Influencing your ‘Influencers’

Social media, influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is on the rise with your potential customers now 60% more likely to believe your current customers (usually a complete stranger) more than your own marketing or online presence.

Peer reviews are becoming more and more important.  It sounds obvious, but your employees are customers as well and if you aren’t paying attention to the power of your own team to influence your customers, then this is the blog for you.

Your own internal team are right there and ready to engage with the world on your behalf, if you give them the opportunity and motivation to do it. In fact, they are probably already doing so, whether you like it or not. So, as with everything to do with social media, it’s better for your business to engage with it than let it go on without you.

So these are just a few ideas to help you give your team reasons to start promoting your business on your behalf.

Ask your employees to write blogs, create vlogs and podcasts

Ask everyone in your business to help create the outward messaging.  They’ll connect with it more and are far more likely to share it on their own social channels. Give them advice and support in doing it. Give them the time and facilities to make it happen. Give them the authority to write and produce commentary that they feel appropriate. We’re assuming here that you have already created a culture where your employees want to write and say nice things about the business. If not, then we have a blog for that too!

Ask your junior team members to ‘interview’ your senior leaders

This connects to the previous idea.  Again, the key is to allow for open and honest discussion.  If your leaders are not willing to be honest, your junior members of the team will spot it immediately – and if they can, so will your customers.  Again, if it’s a piece of work that your team members are helping to create, they will be more willing to share it themselves.

Consult your employees on business decisions

OK, so maybe not every decision, but getting your teams invested in the company and in its intellectual leadership, will create a powerful connection, This will give them the sense that they are helping to influence the direction of the business and their own future. Actively listen to your colleagues and staff

This sounds obvious, but it’s so rarely done well.  Leadership is difficult and time is very precious, but one of the most important things a leader can do is to ‘actively listen’ to their people.  That means, putting the phone on silent, being present in the room with the other person and engaging with them.  They are representative of your whole company and your customers – without them, your business dies.

Create and engage two-way communication with your people

This is a whole topic in itself. The key is to open up channels of communication so your colleagues can feel like they have a means to connect with the senior team, at a time that suits them.  To complete the circle, your leaders need to respond, fully and compassionately.

Create a ‘reverse mentoring’ scheme

We recently ran an event where a speaker had talked about a successful ‘reverse mentoring’ scheme they had set up in the business.  Simply put, as you would imagine, a junior team member was mentoring a senior leader.  It was so successful, the business renamed it – ‘Mentoring’!  This kind of engagement

If you haven’t already done so, try and get an intranet that mimics Facebook!

Again, this is an entire blog in itself.  In a sentence – your teams have every communication platform at their fingertips 24/7.  If your internal communications platforms don’t match up, then they might as well not be there!  The days of ‘push’ communication are gone!

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and all our other blogs, so please do let us know what you think!

 

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