Building Employee Brand Passion : Part 3
A brand exploring social media can’t hire a community manager and expect instant success. It takes more, and for some companies it means evolving the brand culture. For social media to be most successful, the marketing can’t stop at the marketing team, but instead must be company wide.
Aligning Brand Culture
When someone thinks new media brand culture, the usually think Google. With their perks, bean bag chairs, and Wii in break rooms, they do epitomize parts of the Internet culture, but really the one that does it best is Zappos.
At Zappos sharing, social media, and customer service are ingrained in their culture. They don’t shy away from expression, but instead celebrate it. Because of their passion, they’ve created a following that’s passionate about them.
So what qualities help a corporate culture align with social media? In my mind they are kindness, transparency, willingness to share, emphasis on personal expression, ability to make decisions quickly, and most importantly a true passion in the brand.
Identifying Passionate Users
Obviously, the larger the company the more difficult to identify passionate employees. Most companies don’t even attempt to find out and end up losing on talent.
My first suggestion is to simply ask. Send out an email, survey, or use that intranet you built. Ask your employees, who writes a blog? Who already twitters? Who actually uses the product and loves it?
Then, make it part of the hiring process. Find out at the beginning and invite new hires to start a blog and be active.
Empowering Your Brand Enthusiasts
Once you know who your most passionate employees are, you have to channel that passion. You must remove as many obstacles as possible and build the outlets for employees to spread what they feel.
The first thing to do is create a “social media engagement guideline”. BestBuy did a great job putting together a document for their employees. The guidelines should spell out what is acceptable and what is not.
Your next step is to create the platform. Invite employees to blog on the brand website and to use a branded Twitter account. Don’t let your employee engagement be wasted.
Finally, remove the mentality that everything needs to be proofread by the legal department. Consumers expect real-time engagement, and legal slows things down. If you can’s stomach removing legal, consider enforcing a workflow that allows Twitter users and bloggers to get feedback quickly.
Are you passionate about your company? Share it, let people know. Does your company highlight their talent or are they keeping it bottled up? Leave a comment and let us know!