Yesterday, we discussed How to Triple Your Marketing Team Overnight for $0 by changing the culture in your organization to one where every employee considers themselves a part of the marketing team and is intentional about talking about your org with their friends in person and in their personal social media use.
Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Your employees are probably just a small percentage of the people who know and love what your organization is doing.
- Churches – every member and regular attender should be spreading the word about your church.
- Schools – every parent and student could be talking about your school.
- Non-profits – every volunteer and donor could be sharing the great things your org is doing with their friends.
- Businesses – every customer or client has a story to tell about you.
Creating a “We” Culture
Just like with employees, if you want your members, parents, students, volunteers, and customers to become a part of your marketing team, you must create a culture where they are motivated to do that. In fact, the culture is even more critical here, because while employees may be motivated to some extent by self-interest (to keep their job or make a good impression on supervisors), your customers, members and volunteers must be inspired by something beyond self interest.
Here are 5 key elements to creating that culture:
1) Expand the “we.” If your primary goal is the success or growth of your organization, you are doomed. That mindset views customers, volunteers, and members as a means to an end. If you want them to talk about you, you need to start by envisioning them as joining with you in a movement that is bigger than your organization. Why does your org exist? To save souls? To end poverty? To cure cancer? To prepare students for adult live? To be a partner with like-minded organizations in providing?
To make this a part of your culture, it has to start at the top and permeate the way your organization thinks about everything. There can no longer be an “us” and a “them.” Whenever you talk, think and dream, it must be about “we,” and “we” must include your customers, volunteers, parents, and members.
2) Communicate the “we.” We live in a society dominated transactional relationships. Our default thought process is “You give me this and in return I’ll give you that.” If you want to change the culture, you have to constantly tell your customers why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ve got to talk to your volunteers with words like “we” and “us.” You’ve got to remind parents, “We’re all in this together.”
3) Empower the “we.” As you help members, parents, students, customers and volunteers view themselves as part of a bigger movement, you’ve got to create the tools that will empower them to be a part of the “we.”
- Blog and use social media in ways that make it easy to share what you’re doing with others online.
- Create Facebook Events that make it easy to invite friends.
- Facilitate dialog, feedback, and suggestions so everyone can speak into what your organization is doing.
- Make your paid staff available.
- Facilitate meet-ups and relationships among customers, members, parents, and volunteers. A lot of this can be done online through social networks.
4) Encourage the “we.” Call people to action – specific action. “Bring a friend.” “Share this video.” “Rate this service.” “Like us on Facebook”
5) Celebrate the “we.” Find examples of members, parents, customers, or volunteers who are spreading the world. Tell their stories. Show specifically how their actions helped further the movement. Recognize those who are making a difference, and it will inspire everyone in the tribe to make a difference.
How does your organization think about its customers, members, parents, students and volunteers? Are they a part of “them” or a part of “we?” What do you think is necessary to create a “we” culture?