Influencers and Pokemon have a lot in common. Most are trying to catch them, few are clear on how to do it and it can be a very time-consuming process.
That’s what happens with anything that’s new. There isn’t a set guideline on how to work with or approach influencers.
As someone who both works with influencers and is one, I have a unique perspective. I’m like the guy from the old Hair Club For Men commercials who takes off his hat and says, “I’m not just the President, I’m a client.”
But to find influence, you don’t have to look far and wide. Start with your own company and empower your employees to become influencers.
Now that’s a risky thing for me to say. If you’re a brand, I want to work with you, so does TapInfluence. But I’m not looking to eliminate the need for outside influence. That will always exist because the best recommendations for a product or service always come from a third-party.
That said, there is a lot your employees can do to shape how people perceive your company. Perception becomes reality. If there are happy, energetic, motivated and devoted employees of a company all over the “Interwebs” sharing content it’s hard for consumers not to notice.
But that’s general. You know that. What you really want to know is how to make your employees advocates and influencers.
There always has to be an incentive. I’m not saying you make it a company-wide competition to see who can generate the most social influence. But I’m also not, not saying that. Incentives come in a lot of forms. But you have to give them a reason beyond a company-wide email that says, “Please share our news on The Facebook.”
Give them a message.
If people don’t know what to say, they won’t say anything. And there has to be consistency with social media. What you do is create talking points and buzzwords you would like included but don’t go any further. Remember social media has to be organic. If 45 people post the same thing it looks like a dusty old press release and millennials will revolt.
Tap them in to other influencers.
If as a company, you can help an employee gain a following and become an influencer, there’s a good chance you will retain that employee. And to be honest, that’s the entire point of employee advocacy. You want your employees to stay because they feel invested in the company and that you are invested in them.
If you’re a big company this is easier, you may have large media relationships and contacts you can leverage to make this happen. So do it. Shine a spotlight on other employees looking to grow in the company that have demonstrated an initial ability to be socially savvy.
If you don’t have those kind of contacts, get in touch with an influencer who has demonstrated a knowledge of growing an audience and working with media. Do I know any off the top of my head? Yes. 😉
Influencers are also looking to grow their careers. Use that. Create mutual benefit so they can help you and help with your employee advocacy.
At the end of the day there is strength in numbers, both in a large digital footprint and motivated employees. What’s stopping you from getting started today?
Jeff Barrett is a member of Forbes’ Top 50 in Social Media, 2015 Shorty Award – Best Business Blogger, Business Insider’s #1 Ad Executive, PRNewswire Best Use of Video in Social Media, Passion for writing, owns multiple cats, dances like Drake. Tweet him @barrettall