Social Media: The Right Mix of Messaging

In Todd Allmond’s recent blog, he highlighted the alignment of the consumer and employer brand as the next evolution of employer branding. In fact, research shows that companies that closely aligned their strong consumer and employer brands had a 36% growth in shareholder value over a five-year period.

If the consumer and the employer brand should align in order to obtain financial success, how should an organization manage candidate and consumer messaging on its main corporate social media channels? If candidate messaging is to be integrated, what’s the right mix? What about employee messaging?

First, I think it’s important to understand that these audiences aren’t always mutually exclusive—messaging directed at one can often engage another. Take, for example, a spotlight on an employee who has demonstrated excellent customer service. Although, on the surface, it may appear to only be targeting one particular employee, it could also help attract candidates and build brand loyalty with customers. It has the opportunity to align an organization’s brand from the inside out. Let’s take a granular look into how each message might resonate with each audience—employees, candidates and consumers.

Employees

Employees are often the closest contact for your customers—so their engagement matters greatly. Research has repeatedly shown that engaged employees provide better customer experiences. Highlighting an employee who has provided great customer service can be extremely encouraging to not only the individual, but to other employees as well. It provides transparency on how your organization defines great customer service.

Let’s not forget that employees make great brand ambassadors—from both a customer and candidate perspective. Consider these two statistics:

Candidates

Defining what great looks like through employee spotlights provides transparency into how the organization operates behind the scenes. When candidates obtain a better picture of what it would be like to work at your organization, they can determine for themselves if they are a good fit. Research shows that there’s a strong correlation between the “right fit” and the “bottom line.”

Not to mention that working for an organization that demonstrates employee loyalty and advocacy can be really attractive to candidates.

Of course there will be those messages, like automated job links, which are most likely only relevant to candidates actively looking for a job at the organization. I believe those are best used in a candidate-centric channel, like a separate Twitter account dedicated to sharing career opportunities. However, the message and tone of these posts should be consistent with the main corporate channels.

Consumer

Organizations often use primary corporate channels for communicating marketing messages that only encourage consumers to purchase their products or services. Don’t get me wrong, these messages can be an important contribution to an organization’s success. However, only posting marketing messages presents a significant missed opportunity for developing deeper relationships with existing customer followers. After all, great customer relationships often start with trust. Providing transparency into the details of how an organization operates, like a spotlight on an employee providing good customer service, can help build trust—and, in turn, customer loyalty. When customers feel like they understand the organization they are buying from, the decision to purchase is much easier.

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What is the right mix of messaging?

So how do you determine the right mix of messaging? You’ll notice that I mentioned the word “transparency” throughout all three audience segments—and that’s no mistake. Transparency can be your biggest ally regardless of which audience you are hoping to connect with. It can help ensure a holistic approach when it comes to your organization’s messaging strategy for social media.

When a company’s brand experience is authentic and consistent, it can be extremely compelling. What are some of the companies you admire most? Do their brands align across all mediums and channels? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.