If you’re active on social media, you’ve inevitably come across more people talking about personal branding. This has taken off primarily on LinkedIn, but it’s happening across all social platforms.
For years, companies were cautious about social media in the workplace and encouraging employees to build their own brand and thought leadership.
Understandably so. It can be nerve-racking for leaders and could negatively impact the brand.
But over the years, social media has become a must-have, with almost every employee active on at least one active social media channel. It’s unavoidable, and employees already talk about the companies they work for online.
So what should companies do?
It’s actually quite simple: Embrace it, encourage it, guide employees, and make investing in employee personal brands a key part of the organization’s overall marketing strategy.
Need examples of employee personal branding in action? In this post, we’ll take a look at a few companies that empower their employees’ personal brands and make them a priority.
Fueling Go-To Market Strategies Via Personal Brands
Today, more organizations embrace and encourage employee personal brand building.
No longer are influencers just people with 50k, 100k+ or 1 million+ followers. Anyone with a network can build a personal brand and have influence in different ways.
And what we know is that every company needs to market, sell, and hire — and one of the best ways to achieve better results is through employee networks. Employee voices are the most trusted and can reach people not familiar with your brand.
Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels. (Social Media Today)
But remember, this is only one benefit of employee brand-building.
If you really want to activate employee personal brands, you need to keep the focus on your people and what’s in it for them. Why should they care? How does it benefit them?
Guiding employees and supporting their efforts is the key for personal branding to authentically work within your organization.
If you want to dive in further about employee and company benefits of personal branding on social media, we have this bigger guide that covers it all.
Best Examples of Companies Activating Personal Branding
Some companies are strategic with their employee influencers from the start. Others start with specific teams like marketing, sales, or employer brand/recruiting. And some organizations take a company-wide approach.
The more people activating creating, sharing, and engaging, the better the results and quicker the impact. But every company can approach this differently and still be strategic.
Here are some examples of brands encouraging employee personal brands and making it part of their go-to market strategy today.
You may or may not be familiar with the name Unity, but for creators in the gaming world, it is a beloved company. Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content.
You can learn more about all its creative and gaming products here.
One important growing piece to Unity’s go-to market strategy is encouraging employees to create and share content on social media. Overall, the company aims to do the following with its advocacy program:
- Make it easy for employees to discover great content in one location
- Help Unity employees build personal brands they can take with them
- Spreading the Unity message and build brand awareness
Unity has 1,000 employees activated as influencers to create, engage, and share content for their personal brands and on behalf of the company.
We did a deeper dive into personal brand building and the Unity social program in our Masterclass. Watch below!
Unity also happens to be an amazing customer of ours, gaining authentic ROI via its employee influencers. Want to learn more about Unity’s social program with EveryoneSocial? Check out this podcast episode.
If you’re primarily active on LinkedIn, you’ve probably come across content from Gong employees.
The revenue-intelligence platform gives your teams and leadership complete visibility into all deals, team performance, and market changes.
Gong has dominated the SaaS content world for years now, thanks to its great product, strong content strategy, and social-savvy employees who share valuable insights to their networks. Certainly, not everyone at Gong creates and shares content, but the majority of its employees do.
And some Gong employees have built personal brands with thousands of followers — even more than some companies’ LinkedIn company page followings! They did this all by sharing valuable content, being personable, and mixing in unique user-generated content that may have nothing to do with Gong.
Whether it’s through an online event or with the release of a new data report, the “Gongsters” are on it, distributing Gong’s message to their networks.
I’m not sure if Gong uses a platform to assist or if it’s a manual content engine, but showing the power of employees’ brands is clearly a key part of the company’s go-to market strategy. Plus, the company fully supports and encourages this.
Oh, and Gong now happens to be valued over $7.5 Billion dollars. Coincidence? I think not.
3. Chili Piper
At EveryoneSocial, we’re big fans of creativity and brands looking to approach social media in new ways. And Chili Piper, an advanced scheduling-software platform, has done just that.
Take a look at its company social media handles and you’ll see that Chili Pepper always has amazing content and great engagement.
However, Chili Pepper takes its social game up a notch and encourages employees to be very socially active.
Its people create and post content and engage with other users, and Chili Piper’s employee personal brands are key to the company’s success.
It’s another distribution channel that not only grows employees’ personal brands, but also empowers them in the success of Chili Piper. And clearly, both its employees and its audience love this approach and enjoy connecting with the brand.
4. Refine Labs
While B2B software companies are crushing with employee personal brands, it’s not the only industry that can thrive.
If you’re a marketing or sales professional, Refine Labs might be a familiar name. The demand-generation agency has made a huge splash in the industry through interesting content, proven results, and its employee personal brands on social media.
Founder Chris Walker built a demand-gen engine that rocketed his agency to the top, mostly through content posting and engaging on social media. Since then, the team has expanded and most of its 50+ employees create and share social content.
LinkedIn is Refine Labs’ main focus, which it uses to distribute podcast episodes, videos, and more content for marketers. But its people’s activity online is how how the company continues to fuel its growth.
If you haven’t heard of Dreamdata yet, now you have — and you’ll certainly hear more about it in the near future.
The company was founded in 2018 and is steadily gaining traction through social media and employee personal brands.
A major part of the B2B revenue-attribution’s platform is encouraging employees to create and share unique content to their personal networks. Many members of the small team also engage with others and spark valuable conversations.
This has helped bring more attention to the brand, drive more leads, and close more revenue.
Plus, it helps establish credibility and authority in this space not only for the company, but also for individual employees. It’s a win-win.
While you may have noticed more software companies on our short list, don’t worry! Every industry can — and does — benefit from including employee personal branding in their go-to market strategy.
There certainly will be some guidelines and guardrails in place pending your industry, but not embracing employee social networks is a HUGE missed opportunity.
For example, you can learn what American Family Insurance did to activate its employee influencers in the early days of social media and still does today with EveryoneSocial.