So, as a company, you now recognize that a socially networked company makes for a more human workforce. So, what are the next steps to making employees social media ambassadors?
There really are two different approaches to empowering your employees as social media ambassadors. You can either give open access to your entire employee base or start with a “pilot group” of officially recognized ambassadors. I don’t know that either approach has more proven benefits over the other, but if you’re a conservative company like mine, you’ll go for the latter…. and here’s why:
- Allows you to embrace social media while still being cautious about how to fully deploy or manage it;
- Gives you time to further refine your social media guidelines with a small group of individuals who will eventually become leading examples to the rest of your employees; and,
- Provides the opportunity to measure your social media impact using the initial pilot as a control group.
Building a Social Media Ambassador Pilot Group
- Survey employees on social networking habits and interests. Determine what social networks your employees are using and ask them if they would be willing to use their personal brand / social networking profiles to serve as the company’s social media ambassadors.
- Lots of employees will say they are passionate about social media. But you will need to weed out those individuals who are just consumers of social media information versus the ones who are conversationalists in social media — those who create content and dialogue within their existing social networks.
- Identify senior level executives who are already participating in social networks or who are willing to participate, and use them to set an example of how employees can create their own branded content within company guidelines.
- Choose individuals who are already considered experts in their area, such as: customer service, products, public policy, recruiting, IT, Sales & Engineering, Diversity, and Community.
Putting the A.R.E. in “We A.R.E. Social Media Ambassadors”
So the next step in the process is establishing the Attributes, Responsibilities, and Expectations for your initial pilot group. Creating a social media ambassador “job description” is beneficial not only to give you an outline of the attributes of the employee you want to use as an example to others, but the responsibilities and expectations can easily transition into your official social media guidelines. Thanks to Tom Humbarger’s Social Media Job Description for giving me a great headstart.
- Actively participates in a wide variety of social media activities such as blogging, community development and management, social bookmarking, commenting, etc. and is well-connected with the broader social media world
- Has an understanding of building influence as individual employee as well as for the company by association
- Ability to contribute individually, and lead, manage or participate in cross-functional teams
- Ability to synthesize large amounts of data into actionable information
- Excellent writing skills and a willingness to use them
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Ability to create great working relationships with all levels within the company and across multiple disciplines
- Sense of humor and creativity, not required, but a definite nice to have
- Strategizes with and educates the management team and others across the company on incorporating relevant social media techniques into the corporate culture and into all of the company’s products and services.
- Participates and listens to the conversations occurring within the social media community, and responsibly and smartly responds or defers as appropriate.
- Uses defined company brand and marketing key words / terms in social networking sites to communicate with customers, partners and industry peers consistently.
- Monitors trends in social media tools and applications and appropriately apply that knowledge to increasing the use of social media.
- Provides input and insight into how to penetrate the company’s messages deeper into social networking communities.
- Leads by example on social media rules of engagement and representing the company within social media networks.
- Re-familiarizes self and abides by all Intellectual Property and Code of Conduct policies, Compliance training and Social Media Policy
- Completes a course on brand voice, marketing and messaging
- Suggests new social media tools as they become available and ability to demonstrate the benefits of these new tools
- Tracks own social media participation and influence through a TBD standardized tool, and provides measurement data back to the Social Media Council
- Willing and able to participate as a social media ambassador / representative of the company without risk to core duties and responsibilities.
Do you have other attributes, responsibilities, or expectations to contribute? Use the comments area below to provide your insight!