Why Employee Advocacy Fails and Personal Branding is a Crock

I’m going to keep this note is short and to the point. However, it has been on my mind for a while.

Here is why almost every personal brand and employee advocacy effort fails:

The employees that are most interested in personal branding are rarely interested in doing it in such a way that it is beneficial to the company. On the other hand, the ones that truly want to help their brand and are working hard for their company rarely have time to spend learning how to become good at social and then using it in a way that is impactful to their brand.

Case in point. Over the past month I have asked about 10 of my trusted circle to name just 5 people who are not CEOs or Entrepreneurs that are doing personal branding in a way that is both creating a powerful personal brand AND creating meaningful growth or visibility for their company.

Guess what? Not one of the ten people I asked could name five. Most couldn’t name one. (That isn’t to say there aren’t good ones out there, but it is interesting because the ones that are doing it well may just be doing it in a way that isn’t so obvious?)

So, is this a problem?

Heck yes it is a problem. There is this cult of stupidity running around telling people they need to build personal brands and companies that it is important for employees to build personal brands when really it is about educating employees to use social channels to create a more compelling brand image.

Personal Brand Experts (Wannabes): Cut the shit already. Just acknowledge that your systems for people using social to build their personal brand is strictly for their personal benefit so they can start a business, get paid to speak or become some type of influence marketer.

Companies: If you are financing peoples’ personal brand development, make sure their brand development is beneficial to the business AND themselves. In most cases I’ve seen where an “Employee” of a company has developed a strong personal brand they have only turned around to leave the company or be forced out because they lost sight of why they were doing it.

Employee Advocacy done well can help make work more exciting for employees and brands more appealing for consumers. However, to this date, whomever the folks are that are out there teaching this are missing the mark by a mile. It is really as simple as this…

If it isn’t good for the individual AND the brand, then it isn’t employee advocacy.

AND…If the employee is out speaking at conferences every week and nobody knows what company they work for, then you can be sure they aren’t building a brand for your company. #Cutthechord.

For more on social business, employee advocacy and powering your brand with digital visit XVA Labs.

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