You will also want to provide your newly minted brand ambassadors with tools to be able to source, promote and measure their activity on social media.
This can be an informal process, such as putting your ambassadors in a Twitter list or using tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to help you coach them as a group and provide inspiration.
There are a number of employee advocacy tools which provide full content discovery, sharing and analytics as well as compliance tools.
Whichever process you use, it is vital to provide feedback to your ambassadors in a positive way about the great job they are doing and impact they are having.
MORE THAN JUST A RETWEET
I’m asked all the time in my role as an IBM Brand Ambassador, "should I just be retweeting IBM press releases?" The short answer is no.
In this case, IBM already has a channel for these formal announcements and the real benefits of engaging authentic brand advocates is they get to add their voice to the story, and deliver this to an audience your company had never thought about, or would never have access to.
I am also fortunate to speak at around 50 events around the world a year as a public speaker, and this means an audience which may not normally be exposed to an IBM voice or thinking can hear what we’re up to without it feeling like a formal company presentation.
If you have people in your company that are confident public speakers, you also have the opportunity to adopt them as excellent brand ambassadors.
When looking at employee advocate programs, there are a number of things to consider. Formal advocacy platforms have a place in scaling the message but can feel a bit like ‘click to tweet this’ engines rather than an authentic brand advocacy program if not managed correctly.
You also have a personal brand to consider. From my perspective, if my audience sees me simply repeating exactly what the company is saying then my value on the story might become diluted and my usefulness as an authentic brand advocate will be compromised.
My audience knows where I work and the fact I am likely to share only favorable news about IBM. But it is also looking for my point of view from where I sit and my expertise on a particular topic. It’s an important point for ambassador programs to consider.
Andrew Grill is Global Managing Partner, IBM Social Consulting. The opinions expressed here are his own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.