Customer Experience News & Trends

3 traits of top-notch brand advocates

The notion of cultivating brand advocates has gained tons of traction in the online world, especially since companies have decided to plunge into the social media waters.

Beyond ‘brand’ prejudice

Some still think of “brand” as a dirty word — something that doesn’t apply to them, their company or their efforts.

News flash: Brand ambassadors bolster the image of companies of all shapes and sizes.

Plus, they give customers a helpful “human face” to interact with, especially online.

Can’t afford to ignore

Creating engaged company cheerleaders is something that improves a company’s image — particularly on social media sites.

Why on social media? Studies show social media is more likely to change customers’ perceptions of a company than any other touch point.

Couple that with other stats like 47% of people want their customer service through social media (you can be sure that number will climb as Millennials take the helm) and you can’t afford to ignore the potential your employees and social media have to make or break your image.

Still, when companies finally come to terms with the word “brand,” many struggle to figure out how to make their employees successful brand advocates on behalf of the business.

Rules of engagement

Take a cue from these three companies who know how to do social media right: Coca-Cola, Dell and Intel.

Each has crafted a social media policy for employees, and each shares three common principles for successful brand advocacy that you’ll want to relay to your staffers.

  1. Transparency/disclosure. Let users know you work for the company and that you’re speaking on its behalf. Be up front and honest with them.
  2. Protection. There are three things you need to protect: the consumer, the company and yourself. Use caution when discussing the company. As an employee, you’re privy to information outsiders are not.
  3. Respect, responsibility and common sense. Respect the rights of others and their intellectual property. Be professional and appropriate in your online discussions. Keep cool, admit mistakes.

All three policies stress this point as well: Remember, once you post or share something, you can’t undo it. The Internet is permanent.

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