Police officers are never off-duty. At social events, such as a party, they regularly notice the reaction of people to whom they have just been introduced. It might be a slight wariness in the eyes, a care about subjects raised, perhaps an excuse found for moving on to another group. Even regular friends will usually remember what that person does for a living, if only to tease them about it, depending on recent news events and the like.
Why is this important for your business?
Well, it’s not just upholders of the law who are judged, and reacted to, in this way. Every person who works for your company represents your “brand” – even when off-duty. This doesn’t mean that you expect them to be fully-fledged ambassadors at every moment; it does mean that what they say about their workplace is of interest to those listening to them. If you like, it goes back to the original idea of branding. To those who know, the people who work in your business wear your logo all the time!
How can you make good use of this?
Consider popular media phrases such as “keeping people on-message” and “corporate speak”. Both of these are goals well worth aiming for with everyone who is part of your team. In their own lives, they are a vital part of your social media.
A simple aim, therefore, is to communicate with all of your people as often and as clearly as you can. The more they know about current situations and future plans (always keeping confidential those parts which need to be), the better they can talk about you with and to others. This can be physical conversations, or on Facebook, Twitter, and other online places they visit.
It’s important not to make this seem like a coercion or a duty for them, but simply to provide everyone involved in your business with the information which then allows them to present the company they work for in the best light. The ideal is for them to be so on-board that this is seen as a natural way of behaving. Imagine how good it will be if they can leave their audience thinking: “Well that must be a pretty good company to work for, xxx certainly seems to enjoy it”. Your “brand” reputation often lives, grows, or struggles, in such seemingly casual communications.