Gone are the days when you could safely conclude that any publicity is good publicity! Nowadays, the social media phenomenon has changed the way consumers look at brands. Thanks to the unifying feature of social media platforms that give every user a voice, consumers are not nameless, faceless or divided groups anymore. They are very much a unified force, singing paeans to your brand or otherwise! So, to maintain effective public relations, you need the support of social media networks. And who better to do that on social media than your own employees!
You have to take into account that your employees have social media profiles too. They spend enough time hanging out on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter. Why not tap into this and glean out something productive out of it? Of course, because you will be engaging the employees in this partially personal endeavor, you need to motivate them into doing so. They are not going to be working at promoting a positive word about your brand unless you sweeten up the deal with some perks or incentives. But before you do that, you need to set them through a course in what’s acceptable on social media and what’s not when it comes to talking about your company or brand.
This course should include suggestions as to what kind of updates or shares you think should go out in the public domain. You wouldn’t want them talking about your company’s internal policies or goof-ups that the public relation machinery wants to brush under the carpet! The focus should be on what is the right way to promote your marketing message and work culture without sounding pompous or synthetically motivated. Users of social media networks are easily repelled if you talk about yourself and nothing else. Your employees must have an inclusive approach when they are working at building up public opinion about your brand.
When you hand over a large chunk of the public relation duty to your employees, you need a stringent team to look after what they are doing for your brand. You need to control the slip-ups when they happen, as quickly as you possibly can. At the same time, it makes sense to reward employees who are better at this job than the others. Social media networking will be useful to your brand but if you are not careful about what’s going online, it is going to be doubly as damaging.