Social Media and Employee Evangelism (Zomato PR Crisis)

Not sure if its for the good or the bad, the convenience of making your employees go on and on about “how-good-our-brand-is” has been extensively practiced in the business community.

However, if you are heading with the aim of making your employees your brand ambassadors, then you might be going downhill. Let’s have a look at this story.

Zomato – an Indian website providing information related to restaurants,pubs, events, etc. had a question up on Quora “What is it like to work at Zomato?”.

The question enraged a disgruntled ex employee armed by Social Media with anonymity and the freedom to express himself, vented his frustration with a long response that got over 267 Up Votes and a PR Crisis for Zomato. With the immediacy of the web, the news spread like a wildfire.

Management constantly manipulated employees and more than often they were rude too. At that point, I had serious doubts about continuing my job there.

Read on: Here

An online PR Crisis:

The situation escalated very rapidly and caused a certain amount of reputation damage for Zomato. Situations like this need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. It can affect an organization’s hiring options. Even start ups can fall victim to negative public sentiments.

A Timely Response was Needed:

The response was getting viral on the online space, damaging the reputation on the company. Zomato failed to give a timely response or maybe chose to stay away from it initially. Finally after 11 days, Deepinder Goyal – the CEO of Zomato was forced to blog  his response and post it on Quora. Had this been done before, the crisis would not have magnified to this extent.

Employee Evangelism:

World over, companies are realizing the importance of treating their employees well to build a goodwill around themselves as employees have a strong, yet long-lasting influence on the credibility of the company. The concept of creating in-house employee evangelism is slowly gaining importance as an efficient avenue to carry out a brand message with authenticity.

We do email our people to put up our marketing messages on their Facebook walls and change their profile pictures. 

However, an employee cannot be forced become an ambassador. He must take pride in what he is standing for. He must breathe it, believe in it.

Social Business:

This can only happen if you go social with conversations in your core work processes. The idea is to create a family, not a work force by adopting social business.

An employee-oriented Social work culture cultivates an army of evangelists who would voluntarily and proactively build a good will of your brand.

Thus, employee satisfaction translates into better customer service and in turn creates genuine evangelists for your brand.

Social Media In-house Policy:

Social media is like a double edged dagger. If not used responsively, it can tarnish your brand image, like in this case. It is high time companies should have in-house social media preventive measures and policies for such crisis.

Social Media is not only about marketing:

Social is shifting beyond marketing. It embraces Human Resource, Online reputation, Recruiting, customer service and most important of all, incorporating a social business. It is no longer about customers, but also about employees.

Zomato did take care of this situation with their detailed response but tad bit late maybe.