When we think of brand ambassadors, we may think of overt product plugs from our favorite Instagram-famous bloggers. On campus, many departments and groups leverage student ambassadors for their authentic voice—students talking to students.
In this last year, as University Marketing and Communications worked to roll out our new brand—developing our look, tone, and message—it got me thinking about another essential ingredient: Us.
A powerful corps of more than 1,000 faculty and staff. What do we say about Michigan Tech? How do we engage with and advocate for Michigan Tech on social media? Our stories impact prospective students and employees, research partners, and alumni.
At Zappos, where new hires are trained in the ins and outs of Twitter, more than 500 employees tweet—for free—on behalf of the company. Employee stories later become a part of Zappos’ annual culture book.
Heineken’s brand ambassadors are a healthy mix of internal and external. When employees reported feeling uninformed about the company’s UEFA Champions League sponsorship, Heineken set out to create an internal game—brand education meets and a little office fun.
Here on campus, students, faculty, and staff are invited to monthly Campus Communicators meetups. Folks who manage social media, websites, and print marketing converge. It’s a great opportunity to ask all sorts of questions—even as simple as, “How do I start a Twitter account?”
Michigan Tech also produces an annual Social Media Field Guide. It serves as both a set of policies and best practices so we can help support more than 80 Michigan Tech-affiliated social media accounts. It’s updated annually, so let us know what’s missing or unclear—email firstname.lastname@example.org.
People—not brands—are the channel. This adage from the authors of The Most Powerful Brand on Earth, Chris Bourdreaux and Susan Emerick. Once you feel confident on social media, having a presence where you regularly share brand content not only helps Michigan Tech, but it establishes you as a thought leader.
- What are the goals of the department?
- How do you welcome new team members?
- What are you working on?
- What’s happening behind-the-scenes? (We know you can’t share everything…)
- What resources might your audience find useful?
- Talk about your outside interests (hiking, skiing, paddling, etc.)
- What opportunities are available in your area? (jobs, scholarships)
- What book are you reading?
- Tell us when you’re headed to a conference.
Nothing profound coming to mind? You can get the latest Michigan Tech news right to your email inbox each Monday morning. Visit mtu.edu/news and click the gold ‘Subscribe’ button. Having all the links in one spot makes it easy to read and share with family, friends, and colleagues on your favorite platform.
Hard work will pays off and deserves to be celebrated—often. A simple kudos or shoutout on social media is virtually free, but pays dividends for you, your colleagues, and our brand.
As you’re out and about social media, mining for great stories to share to our external audiences, don’t forget about one of our most important voices—yours. Real. Authentic. Honest. Just like our brand.