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Corporate Influencers: How Employees Become Brand Ambassadors – and Stay that Way!
Campfire – Employer Branding Tools 29 August 2023

Corporate Influencers: How Employees Become Brand Ambassadors – and Stay that Way!

Influencer marketing has become a successful and established marketing tool, but it is also undisputed that it is (usually) quite expensive. Smaller brands or B2B companies in particular are quick to ask themselves – is it even worth it for us? But influencer doesn’t have to mean YouTube star or TikTok celebrity. If you take a look around your own ranks, you will quickly realize that your own team is also active on social media and can report most authentically from the company.

People of several nationalities sit happily at a meeting table


Why Corporate Influencers?

The company’s own employees know the company best, live the corporate culture and values in their day-to-day work and can also exchange information on relevant topics and current events. In addition, many are already networked in the industry anyway and have already built up an exciting network from their training or studies, industry events and previous jobs, which brands can use for their own communication.

LinkedIn Stars in your own Ranks? Who can Become a Brand Ambassador

In theory, all employees can become corporate influencers. Everyone probably talks about their own work to friends or online from time to time and thus creates an image of the company. Doesn’t that make everyone a corporate influencer? No, because the activities of selected brand ambassadors are specifically managed and promoted. But who is actually suitable for this?

Candidates should be satisfied in the company and with the management, be able to report enthusiastically about their work and live the company values. In addition, the employees have to want to do it – nobody should be persuaded – so that the project works in the long term. Team members who are already very active on social media and have perhaps even built up a certain reach are particularly valuable here. But a good mix of different personalities, departments and hierarchical levels is just as important. If I want to bring new managers on board, the trainee on Instagram is only of limited use to me, just as young talent is less likely to be attracted by shop talk on LinkedIn.

What Goals can I achieve with Corporate Influencers?

Brand ambassadors are particularly suitable for employer branding and recruiting, as they naturally paint a positive and authentic picture of the company with their posts on LinkedIn and the like and thus also arouse the curiosity of new potential colleagues. But they are also an asset for internal communication. For example, you can be the first to test new tools or benefits and report on them in the internal newsletter or on the blog. Our senior consultant Christina, for example, talks about her workation – and inspires us without being too blunt about the benefits.

Close cooperation between the communications and HR departments is important in order to fully exploit the story potential here.

Finally getting Started: How your Brand Ambassadors get started

Before they get started, the selected influencers should be given clear guidelines. However, these only provide the framework within which they can move freely and undisguised. This creates interesting content for the audience and is also fun for the ambassadors in the long run! The aim should not be to simply reuse the approved company postings, but to share your own opinions, thoughts, experiences and messages. The Otto Group, for example, simply trains its own job ambassadors itself and thus not only provides its own “tech testimonials” with expertise, but also lets them speak for themselves.

Haven’t been on LinkedIn for Weeks? How Corporate Influencers stay Active

Initially, the motivation is great, many want to be part of it and get started straight away. Creative postings, lively exchanges in the comments and networking everywhere – but after a few weeks the whole thing often dies down again. This keeps employees on the ball in the long term:

  • Allocate capacity during working hours: In everyday working life, these supposedly unimportant to-dos are the first to fall by the wayside. It should therefore be defined in advance how much working time is allocated to brand ambassadors for content creation and community management.
  • Content input from the communications and HR department: An exciting project is being launched, new trainees are being sought or there are real highlights on the company blog? Corporate influencers should always be up to date here so that all communication opportunities can be fully utilized – and they don’t just have to make up their own minds.
  • Create incentives: Intrinsic motivation and the desire to talk about your own company should naturally play the biggest role when choosing influencers. But even the most motivated employees ask themselves at some point: Why am I actually doing all this? Appreciation from superiors and colleagues is the first important step. Did the social media work generate a new lead? Then the brand ambassadors should also feel some of the success!

Approachable, Authentic, Undisguised for the Corporate Image

Corporate influencers therefore not only ensure greater visibility for your own company in the public eye, but also strengthen the corporate culture and motivation within the team. Up-close, undisguised insights credibly convey the central messages and thus create a likeable and lively corporate image.

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