Corporate Influencers: a Puzzle Worth Solving
Corporate influencers are employees who act as social media ambassadors and influencers, sharing their expertise, knowledge, and brand experience on social media and building connections on behalf of their organization. What are the benefits of turning employees into corporate influencers? Why are they the most logical choice?
Traditional marketing methods have often left brands unsatisfied with the results they produced. This becomes especially appalling when we look at a market such as today’s, where consumers are hyperstimulated by ads and publicity, by brands overpromising and showing shiny campaigns that don’t communicate an authentic message and voice.
More and more companies rely on alternative marketing strategies, such as influencer marketing, to overcome this obstacle. This can help them increase their online presence and brand awareness: partly due to the influencers' relative online fame and presence and partly due to the brand message's renewed credibility when it’s not propagated through the brand’s voice. In other words, letting others talk about your brand – instead of doing it yourself – will make you look more authentic and credible, thus taking your brand image up a notch.
Corporate influencers and where to find them
If authenticity and an honest voice are what brands need to stand out among their competitors – which has been proven to be more successful with consumers and potential customers — then looking inside their own house – or company – might prove to be the winning card for companies.
What I mean by this is that there’s a group of people involved firsthand with the brand and the company life day in and day out who know and embody the company culture and work daily to achieve the company’s goals. You guessed it, it’s the employees.
In the context of influencer marketing, we call employees corporate influencers. Not every employee can or should be a corporate influencer, granted, but a large group of them match the exact definition. Corporate influencers are employees who present their view of their company and their brand on their social media channels – through expertise in their own field or insights into their daily work for the company.
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Types of corporate influencers
In the first case, this means employees are, or come to be, established thought leaders in their sector who share insights, knowledge, and opinions and have, therefore, a very specialized and defined personal brand on social media. Associating your brand’s name with a pool of such people will, by extension, raise the profile of your brand and its credibility, thus allowing a variety of benefits to come with it when it comes to selling your product or service.
In the second case, corporate influencers can also be people who talk about their experience with the brand, who aren’t necessarily thought leaders but embody the company values and culture. This kind of corporate influencer will testify to what you define as your employer brand.
Corporate influencers provide authentic and personal insights into the working world of your organization and the corporate culture, thus establishing a connection with potential customers, current consumers, and potential future employees.
Why employees are the best influencers for your business
When you say ‘influencers,’ most people usually think about Instagram and YouTube stars, which is fair because they are who the term generally refers to. Their ability to influence people’s behavior – consumers’ behavior – hinges on the alignment between that social media celebrity’s online persona and the product or experience they are promoting.
If you want to communicate the benefits of your specific business, you need to look for someone who understands the benefits of what you are doing, who is familiar with your product or service, and who can vouch for it because they are invested in it. Which is why your employees are precisely the people you want for this job.
Employees who act as corporate influencers are key actors in brand co-creation and can drive change and innovation. Your brand needs someone it can trust and who knows what you offer and has a personal connection to it. Who could fill these shoes better than your own employees and colleagues?
How to turn your employees into corporate influencers
There are two essential steps you need to take to activate this strategy in your company, leverage the potential of corporate influencers, and focus on external brand ambassadorship:
- Educate employees about company culture, story, and messaging. This is a pre-requisite of corporate ambassadorship, of course – something you should be thinking of doing in any case.
If your employees aren’t aligned on what your values, culture, and mission are all about, turning them into corporate influencers will do you more harm than good, naturally. A consistent brand message and uniform communication are crucial to present a unified front and deploying an effective strategy.
- Make it easy for them to want to be corporate influencers. This means, for example, providing them with an employee advocacy platform such as Ambassify that enables and facilitates ambassadorship.
With Ambassify, you can create an online community where your employees can sign up and where you provide different types of content for them to interact with and share on social media. This allows you, as a company, to have more control over the content and the messaging that they put out there while at the same time making it straightforward and effortless for your employees to act as your corporate influencers.
The logical choice to amplify your business
For years, companies established social media policies and guidelines on what workers could and couldn’t say online, all in the name of making sure their social media presence remained separate from their employer’s. But the rise of social media platforms as the preferred space for younger generations to hang out and share their personal and professional lives changed the game. More and more forward-thinking companies are now recruiting employees to act as in-house corporate influencers, realizing how positive of an impact this can have on their business.
Rather than focusing on external brand ambassadors, it makes sense for brands to look for suitable corporate influencers within their own ranks – and employees are the logical choice. They put an authentic face on the company – providing an insider’s view beyond bullet points on a job board – and their corporate influencer duties can quickly and effortlessly be managed via an employee advocacy platform.