Empowering Employees as Thought Leaders

Social media expands our ability to build brand awareness.
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Empowering Employees as Thought Leaders

Positioning employees as brand ambassadors is not new; however, an ongoing challenge for A/E/C marketers is facilitating that process. Social media expands our ability to build brand awareness, and most firms use a variety of platforms to promote their people and projects. The new frontier involves shifting the mindset that a firm’s social media strategy is limited to marketing functions. How do you get employees on all levels of the organization to share company-related content with their professional networks?

To answer this question, we decided to test a formal employee advocacy program in 2016 using LinkedIn Elevate. Our objective: empower more employees, especially engineers in project leadership positions, to use social media to share both T.Y. Lin International-branded and relevant third-party content. The results of our pilot program revealed both unique challenges and measurable benefits.

Program Leadership: Our program is led by corporate marketing, working with human resources to maintain alignment with our talent brand. Our job is to consistently enlist, train, and support new users. What we have learned is that there is no “build it and they will come.” It’s more like “invite them in and they will stay.” Once employees start using Elevate, they tend to continue using it.

That is why we communicate regular email updates to share success stories and remind targeted staff to try Elevate. While the program’s interface is welcoming and easy-to-use, it is clear that consistent outreach is needed to get new users to adopt the program.

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This article, written by Maribel Castillo, first appeared in the June 2017 issue of Marketer.

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