing strategies.