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How Brand Ambassadors Make Social... More Social

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 28/10/2015 Ernan Roman

People are social beings. So why is it that most corporate social postings are both irrelevant and anonymous? Tweet this Putting a personal, social component into your social marketing is imperative to engaging 2-way communication.
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Here are some thoughts to consider from a consumer perspective:

Here is the all too often reality for consumers when interacting with companies on social media:

From my recent article, Your Brand, Your Employees and the Voice of Your Customer I noted:
  • One of the keys to developing a strong brand is to develop a culture of brand trust....Realize that improved Customer Experience strengthens trust. And, trust is the foundation that builds brand, communication and good experiences.
  • Developing a strong brand is a continual circle of interaction with your brand, what it stands for, how it is conveyed by employees and the experience it delivers.
Nokia Turns Employees into Social Brand AmbassadorsNokia empowers employees to engage in social conversations for feedback, promotion of new products/services, and to just be available throughout social networks as real brand ambassadors. Nokia's talent stories are credible because they're from Nokia employees. Additionally, all the videos and photography on the Nokia sites and social media platforms feature Nokia employees.
Here are some tips from Becky Gloyne, Social Media Manager and Global Marketing Talent Acquisition Manager at Nokia:
  • "Use social media in a very effective way, create your own content (photography, video etc.), and be as creative and original as possible. This brings the "human element" into the picture and it puts a face to the brand, which is what people want to see."
  • "Have a focus, a target, use social media effectively, and understand your audience."
  • "We regularly communicate with our employees to make sure they all understand what is going on within our brand."
Adobe's Social Shift
Realizing that social has shifted, Adobe has implemented what it calls, its "Social Shift" program to better connect with consumers. The program helps to educate the company's employees on the company's social media guidelines, shares best practices for social sharing and ultimately helps them to become brand ambassadors.
Here are some tips from the Adobe "Social Shift" program:
  • The Adobe blog, "Adobe Life" posts, pictures, videos, and perspective. The content is also syndicated to other parts of the business for further social optimization.
  • According to Natalie Kessler, Head of Employment Branding at Adobe, they make social posting fun for employees with contests, visual #AdobeLife reminders throughout offices, and acknowledgement for posting activities.
  • Develop a brand ambassador program in your organization.

In closing, here a few takeaways from Brian Fanzo, Chief Digital Strategist at Broadsuite from an IBM Center for Applied Insights' Talking Insights Podcast:
  • "... Companies are afraid of employee advocacy .... I think the true sign of a great culture is not what's on a website or not what a CEO says in the presentation, but it's on the faces of their employees and that can be a scary element for a lot of leaders..."
  • Employees are a company's greatest social tool. Therefore, brands must embrace employee advocacy to have a truly authentic social presence.
  • "A lot of business is done on social... it bridges that gap when we can create that same relationship that we would on the golf course, we would at a happy hour, via these social tools."

Improved Customer Experience via interpersonal social interaction strengthens brand trust. Via a personal interaction with employee brand ambassadors a continual circle of interaction can become a key differentiator for both BroB and BtoC consumers.

***Ernan RomanPresident, ERDM Author, Voice of the Customer
Inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame based on the results companies achieve with ERDM's VoC research based CX strategies.
ERDM conducts specialized VoC research to identify CX strategies that generate significant increases in revenue.
Clients include IBM, MassMutual, Gilt, HP, Microsoft and Norton AntiVirus.
His influential blog "Ernan's Insights on Marketing Best Practices" appears in Forbes, Huffington Post, CustomerThink and
Named by the Online Marketing Institute as one of the 2014 Top 40 Digital Luminaries and by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Business Marketing.
His latest book is titled, Voice of the Customer Marketing.
His other books include Opt-in Marketing and Integrated Direct Marketing.

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