In The Social Employee, for which our own Kevin Randall wrote the afterward, Cheryl and Mark Burgess write about employee voice as brand identity.
Some companies may be nervous about empowering employees to become the social voice of their brands. In the past, it was relatively easy for brands to control their communications because channels for public interaction were limited. Brands could therefore carefully curate their image, and make sure that everything that reached the public was polished and professional.
However, the digital age has changed everything. Brands cannot afford to keep this distance from consumers anymore. Today, people expect a human touch as never before.
As we wrote about in December, raw content is reshaping the world of marketing. Consumers who are accustomed to content created by passionate amateurs are looking for authenticity in their brand interactions. Polish still counts, but polished materials without a sense of authenticity and human touch can fare poorly in the Internet’s bottomless pool of content.
Employee voice is brand identity
In this environment, employee voice becomes critical to brand communications. Employees’ authentic voices can be used to strengthen a brand.
As explained in The Social Employee:
“Today’s consumers expect online engagement with brands, and they expect to be engaged in an authentic manner. Consumers don’t want to speak to a brand; they want to speak to real people. … A brand’s reputation depends tremendously on how well its social employee representatives communicate with the outside world.”
Brands ignore this reality at their own risk. The Burgesses write, “The truly engaged social employee does not play at engagement in order to appease the public.” In fact, as they explain, this mindset is toxic to brands. Truly social brands work to communicate earnestly with customers, going beyond simple sales techniques to foster meaningful relationships. This can play an important role in building brands with purpose.
Want to learn more about employee voice and social authenticity? Join Cheryl and Mark Burgess and Kevin Randall in this week’s #socbizchat, Feb 12 at 12 PM CST.