Employers are using social media to put a shine on brands. That’s no surprise, but what may be is the degree to which they’re letting employees’ voices be heard as part of that brand message — pretty exciting times for brands. Not all leader’s feel comfortable with the approach, however; we have witnessed many a branded message gone haywire and plenty of companies that wished they could have retracted tweets.
It’s a strategy not without risk: Some individuals have strong personal brands, which may dilute the employer’s brand. Yet, since most employees have ready access to social media, the strategy has the feel of inevitability. So employers need to be on the front foot by ensuring company culture, brand and employee experience are aligned or, at least, focused on common themes. It’s time for leaders to adopt social media or fall behind the curve.
The code word here is Brand Humanization, which requires employers to ensure that corporate culture is robust enough to sustain the goodwill of employees, your brand ambassadors.
Who has seen Klouchebag? It’s a tool for measuring how annoying people are on Twitter — definitely a sign of the times and a strong message to those who are not being thoughtful about their brands online. Before you tweet, blog or otherwise update, think about what you want to share with the world.
Not all employee messages will be consistent with brand messages, of course, so planning to unleash employee voices to support a brand demands careful consideration, diligence and a strong commitment from leaders and teams to be social. The key, as with so much else, is building and maintaining a strong workplace culture — one where you trust your staff and they trust you, and one in which customers also have trust. All of that extends into social media, of course.
For this week’s World of Work #TChat, please join us for a discussion on the intersection of employer and employee brands. That would be today, Wednesday, May 9, from 7-8 pm ET (6-7 pm CT, 4-5 pm PT, or wherever you are). We’ll be asking the following questions, and we look forward to your many tweets, in response.
Q1: How can leaders harness the voices of their employees to shape, amplify & humanize the employer’s brand?
Q2: Should a company express its employer brand as its employees’ many personal brands?
Q3: How, why & when can or should your personal brand merge with your employer’s brand?
Q4: How can employees’ unleashed online personal brands affect an employer brand when leaders neglect culture?
Q5: What’s the present reality & future of our personal vs. professional brands’ dance with employers’ brands?
Join us on the Twitter stream! See you there.