Corporate brands are increasingly being shaped by their employees’ presence on social networks. Ever Tweet, blog post and photo shared with the world shape more and more of their employer’s image and reputation. And as Ed Cotton writes, this is a good thing:
If you trust your employees you can let them out of their cages and cubicles and empower them to represent your brand in the real world.
They can solve problems, answer questions, entertain and inform.
They can become friends with customers and in short, they can be your pure brand ambassadors or the best ads you ever had.
Of course, this all depends on how brave you are.
Zappos has a great listing of their employees who are on Twitter, proudly displaying their team’s collective thoughts, ideas and comments on just about anything. Rather than hide behind a thin veneer of brand management, they understand that simply allowing their employees to be real people and interact in real ways with customers can have a huge impact on customer service and brand loyalty.
This got me thinking about our own recently redesigned web site at Viget Labs, where a lot of thought went into how we highlight our great team of designers, developers, marketers and strategists. Not only does every person have a full bio and photo, but we also include blog posts we each write on our respective Labs’ blog, link to our personal blogs and also display our Twitter feeds directly on the Viget site.
It’s a bold move by some organization’s standards, but it fits our culture – open and collaborative. And when we get out to events in the community, I find that next to our blogs it’s one of the first things people comment on. They love it. It’s fun, real and memorable. I’m proud to say I get to work with a shop that understands it’s best marketing is simply showcasing it’s own team.