When it comes to determining who can be a brand’s most effective advocates, CMOs and CEOs don’t need to look further than the people on their payroll. Consumers often find regular employees more trustworthy than a company’s CEO, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer.
But while employees can be a company’s greatest cheerleaders and increase brand awareness, they can also unintentionally (or intentionally) hack away at an organization’s reputation. Who are these employees? How are they killing your brand?
The Top 5 Ways Your Employees Are Killing Your Brand
Shhhh! Hear that? Listen closely…that’s the sound of a brand fading into the background because its employees aren’t talking about it. Sure, these silent employees aren’t disparaging the company’s good name like some folks but they’re not helping to increase brand awareness or to keep up with competitors. Successful companies empower employees to talk about it positively and ensure that the information they’re sharing is fully compliant with all corporate social media and external communication policies.
Have you ever worked in an organization that lacked transparency? Ever feel so cut off from other departments that you lose sight of what your brand stands for and what it offers? If employees don’t understand a brand’s identity, they might be misrepresenting the company through social media.
The goal of brand ambassadors is to increase brand awareness and provide an authentic voice for the organization. However, if employees are only sharing perfectly crafted messages written by the corporate communications department, it lacks the true passion an employee has for his or her company. Employees should be armed with compliant information and content, but also encouraged to share it with their POV without fear of any repercussions.
If employees just don’t care, that’s an opportunity to move them into more active and more proactive employee activists. Weber Shandwick recently released a study showing how employees can be grouped into one of six different segments, including the “inactives.” Employees who are not engaged are certainly not talking badly about the company, but they’re also not helping it. Providing them with tools and reasons to engage can help turn them into more proactive voices.
5) Trash Talking
There’s really no best-case scenario with employees who actively detract from the company and its mission and goals. They are the ones who post anonymous comments online about long hours, not enough pay and management that does not appreciate their work. When people are actively disengaged from a company and hostile toward an organization, their hostility becomes public and hurts a brand’s reputation when they criticize it online.
If you’d like to avoid the above scenarios and instead partner with your employees to strengthen your brand reputation and increase brand awareness, download our guide to Getting Started with Employee Advocacy.