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3 Ways to Turn Employees Into Brand Ambassadors The pinnacle of employee engagement is a team that sincerely advocates for the brand.

By Zeynep Ilgaz Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

These days, generating good PR isn't a goal that resides in one department. It's something the whole company can contribute to. Regardless of an employee's job title and day-to-day duties, he or she plays a vital role in driving a brand's public image and reputation.

Your employees might not realize it, but they're actively promoting your company's values, mission and goals every time they post on social media. That's why it's so important to move modern workers beyond their expected daily tasks and show them they're also your most important salespeople.

The role of brand salespeople.

Brand salespeople understand the ins and outs of your entire company. They know how they fit into the big picture, trust your mission and want to share their positive feelings with the world.

They stay up-to-date with developments and news within your industry, and they're always searching for ways to improve the lives of their teammates and customers. They're engaged on all levels.

The best brand salespeople work hard and smart, producing twice as much work as disengaged employees. Now, imagine the possibilities if you empower your entire team to become a passionate army of ambassadors. These folks live and embody your brand story every day. If you give them the tools, guidelines, content and support they need to be advocates, they'll surely represent your brand in a trusted, authentic way.

You'll have the ability to reach customers, influencers and prospective hires like never before. Your staff's increased drive and ambition will inevitably increase sales, accelerate recruiting and provide a hefty boost to brand recognition.

How to create passionate brand salespeople.

Reputation and brand image can't be faked or bought; they require authenticity and diligence from your frontline workers. The following three steps will help you create passionate brand salespeople who are committed to representing your company with pride:

1. Exemplify effective communication and leadership.

As a leader, setting a good example goes beyond keeping the company profitable. It also means displaying top-notch communication skills and bold transparency. When employees have a clear picture of their leader and how he or she responds to conflict and adversity, they'll naturally rise up to match this example.

The Harris Poll recently found that when employees and leaders have open communication, employees are more likely to see a brighter future for the company. Staff encouraged by the direction of the company is heading is much more likely to inspire deep trust in customers and create productive, authentic connections.

Related: What Does It Mean to Be a Good Brand Ambassador?

2. Encourage employees to go the extra mile.

People recognize what's rewarded. When companies only incentivize sales, they're missing a huge opportunity to create well-rounded brand salespeople. Recognition programs for all employees who go above and beyond their expected duties will create an attitude of pride, ownership and responsibility among your staff.

Recognizing a job well done yields higher performing employees and encourages them to stick around longer. Organizations with recognition programs have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than companies with non-existent or inadequate recognition programs.

Related: 4 Ways to Turn Your Freelancers Into Brand Ambassadors

3. Empower social media advocacy.

A study conducted by the MSLGROUP found that brand social media posts shared by employees reach 561 percent further than the same posts shared by company pages. This can have huge implications for brands that empower their employees to become advocates on social media.

Create a social media policy that ensures your employees have a thorough understanding of your company's goals and how to best interact with happy and unhappy customers. Provide a list of dos and don'ts, and make sure the guidelines are clear. Then, turn your employees loose, and watch your brand name spread like wildfire.

The Internet is a pivotal driver of public opinion for modern startups. Instilling a brand salesperson mentality throughout an entire team now needs to be an essential mission for all leaders.

Your customers are plugged into social media, and just one brand-related slip-up can be devastating for that employee and your company. Creating brand salespeople is smart, resourceful and certainly worth the effort.

Related: Treat Your Employees Well -- They Are Your Best Brand Ambassadors

Zeynep Ilgaz

Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and President of Confirm Biosciences and TestCountry

Originally from Turkey, Zeynep Ilgaz and her husband immigrated to the United States with two suitcases and the drive to dive into entrepreneurship. They co-founded Confirm BioSciences and TestCountry in San Diego. Ilgaz serves as president of both. Confirm BioSciences offers service-oriented drug-testing technologies.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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