Some of a brand’s best advocates are its staff. A brand’s internal team knows their service or product inside out; they understand the company’s ethos, its values and messaging. With this in mind, Nfinity, the media innovation hub housing several platform-agnostic marketing and eventing offerings under its roof, has launched theIntern-ship, a company focused on employee advocacy programmes, a brand’s best mouthpiece.
This latest move by Nfinity cements the company as a major player in the influencer marketing sphere, with offerings now covering employees (theIntern-ship); micro-influencers (theSALT) and celebrity influencers (under the Webfluential license).
According to Managing Director Pieter Groenewald, theIntern-ship is a service that brands have been asking for, for some time. “As we became more entrenched in influencer marketing, the clearer it became that brands wanted to get their staff involved as advocates in their own brand campaigns. Staff utilise their own social media platforms where they have an existing trust base and relationship with their communities on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, depending on the brand requirements.”
Nfinity has created a programme designed to teach and inform staff of the power that their individual voices have in their own social influence spheres. The process takes people on a 12 month social journey and experience from beginning to end. Staffers are taught how to use their social media platforms more effectively to become brand advocates. “We even assist in creating individual accounts should the person not already be involved on a platform, like on LinkedIn for example,” explains Pieter.
“People with similar mind-sets, activities and lifestyles tend to naturally gather into communities, they speak a certain way, interact with each other uniquely and as such they don’t need to be taught this important skill – it’s automatic, it happens. What’s more, individuals trust each other within these communities, and the authenticity comes through,” he says.
Consumers within the brand advocate’s circle of influence are much more receptive and likely to engage with the content as it’s coming from a known person, a trusted person, not a corporate account which could, more than likely, be seen as an advert.
Over the course of the year, theIntern-ship makes use of an in-house algorithm to track and monitor employees’ content and engagement levels which encourage the competitive spirit amongst staff. Bronze, silver and gold medals are achieved at certain engagement levels and at different phases of each 12 month campaign. Importantly, the media value that is generated from the employees’ effort is measured as part of the KPI’s of the programme.
“theIntern-ship allows brands to get front and centre with their customers, and let’s face it, we spend a huge amount of our time online, that’s where the conversation is happening, and brands want to be part of it,” says Pieter. “Our initial campaigns using employees on their own social media channels are showing engagement levels that are through the roof.”
“The beauty of theIntern-ship is the ability for brands or companies to punch way above their weight when it comes to marketing,” says Pieter, “and thanks to the mechanics of the programme a small independent business has as much opportunity to elevate its brand as a multinational does. In fact studies have shown that 25% of sales actually originate from ‘social selling’.”
For more information contact Pieter Groenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org