10 Ways to Encourage Employees to Build Your Brand

    By | Small Business

    What is your top tip for encouraging employees to contribute to your company’s branding efforts on their own (like guest blogging, etc.)?

    The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

    Marcela De Vivo1. Gamify the Process

    After many failed attempts to encourage spontaneous contributions, we decided to gamify and offer incentives. Internally, we created a system of perks and rewards based on the quality of retweets, the amount of shares on a blog post, etc. At the end of a predetermined period, the employee with the most points was awarded a prize such as a mini iPad or some other cool gadget.   – Marcela DeVivoNational Debt Relief

    David Booth2. Tie Participation to Performance Goals

    In our busy startup, even iPad giveaways couldn’t get people to carve out time for blogging and social media. So our approach is two-fold: establish a content calendar and hold people accountable with performance goals. Thought leadership is everyone’s job! We are also big on company-wide shout outs and lots of praise for posts that get retweeted by Google, for example. In the end, it’s win-win situation.   – David BoothCardinal Path

    Zachary Johnson3. Give Employees Credit

    I see this happen a lot: junior members never get credit for content they write. Make sure you help all team members build a body of work; it builds credibility for the entire team!   – Zachary JohnsonSyndio

    Jayna Cooke4. Offer Them Incentives That Benefit Their Work

    We encourage employees to participate in our social media by offering up incentives that will benefit their accounts. For example, we do a “Feature Friday” on our social media channels that promotes one of our venues. Our sales representatives love this because it makes their accounts/venues happy.   – Jayna CookeEVENTup

    Aron Susman5. Collaborate With Employees

    Help employees feel connected with content by sharing it around in office-wide emails, letting them pitch different story ideas and writing about what matters to them. If employees feel connected with the brand messaging, they are much more likely to share on their own social media or write for the company blog.   – Aron SusmanTheSquareFoot

    Souny West6. Re-Share Their Content

    At times we monitor what our employees share on their blogs or personal accounts when it comes to work-related posts. Based on the content, we may re-share it on our main company’s social media outlet. Their posts now reflect the company’s message. The potential to have their content re-shared and spotlighted gives them additional incentives to incorporate the company brand in their social posts.   – Souny WestCHiC Capital

    Mattan Griffel7. Help Them Explore Their Passions

    At One Month, people often come up with great ideas for blog posts without even realizing it. “I just did this cool thing,” is a great indicator that something could become a blog post. Try to identify those moments and respond with, “That should be a blog post!” Connect them with the right person internally to make it happen and develop the idea. Eventually it will become part of your culture.   – Mattan GriffelOne Month

    Christopher Kelly8. Make It Competitive and Celebrate Contributions

    We recently ran an Instagram competition where the person who received the most “likes” was awarded a generous gift card. Our team was fighting tooth-and-nail to win, which produced great content and was a lot of fun.   – Christopher KellyConvene

    Vik Patel9. Reward Participation But Don’t Require It

    I’d love if every team member wanted to contribute to our blog, to guest blog and to write for social media. I encourage it and give them the time they need to do a great job. But I’m also aware that writing and promotion aren’t for everyone. If an employee is awesome at their job but hates writing, then so be it. Everyone contributes their best in their own way.   – Vik PatelFuture Hosting

    David Thomas10. Align Interests and Promote Individuality

    Encourage employees to create their own unique brand, then promote theirs and they’ll promote the company’s. The key is to align the goals and interests of your employees with the company’s and vise versa. Your employees are not robots; they’re unique and show that through their social media posts. But as long as they share common goals, they’ll willingly help your company’s branding efforts.   – David TomasCyberclick

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