Typically, you might think of brand ambassadors as someone who promotes or buys your product or services and shows consistent support online.
That support can be through social media channels, email, review sites, and other services.
While that is a somewhat accurate view, many companies fail to realize how important turning their own employees into brand ambassadors is for their brand successes.
Brand ambassador companies
The relationships your employees have with their networks – which likely includes potential customers, prospects, and hires – are stronger than any relationship the people in their networks may have with your brand.
Yet, before we dive into why getting employees to be brand ambassadors matters, let’s clearly define exactly what it means.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who promotes a brand and its products to their network with the objective of increasing brand awareness and driving sales.
Historically, a brand ambassador was typically a celebrity or someone with a good amount of name recognition who was paid for their efforts to promote a brand or products. However, this definition is expanding and has reached employees of organizations.
In the past, notable ambassadors for businesses mainly have been founders and executives. In recent years, though, and with the rise of social media, non-executive employees from all departments have and can become effective brand ambassadors.
Why employees being brand ambassadors matters
There certainly has been a shift and expansion in who is considered a brand ambassador and, for businesses, employees should be the top candidates.
Marketing and social reach
By turning and enabling employees to become brand ambassadors, you can greatly increase marketing and social reach of your company.
Employees have an average of 1,090 social connections
Employees also have five times more reach than corporate accounts
Additionally, a Nielsen study showed that 84 percent of people trust recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues over other forms of marketing.
Now, if your company has a few hundred employees who are active brand ambassadors (sharing content, promoting jobs and products, etc.), you can easily grow your company's overall marketing and social reach exponentially.
Boosts leads and lead quality
Another interesting stat is that employee's social followers are seven times more likely to convert on the content that is shared (source). This also goes back to the Nielsen study, showing people trust recommendations from people they are connected to.
Yet, besides giving a boost to the number of leads, the quality of those leads also improves. Because your employees have authentic relationships with their followers, they have a more direct and trusted connection to your targeted demographic.
Your employees now become the extended lead generators for your company and, because of that, the quality of those leads is greatly improved.
Increases social recruiting
Your company and others are always looking for top talent to bring to the team, and what better way than through current employees?
If your employees are active brand ambassadors, consistently sharing and talking about the values of their workplace, it will attract new talent and candidates who are much more eager to accept a potential job offer.
Many enterprise level companies might not think they have a need for improved social recruiting because their established brands are strong enough. However, even top tier level company job pools can be improved by positive reinforcement from employee brand advocates.
Better to be overwhelmed with excited and high-level quality job candidates then struggle to find any that qualify.
Employees acting as brand ambassadors are essential for extending your brand reach, increase leads and lead quality, and improving social recruiting.
Yet, the above points are just scratching the surface of the overall values and benefits to why your company should invest in turning employees into brand ambassadors.
Just think how this can impact your brand visibility and overall revenue.
To help your company turn employees into active brand ambassadors, there are various software companies to consider in the brand advocacy software space.
Make sure to research and read the product reviews as you consider establishing a program at your company.
Todd is a digital marketing executive having worked in various industries, startups, and remote positions. He currently heads up marketing over at EveryoneSocial and writes in his spare time about marketing, employee advocacy, tech, and personal finance. You can also find him adventuring outdoors and hiking.