Talent’s got talent? Using Employee generated content to supercharge your employer brand
You pride yourself on a smart, talented workforce. What’s more, it’s likely that those individuals have plenty of good things to say about your company. So when it comes strengthening your organisation’s position as a desirable destination for new recruits, are you putting your workforce to the best possible use?As its name suggests, Employee Generated Content (EGC) refers to all manner of material produced by your team members. At its best, it can amplify your employer brand; providing ‘real’ trustworthy perspectives and adding a credible punch to your message. To illustrate the potential of EGC, here are some key ways in which it can be put to work…
No matter how much time and effort you put into managing and maintaining brand social channels, reaching and engaging with an audience can be tough. Employee social advocacy, whereby staff are encouraged to create and share business-related updates (on their own social media accounts) can give your efforts a real boost.
It’s easy to see why employee social advocacy programmes have grown by almost 200% since 2013. They can deliver a dramatic expansion to social reach - and it’s quite natural for there to be a significant crossover between your employees’ circle of followers and the talent pool you are looking to recruit from. Consider this: via personal channels, employees typically have 10 times more followers than their corporate social media accounts.
Long-form content (e.g. articles)
You’re a potential applicant looking to get a genuine ‘feel’ for a potential employer. The About page on the website and the job spec will only go so far. In terms of credibility and usefulness, an article created by an actual employee concerning company culture or the type of projects they have been involved in can be far more interesting. LinkedIn, the blog section on your company website and maybe even the employee’s personal blog page could be possible platforms for this.
With EGC, there should be an element of meeting employees on their own territory; of allowing them to make use of the channels that they are most comfortable with. Some may have plenty of things to say - but articles aren’t really their thing. Video can be especially useful here. It shouldn’t be super glossy or feel overproduced (in which case, it loses its authenticity). Think instead in terms of a short profile interview or a whistle-stop tour around the office, presented by a willing ground-level staff member.
Corporate imagery can all too often have an anonymous feel to it. Your reception desk, front door, the boardroom: these might be what clients expect to see, but add little to your employer brand. Employee-generated images can plug the gap by showing what’s really important to existing and prospective employees. Examples might include a canteen dinner, an away-day, the basement gym, an in-house professional development session - or even employees’ favourite hang-outs in the locality.
So how do you go about putting EGC to work? Firstly, it’s about not just giving permission but also actively encouraging the emergence of employee advocates. Secondly, it involves making sure these willing volunteers are allocated the tools (and if necessary, the time) to produce the content.
Thirdly - and most importantly - it means having the right framework in place to ensure the content produced amplifies and enhances your employer brand, rather than confusing or diluting it. Take ECG seriously, but make sure these three elements are in place before you put it to work.