Chat: IBM “The Shortlist” Twitter Chat
Topic: The Social Employee
Day/Time: Thursday, Feb. 12, 1 p.m. ET
Moderator: IBM (@IBMSocialBiz)
Panelists: Cheryl Burgess (@CKBurgess), Mark Burgess (@MNBurgess), Kevin Randall (@KevinBrandall)
In The Social Employee, for which our own Kevin Randall wrote the afterward, Cheryl and Mark Burgess write about employee voice as brand identity.
Some companies may be nervous about empowering employees to become the social voice of their brands. In the past, it was relatively easy for brands to control their communications because channels for public interaction were limited. Brands could therefore carefully curate their image, and make sure that everything that reached the public was polished and professional.
However, the digital age has changed everything. Brands cannot afford to keep this distance from consumers anymore. Today, people expect a human touch as never before.
As we wrote about in December, raw content is reshaping the world of marketing. Consumers who are accustomed to content created by passionate amateurs are looking for authenticity in their brand interactions. Polish still counts, but polished materials without a sense of authenticity and human touch can fare poorly in the Internet’s bottomless pool of content.
Employee voice is brand identity
In this environment, employee voice becomes critical to brand communications. Employees’ authentic voices can be used to strengthen a brand.
As explained in The Social Employee:
“Today’s consumers expect online engagement with brands, and they expect to be engaged in an authentic manner. Consumers don’t want to speak to a brand; they want to speak to real people. … A brand’s reputation depends tremendously on how well its social employee representatives communicate with the outside world.”
Brands ignore this reality at their own risk. The Burgesses write, “The truly engaged social employee does not play at engagement in order to appease the public.” In fact, as they explain, this mindset is toxic to brands. Truly social brands work to communicate earnestly with customers, going beyond simple sales techniques to foster meaningful relationships. This can play an important role in building brands with purpose.
Want to learn more about employee voice and social authenticity? Join Cheryl and Mark Burgess and Kevin Randall in this week’s #socbizchat, Feb 12 at 12 PM CST.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The New York Times, The Economist and Vanity Fair.