People buy from people – research shows it’s time to empower employee brand ambassadors

A recent research study conducted by marketing and PR consultancy Squirrels & Bears examines the importance of personal employee branding in the hybrid workplace and highlights what organisations can do to turn their employees into brand ambassadors.

Whilst large budgets are allocated towards marketing campaigns each year to drive brand awareness and lead generation, organisations are often missing the closest link between the brand and their target market – their employees.

Employees are any organisation’s most valuable asset, and they are already attracted to the employer’s brand from early on, followed by a connection to the organisation’s value proposition as they are part of the culture. They are also ideally positioned to communicate the brand message – in fact, on average, collectively employees have social networks up to ten times larger than a single corporate brand. Content shared by employees also sees a click-through rate double that of their organisation, because they are seen as more authentic, and people are more likely to trust recommendations they see from their own networks.

However, the recent study of 170 respondents highlighted that whilst 89 percent can confidently describe what their organisation does in three sentences and the same percentage feels that they fully understand their organisation’s value proposition, only 58 percent are likely to share and like their employer’s social media updates. This shows the disconnect between internal communication and the opportunities available to encourage employees to spread the message with their social networks and act as brand ambassadors on behalf of their organisations.

Although all employees are not fully engaging with the organisation’s external communication, there has been an improvement compared to the same research being conducted prior to the pandemic. In 2019 only 66 percent of employees felt that their organisation provided regular updates internally about company news, products and services; compared to the post-pandemic workplace where 85 percent feel confident about receiving regular updates. In addition, today 87 percent of employees are familiar with the organisation’s mission, vision and values and 81 percent are comfortable to talk about their organisation with their personal network – showing their willingness to extend their brand reach in an organic capacity.

Having a great personal presence online is just as important as having a high-quality business brand, and as your employees are the representatives of your business, it’s important that the two are aligned. With only 50 percent of respondents feeling that their organisation gives them the opportunity to build their personal brand, there is a significant opportunity for organisations to build a marketing savvy culture, not just within their marketing department.

The organisational benefits of using the influence of employees has never been more relevant than in a hybrid workplace, where building a strong culture will require innovative ways to implement a continued sense of belonging and inclusion without the physical presence. According to the survey findings, over 81 percent of respondents feel proud of their organisation’s response to the pandemic, with 64 percent stating that their organisational culture improved or remained the same during the time of turbulent change, induced by these unprecedented times. This is great recognition for the businesses who kept their focus people-centric and going forward, equipping their people with the right skills and knowledge to build their personal brands can create a competitive advantage, drive growth, and create a culture where everyone can contribute to the organisation’s success.

Author: Editorial Team

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