social employees
social employees

Next to glowing customer comments, employees rave about the brand or their company’s service rank up there for credibility and favorability. Why? One of the reasons is that they have insider information that consumers don’t. They know more about the brand or service than the person on the street.

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reported that the public more trusts regular employees than CEOs, 54% over 47%.

On the opposite end of social employees are whistleblowers who are protected by more than 20 statutes because they have valuable insider information that can benefit others when used for the right reasons. The most common are cases involving public health and safety in just about every category.

Companies deciding on whether to encourage and enlist employees as social ambassadors should first take a hard look at their own culture.

One that’s open and candid, which encourages feedback and empowers its workforce, have a much greater opportunity for success. If the culture is one of top-down management with employees having little, if any, say a lot more thought and caution are advised.

Getting the entire workforce excited as ambassadors can be exhilarating but could also create some challenges. Before initiating such a program, be aware of these potential issues. Once employees are set loose, brands do not have complete control over what they say or disseminate on social media.

Having a social media policy is important for companies that encourage employees. Such a policy should clearly and simply state the brand’s goals as well as guidelines with a list of do’s and don’ts. Some companies even include tips on how to interact with people who leave positive as well as negative comments on their sites.

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With a policy in place, the brand can roll out its social ambassador program. Marketing can be extremely valuable in assisting lesser-experienced employees by sharing tips on how they can build a strong social network and on which platforms.

Showing employees how to add value to each interaction by sharing the right resources, content, and even tools will help them engage those they’re in contact with as well as empower them.

Employee networks are an untapped resource, and brands should share interesting and timely content on a regular basis so that employees might do the same on their networks.

Once a social ambassador program is in place, encourage employees to relay both positive and negative reactions they receive or observe.

The feedback is valuable for monitoring how well the program’s going and identifying future potential issues.

Spotlight an employee or two in internal communications and what they achieved or perhaps pioneered. This isn’t just good for recognizing exemplary efforts but will also bolster workforce morale and possibly motivate others to jump on the social bandwagon.

In today’s society, and particularly with social media, anyone can pretty much say or write what they wish as long as it’s not libelous or slanderous.

It would be ideal to have a workforce that’s 100% content at work and saying all the right things, but in the absence of that, it’s better for brands to be candid and transparent with employees while encouraging whoever feels inclined to social advocate for the brand within clear guidelines.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.