Personal brand~corporate brand?
A lot of companies spend a lot of money and energy on building strong corporate brands. And this is extremely important, no question about it. But.
What we often forget, is that every employee serves as a business card for their company, and absolutely everybody who works for a company plays an essential role in developing the company’s brand. We often don’t think about the fact that we represent our company or employer also outside of work, and we are therefore like brand ambassadors. In reality, we shape the company’s image 24/7 with our actions and words.
Thus, it may be said that the easiest and most effective way of creating a strong company brand is the development of the professional personal brands of its employees. Regardless of whether your customers are companies, i.e. you are active in the B2B or B2C field, your customers want to see real people behind the company’s brand. They believe in these real people and their real messages much more than they would ever believe in a well-thought-through press release or skillfully written content marketing article.
People buy from people and sharing useful content via your network helps you to reach a sufficient number of potential customers easier so that your salespeople do not have to “get on their nerves” or “wait aggressively.” Of course, it requires training and constant support. But by trusting your people and investing in the creation of their personal bands you can use the opportunities of social media most effectively.
Several studies show how considerable changes can happen when you encourage your employees to share posts about their company also on their own social media channels. Simon Kemp emphasises that content shared by employees is three times more reliable than content shared by companies. We also engage with (like, comment) the posts of employees 8x times more and we also share this content in our own network with 24x times higher probability. In addition, potential customers that have reached us via personal contact become our customers with a 7% higher probability than customers coming via any other sales channel.
The international PR company MSL Group highlights that employees have on average 10X times more social contacts than companies and that if the company’s message is shared by the employee, it reaches 561 % further than via the company’s official channels.
98% of employees have at least one social media channel for personal use, and at least 50% already post about their companies. For employers, this situation is both an opportunity and a challenge. It is important to understand how to make the reality that cannot be changed any longer work for you. These are serious numbers which can considerably affect your company’s sales and profit figures.
Of course, many companies would use this opportunity if it was that easy. Often, the problem is that employees do not want to share this content on their own channels. However, it can be made useful for both parties. If you focus strategically on creating and developing employees’ personal brands, the wide-spread problem that the employees do not want to share or do not care to share the company’s message will disappear. They would do it with pleasure. They just need to be given a reason why they should do it. Growing and developing their professional personal brand is a very good reason.
Employees with a strong personal brand are the best communication and sales channel of their employer, and therefore, every employer should support the development of their employees’ personal brands and tie them with the brand of their product or service. The stronger the personal brand of the employee, the stronger the brand ambassador he or she is for the company.