Corporate employer brand influencers, internal employer brand influencers and talent ambassadors.
They all mean the same thing, and we all want to collaborate with them for the same reason: getting business advantage from employees who are actively engaging, networking and creating content on their social media.
In today’s Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast episode, we will discuss how you can work with your internal influencers to build a strong employer brand that attracts and retains talent.
Let’s get started with today’s episode!
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Internal employer brand influencers might just be the next big thing
Internal employer branding influencers might just be the next big thing in employer branding.
When we talk about internal or corporate employer branding influencers, we talk about your employees, all the people on your payroll, regardless of their role, level of responsibility, position or length of employment.
These small business or corporate influencers are people, first and foremost, with the right attitude and skills to share their stories on social media.
And that is precisely what makes them excellent candidates as talent ambassadors.
You need them to be first and foremost skilled and used to sharing their stories on social media because they have a following who enjoys their posts. A network of like-minded people who regularly engage with them on socials.
This is necessary because – and I know this sounds harsh: you don’t do anything with ambassadors who don’t have a reasonable following and a good reach.
Why do you need to start taking corporate employer brand influencers seriously?
Talent ambassadors are not a new thing.
I know that. You know that.
I’ve spoken about this on my podcasts several times over the years.
(I realized only once in this podcast and the others were on my Finnish podcast, but scroll down to the bottom of this show notes pages for the link to the other English episode.)
But I see that despite the sometimes even desperate attempts to get employees to at least share company content, companies continue to use old tactics that do not work.
It’s time to consider doing this differently.
Take your internal employer brand influencers seriously and treat them as collaborators instead of expecting them to contribute.
So, what is “different”?
Considering the payoffs of collaborating with internal employer brand influencers for both parties
The payoffs for both parties are going to be different.
Honestly, if you want to, if you expect to, if you wish your employees to take part in sharing your employer brand message, you can NO longer expect them to do it as free extra work.
Because those who are worth something to your business as your talent ambassadors are already active on social media and have worked to build their networks and trust in their word.
Trust doesn’t come free.
Employers cannot expect to squeeze the benefits of that for free.
So, what you need to do when you start developing, building, or reactivating your talent ambassador programs is to consider the benefits of taking part for your chosen internal employer branding influencers.
We are currently building a modern corporate employer brand influencer program with one of our employer branding agency clients.
And our client has totally accepted and is very pro for the mutual benefits. They understand that to make this work, it needs to be mutually beneficial for both parties.
What are some of the benefits you can offer for your corporate employer brand ambassadors?
First of all, you need to help your corporate employer brand influencers to free working time for creating and publishing content and engaging with their followers.
This needs to be discussed and approved by their nearest managers. So that they can regularly have, for example, 10% of their working time dedicated to this role.
The bigger the organisation, the more vital it is to have the nearest managers on board.
Being a professional content creator, which they will be in this setting, is not a 5-minute job you do in the evening on your own time.
Let them do their thing so that they can deliver you the value you expect and wish!
Secondly, I can tell from my experience that social media constantly changes. Whether it’s a little tweak, a big movement, a new trend, or a feature, you must stay on top.
And what helps more than getting training?
You should provide your team of corporate influencers with regular social media training.
Or access to sources allowing them to stay on top of it. I know this is something they for sure will appreciate!
And thirdly, provide them with equipment even if those are shared between other influencers at the same office.
Equipment such as tripods, extra light sources and microphones are equipment creators use daily.
And an extra tip!
We need lots of photos on social media.
Can you organise a photo shoot with a professional photographer to help your influencers get a nice photo bank for this work?
Don’t forget to allow them to plan what type of photos fit their style as the more authentic they can be, the more beneficial this work will be for your company.
6 Key Steps to how working with your internal employer branding influencers
#1 Identify and engage your corporate employer branding influencers to this collaboration
The first step to successfully utilising internal employer branding influencers is to identify who they are.
You need to look for employees who are:
- already active on social media
- have between 1500 to 10 000 followers, depending on the platform and your location
- who regularly create and post content on their social media
- are willing to become your employer’s brand influencers
Influencers can come from various departments, roles and levels of responsibility.
Oftentimes, we forget about ourselves, but I can tell you that whether you work in HR, employer branding, talent acquisition, marketing or communications, you should also consider becoming your company’s employer branding influencer.
In addition to posting the “official content on the company account”, use your personal profile(s) to share your own experiences and perspectives as an employee of this company.
#2 Create or share your content marketing plan with your influencers
Once you have identified them, engage them by sharing your employer branding goals and objectives; make sure they know what are:
- the desired employer brand perceptions you want them to help building
- key messages they need to include in their influencer content
- and whether there are any other commonalities or features that they should consider in their influencer posts
But besides these guidelines, you must let them do their thing to remain authentic.
#3 Allow and support them to build trust and authenticity
Authenticity and trust are key factors for any influencer marketing to be successful.
It is crucial to give your talent influencers the freedom to express themselves in a genuine way rather than forcing them to stick to the company’s messaging and tone of voice.
This approach helps them gain credibility among their colleagues and networks, making the messaging authentic and relatable.
Maintaining transparency and keeping the conversation open and honest to build trust with employer branding influencers is also essential.
#4 Empower your internal employer brand influencers to create content
Employer branding influencers can be extremely valuable in creating content that promotes the company’s culture and values.
They may also know better how to apply various trends and social media features in the content than you do!
Encouraging influencers to create blogs, videos and manage social media content for the company will inspire their creativity and help keep the messaging fresh. Welcome them to ideate the content together instead of giving them strict plans for what to do.
Empowering your internal influencers might lead to unique perspectives that could result in innovative employer branding content. And that’s exactly what you want!
One of the key benefits is that when you set them free, your company is able to reach a wider audience more efficiently.
#5 Measure results to improve the employer branding impact continuously and consistently
Measuring the effectiveness of your corporate influencer marketing is essential.
Not just to ensure it’s working and to improve it but also for feedback and experiencing the important sense of achievement.
Your employer ambassadors should have pre-defined performance indicators, such as the number of views, engagements, recruitment leads, traffic generated to your career site, and applications received, to track their impact on your employer brand marketing.
Not only does this help you all to learn, it also generates trust in the top management that this type of activity is worthwhile for the company and should be promoted, supported and resourced.
And why not offer additional bonuses for those influencers that deliver the best results?
I can guarantee you that even if you had all your employees participating in this type of activity, it will always have the best return on investment against any other type of campaign you might do.
#6 Recognize and appreciate their work as your employer brand influencers
This takes us to the final step; recognising and appreciating the influencers for their work.
Don’t underestimate the power of recognising the efforts of internal employer branding influencers.
Advocating, appreciating and rewarding their contributions can go a long way to motivate and inspire them to continue with their work.
Various incentives and rewards can include website profiles, access to company-sponsored events, additional training and other perks that can help keep them motivated and engaged.
Employer branding is a long-term strategy; internal influencer marketing can strengthen employer branding efforts.
By identifying and engaging influencers, building trust and authenticity, empowering them to create content, measuring results, and recognising their contributions, companies can successfully work with internal employer branding influencers to create and maintain a strong employer brand.
Ok, that’s all for this week, my friends!
What do you think? Should your company consider taking this step?
If you want to discuss a potential partnership with my employer branding agency and use our model on the employer brand influencer program, contact me at email@example.com!
My name is Susanna Rantanen, and I teach, coach and consult employer branding, marketing and communications for those recruiters, talent acquisition and employer branding professionals, and personal development coaches who want to build a successful career, become more business savvy and get a good life!
Thanks for listening!
Until next week!