You may have read that title and thought, “What does my company’s marketing have to do with work happiness?”
70% of business is transacted because your friend told you about a product or service. You probably own an iPod because your friends wouldn’t stop raving about their iPod. You trust your friends to recommend good stuff.
Zappos let’s their employees Twitter on the job. They trust their people to connect with the customer.
I love Zappos, not because they have every kind of shoe on the planet, but because they ship for free, have a 360 day return policy and pay for shipping back to the company if you want to return a purchase. Now that’s worth spreading.
People want to share stuff that makes them happy. It’s up to companies to encourage their people to share their story.
Your Marketing Team
When a company thinks of everyone as a part of their marketing team, they become more humane to their employees. For example, an employee can now blog or Twitter about an event that happened at work and there is potential for millions of people to hear about it.
Southwest Airlines has the rapping flight attendant. Over 100 thousand people have viewed videos of the flight attendant rapping the rules of the flight. It makes me wish that some day I will have him on one of my flights. This is more valuable than a Super Bowl ad (2 million dollars for 30 seconds). This YouTube video is being passed around by friends, making people talk about it. Because our friends like it, we trust it.
Friends encourage one another to watch the video, which makes people more likely to try the product.
We are living in a day and age when employers can encourage employees to take a larger role in a company’s success. Why aren’t we jumping all over this?
- Companies are afraid that their employees may do something to embarrass the company.
- Companies are afraid that their employees will take advantage of these new tools.
- Companies are afraid that…
And on and on. The fear rolls on.
Your fear should not determine the happiness of your employees. After all, your employees who are taking advantage of you are doing it right now and will continue do it because they feel they are justified.
You can’t stop this.
It Comes Back to Trust
What you can do is give your trust, and when your trust is broken you can create a warning system (3 strikes you are out) then pull that trust from that one employee. Don’t take it out on everyone else.
Most of your employees will be more loyal when they know that they have your trust and respect.
If you allow your employees to Twitter, blog, and Facebook while at work then it’s up to you to create some guidelines.
The idea is to create an open community of thoughts and ideas. When you allow your employees to share their thoughts with the world about your business, you will get honest feedback and a chance to reach out to the world with your people's ideas.
Zappos encourages a fun, interactive, and creative culture. They want to develop relationships that stick. Read my interview with the CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh right here. Zappos has some of the stickiest relationships with their customers.
I admit that tweeting and blogging isn’t for every company, but I do believe that every company should implement some kind of open forum for their employees to reach out to the community. We need to create a culture that allows people to let their personalities out.
Let's stop hiding our people away form the public. Let everyone have a chance to influence the customer. The freedom to make connections that will build loyalty. It's this marketing that pays forward in many directions. The employees feel trusted. The customer doesn't feel abused (they opted in to the message). The company makes both employees and customers happy.
In the next post we will talk about freedom at work.
Want to catch up? Check out Part 1:
* Tony the CEO of Zappos wrote an enlightening piece called Your Culture Is Your Brand. It's a must read for all business owners.
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Image courtesy of lowlevelrebel