Activating employees to
be brand storytellers.
Michael Brito, Head of Social Marketing
Humans trust humans; and they spend a lot of time online
talking about stuff
(EXECS, SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS, AMBASSADORS)
92%of people say that
are their most credible
source of brand
of people find "people like
yourself & employees of a
company” credible and
trust worthy when
seeking information about
a product or a brand
67%of business pros & ITDMS
participate and engage
with colleagues and peers
within social media
Innovative companies are activating their employees to be
Smart brands are using these
insights and turning employees
into advocates through programs
and empowering them to share
and tell stories that deepen brand
affinity, influence their peers
and activate sales.
Why? Because there are new business requirements that
brands must consider to stay relevant
Harness the massive
amount of available content
and data to rethink and re-
equip business operations.
ENGAGE IN A MULTI-
Use new mediums to
communicate with a wider,
multi-faced set of
INNOVATE AT FASTER
Focus business efforts on
innovation rather than
continued improvement in
order to stay relevant
HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND In a world where marketing
is driven by data and
content, brands must learn
to communicate with
EMPOWER EMPLOYEES Equip employees with the
right content at the right time
in order to increase brand
EMBRACE THE RISE OF
Whether you are a B2B or
B2C company it’s important
to remember “people buy
from people.” It’s vital to
sync the internal with the
Employee advocacy is critical for sales, marketing and overall
THE SALES PIPELINE
There must be a two-way value proposition when building
What’s in it for your
Reach new audiences w/trusted,
Trusted source for
insights and feedback
Promote / Defend Brand
What’s in it for your
Internal “rock star” recognition
Access to exclusive content
Platform for sharing thoughts
with the wider audience
Employee advocacy falls into two broader programmatic
BRAND AMPLIFICATION (SHARE-DRIVEN)
This program involves sharing “branded” messages and content with employees
so that they can “re-share” the content within their personal social media channels.
Content can be customized and/or changed by participating advocates and usually
managed by a central marketing organization.
BRAND JOURNALISM (CONTENT-DRIVEN)
This program involves mobilizing employees to tell stories (usually long form) that
are published on a corporate site/blog, the LinkedIn blogging network or a media
site. It can also involves employees sharing and amplifying other employee
Best Buy employee brand amplification program
The Tech Heroes program was designed
for all employees with phase focusing
solely on corporate employees.
The WCG team assists in creating
“employee campaigns” aligned to various
marketing campaigns that live within the
Best Buy intranet for external sharing.
Coca Cola employee-influencer brand journalism program
The Coca Cola Journey site
launched in 2013 with a focus
on telling stories related to
business, innovation, music,
sustainability and other topics.
Contributors to the site include
employees, customers and
influencers and it’s powered by
the Contently platform.
Conversations from Coca cola
Journey are aggregated using
the #CokeJourney hashtag.
Blended employee and customer programs can deliver
maximum results within B2B communities
advocacy community that
shares and engages with
Enabled employees communicate meaningful messages externally
with customers and partners resulting in trustworthy relationships.
Healthy and proactive communities
create their own conversations
resulting in advocacy.
Strategic approach for planning and deploying employee
Plan and define programmatic elements of the
program i.e. goals & objectives, selection criteria,
stakeholder collaboration, technology selection.
Identify and train employees based on specific job
roles and/or varying levels of participation.
Activate employees with strategic calls to action; and
enable them to participate quickly and easy through
smart technology deployment.
Amplify employee-generated conversations to other
participants; and also through various PESO (paid,
earned, shared, owned) activations.
Define the guiding principles starting with the employee
Delivering an amazing employee experience should be the focal
point of all programs and activations. Making that experience
memorable; and more importantly, convenient for employees to
share content is critical.
The content itself must not only focus on brand storytelling but
also be relevant to the brand, product or business priority. It should
resonate with what employees care about and align with their
In order to determine success of employee programs, there must
be a measurement framework establishing what KPIs and what
determine success. Hint. It’s not just about about relationships.
Collaborate, plan and document an operational plan
Goals & Objectives: What does the brand want to achieve?
What business/marketing outcomes are expected?
Program Logistics: Who owns the program and what
dependencies are needed to ensure success?
Selection Criteria: How are employees selected to
participate? What’s the plan to scale participation? Where
do they participate – owned channels, branded channels?
Training: Is there training prepared for employees at
different proficiency levels? What’s the plan to scale
Technology: What technology platform will be used to scale
the program i.e. language translation, rewards/badging,
mobile integration, ease of use functionality.
Marketing: What’s the name for the program (internally &
externally)? Will it be branded externally?
Find and recruit socially active employees and executives and
build custom training for each group
Participation Create training curriculum with a focus on thought leadership,
long-form content, blogging, videos, podcasting and
Create training curriculum with a focus on best practices of
community engagement and providing value-add content.
Create training curriculum with a focus on how to use tools
to listen to brand and industry related conversations.
Activate employees with strategic “calls to action”
Ensure that employee content aligns (either directly
or indirectly) with the broader brand story, industry
topic discussion, event or initiative.
Build editorial calendar so that content can be
planned in advance and aligned with other
initiatives in market. Content should be anchored in
one or more of the following core values – utility,
education, entertainment, access, emotion,
exclusivity, information and promotions.
Enable participation through smart technology
deployments (make it EASY for employees to
participate). Mobile integration is critical for
adoption and growth.
Amplify employee-generated storyteling through converged
Display Advertising / Search
Paid Social Media
Blogs / Newsrooms
Webinars / Whitepapers
Social Media Engagement
Social “Creative” Content
User Generated Content
An example customer journey
Customer Behavior Content Type Employee Interaction
Google Search (unbranded,
Industry related technology
discussion (i.e. data center,
Technology discussion within the
blog post comments between
customer and blog post author.
Follow each other on Twitter and
continue the discussion there
Frequent sharing, retweeting
and commenting within
various social networks.
Subscribes to brand’s blog
Branded white papers, blog posts
and other forms of thought
Continued dialogue with
employee about the benefits
with of using brand’s technology
Seeks validation from other,
3rd party, sources before
making purchase (i.e. asks
colleagues, Google search
for customer testimonials,
Industry White papers &
Research Reports. Customer
related “guest” blog posts
and/or customer testimonials.
Brand’s thought leaders and
subject matter experts continue
to share content that adds value
to the technology conversation;
passes along conversation to
Retweets and shares branded
content; contributes to
brand’s community and
Branded white papers, blog
posts and other forms of
thought leadership to include
support related material
Employees Retweet and share
content from customers; engage
openly and in public about the
brand’s technology solution
Let us help you activate
Michael Brito, Head of Social Marketing