The Good, Bad and Ugly: Social Media’s Impact on Your Brand
Your social media stakeholders include former employees, applicants, customers and clients, vendors, the media, and even the government. Sites such as Glassdoor.com are increasingly becoming popular with departing employees who feel their companies didn't treat them fairly. Klout.com, one of the web's fastest-growing sites, provides individuals with their social media "ranking." In the future, instead of asking employees what their credit ranking is, they might ask for their Klout ranking.
Social media is where Gen Y lives, and if companies want to engage and communicate with this generation, they MUST embrace social media. How? By creating their own YouTube channels where Gen Y employees and customers can learn of the company's values and culture. Employers should ask their employees to join LinkedIn groups to share job opportunities. Firms should identify their most connected employees and ask if they'd be interested in being brand ambassadors — e.g., tweet new products and/or services, advertise new developments, post new positions, etc. Employers will increasingly want to hire employees who are connected, as branding becomes an opportunity to involve your most socially connected employees while engaging them at the same time.
Social media should be used to further leverage one's employer value proposition (EVP). When I work with new clients, the first thing I do is help them define who they are. Why do people stay with their company? Why do people want to work for their company? Who are their stars and what are the common behaviors and traits they possess?
To reinforce this concept of tri-branding, I often ask them a simple question: What do BMW, Apple and Southwest Airlines have in common? They're all exceptional at linking employment and product brand. Apple hires the most creative people to make the most creative products. BMW hires people who are driving enthusiasts to build the ultimate driving machine. Southwest Airlines hires people who have "fun" in their DNA.