“Your employees can be the biggest advocates your brand has.” However, you have to engage and enable their advocacy. That’s what Greg Tirico spends his time working with brands on. As the Senior Manager of Advocacy Solutions and Services at Sprout Social, Greg is leading the development of the social engagement platform’s first stand-alone brand extension, Bambu. We discussed the power and potential of employee advocacy on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.
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About Greg Tirico
Greg Tirico is Senior Manager of Advocacy Solutions and Services at Sprout Social. He has spent the majority of his career leading digital marketing initiatives in Fortune 500 organizations. From brand building to paid search activities, social media to communications programs, Greg brings 20 years of experience to his role at Sprout Social. When not espousing the benefits of employee advocacy, he can be found searching for the perfect Pinot Noir.
It’s not just about turning your employees into shills. Greg was quick to point out that while increased marketing reach is a big benefit of employee advocacy, it’s not the only benefit. Employees who are engaged “feel a greater connection to the organization. It helps with brand awareness, hiring and HR, and more.” Happy customers also help create happy employees.
Why do employees remain a largely untapped asset for many brands? “It can be overwhelming. First, you have to do a level set” to get everyone on the same page as far as social media tools and best practices. This understanding is key as it “allows them to retain their authentic brand voice. You want to set up guardrails (to guide them) as opposed to (rigid) structure.”
With employee advocacy you have to start small. Greg advises businesses to start with a small group of socially savvy employees. Get these employees on the team first and they will help pull the others through. “Once employees understand the rules of the road, you can spin up a larger advocacy program”
What led Sprout to create Bambu — another brand for a formerly single brand/single product company? “The Sprout Social engagement platform is all about genuine, authentic conversations.” This focus on authentic conversations led them to discover how they could go even deeper on enabling employee engagement. Bambu is a logical, on-brand extension.
What brand has made Greg smile recently? “It’s a constant low-touch brand I use everyday — Nespresso.” What makes Greg smile is when he runs out. That’s because he loves calling in his re-order and talking with their passionate, coffee-obsessed employees.
As We Wrap …
Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our listeners … Gary McIntire gave us a shout on Twitter about our recent episode focused on the role company culture plays in branding featuring Amber Naslund. Thanks for listening!
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