Tap Into These 3 Motivations to Turn Your Employees Into Authentic Brand Ambassadors

September 1, 2016

If you’re not encouraging your current employees—your most valuable assets—to help recruit future talent, you’re losing out.

We all know getting the word out there is key to finding the best candidates, and your employees’ social networks are over 10x bigger than your company’s followers. Yet, only 2% of employees are helping to build their companies’ brands through social sharing and content. Still, those 2% of employees are responsible for 20% of your company’s overall social engagement.

how do you encourage employees to advocate for your company and jobs? Sure, if you ask them to something specific, they will do it. But that’s not the kind of enthusiasm you want. You want it to be authentic and for employees to feel driven to tell their networks about their experiences, the company’s new product launches and job opportunities that come up. 

So, how do you motivate employees to want to share your company’s news with their networks? Here are the three types of motivational drivers you should tap into to create a win-win situation:

Motivation 1: The need to self-brand

We live in an entrepreneurial age, so even when people aren’t building their own companies, they want to build their own brand. Encourage employees to tell their stories by giving behind-the-scene looks at what it’s like to work for them to work at your company through pictures, content, video and live tweets.

For instance, did they just lead a presentation with their team? Have them share that experience to advertise their leadership skills; at the same time, their peers can see the leadership opportunities your company offers.

Here’s an example from a LinkedIn employee the hashtag LinkedInlife.

Or the next time your company is launching a new product or service, consider letting employees be the first to break the news. As news breakers, not only are they “in the know,” they are also viewed as thought leaders and experts.

Shared news from your talent will also garner greater credence, as people trust employees 3x more than CEOs, even if both are sharing the same information.

Motivation 2: The need to win friendly competitions

One of the best ways to motivate employees to engage is to introduce a little competition into the game. Consider having some kind of metric for your brand ambassador program to get people excited. Are they referring the most candidates? Then, consider rewarding them. Are they always the first in their group to share product launch announcements or what’s going on at the company day-to-day? Make sure to recognize those efforts.

At Adobe, contests are frequently hosted to keep things fun (and a little competitive) for employees. For instance, the company once had a t-shirt designing contest which asked employees to illustrate what “Adobe life” means to them. The fun contest was highly shared on social networks, leading to a high level of social engagement for the company.

When employees share their experiences with #AdobeLife, they’re acknowledged and celebrated for their efforts. Additionally, teams will regularly scour the web and highlight what’s deemed as the best posts and pictures, further encouraging employees to continue sharing.

Motivation 3: The desire to do good

Sure, cash might be king, but in the Purpose Age, doing good is the fuel people need to do what’s beyond their job requirement. In fact, purpose-driven people are said to outperform their peers driven by money or promises of career advancement.

So, to motivate your employees to share with purpose, educate them on the power they have to make a difference in people’s lives. Encourage your employees to help people land jobs at your company by sharing topics that may be useful, like career trajectory at the company, expectations and workload, and even their interview experiences through day-in-the-life pictures, videos and posts.

Also, remind employees that their engagement encourages other companies to treat employees well and will, overall, have a societal impact on the way businesses are run.

In the digital age, you can’t survive in the recruiting game if you don’t have employees spreading the word for you. Give your employees the power to be real brand ambassadors by tapping into what drives them to go above and beyond. Doing so will encourage employees to advocate for you. If you’re able to create an infectious excitement within company walls, very soon you’ll generate a positive buzz and raise awareness for your brand. That’s when the best candidates come knocking on your door.

*Image from The Tonight Show

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