When it comes to marketing, you may have the snazziest brochures, an eye-catching website and top-ranking search engine placement – but are you leveraging one of your most valuable, often untapped marketing resources?
Your employees make the best marketers. Happy employees who believe in their work are eager to spread the word, giving your brand a positive boost no amount of marketing dollars could buy.
So how do you turn your valued employees into unofficial brand ambassadors?
• Treat your employees right. People who love to go to work and take pride in their job are more likely to spread the (positive) word about your company. Times are tough, and it may seem like an easy decision to do away with fun perks and benefits, but if your budget allows it, keep the morale-boosting activities that your employees enjoy.
At Pierpont, we have quarterly office-wide happy hours, celebrate birthdays with cake every month and conduct an annual team-building retreat to develop a strategic plan for the coming year. By rewarding employees and asking for their input on important company matters, you’re letting them know how valued they truly are.
• Encourage the use of social media, but do so responsibly. In a time when nearly everyone is utilizing social media, encourage your employees to become active in their favorite networks. Whether it’s creating a robust LinkedIn profile or becoming the mayor of your office on FourSquare, your employees are likely to turn to social media to brag about their workplace.
To that end, it’s important to create well-defined social media guidelines and policies for employees to follow. While many employers are hesitant to allow access to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn during work hours, encouraging responsibility and accountability will often take care of any productivity concerns.
• Urge (and teach!) your employees to network. Let your employees interact outside the workplace – there’s no better way to promote your brand than through strong personal relationships. Encourage your employees to join industry associations and attend networking events that give them the opportunity to talk up your company to peers and prospective clients.
Your employees compose one of the most effective marketing investments your company could make. How are you making the most of your investment? Please share any workplace morale-boosting tips or experiences below.