“You might have noticed a trend in more and more marketing,” writes Rohit Bhargava at the Influential Marketing Blog, “where large brands are featuring real people and actual employees in their ads.” Heavy hitters like Intel, Best Buy, Dominos, IBM and GE have all used real team members to tell a compelling story—and here’s how you can get in on the action:

Identify your company’s in-house cheerleaders. “Many times,” notes Bhargava, “you can find the most vocal of your employees already online talking about what they do and what your company does.” Also look for those who consistently earn high marks in customer surveys and close the most deals—they’re likely to be your best ambassadors.

Aggregate their voices for the greatest impact. “If some of your employees are on Twitter,” he suggests, “consider asking them to use the same naming convention for their accounts (such as @bobatyourcompany).”

Establish clear guidelines. Let employees know what flies—and what doesn’t—when discussing your company in online forums. For instance, they should always disclose their professional affiliation and should never share the company’s trade secrets or financial data.

Make social-media efforts part of their job description. “Having passionate employees who want to share online is great,” he says, “but to sustain it you need to try and make sure that they are not overloaded with other facets of their ‘real job.'” Bhargava recommends treating it as any other job component—with performance reviews, incentives and rewards.

Make the most of employee-evangelists by giving them the tools and encouragement to tell your company’s story.

Source: Influential Marketing Blog.