In the ever-changing world of marketing, brand ambassadors are the people who represent and promote brands via their social networking activities and other online endeavors. These individuals usually have an appeal all of their own and thus, having them affirm the validity of brand images allows companies to capitalize on the good names that they have already built for themselves.
These people are influencers. They represent your brand and the vision you have for it. Having them on your team makes it possible to expand your reach, increase your brand value, and grow as a company.
Think of a traditional example of a brand ambassador. When we look back we can see how one person was sponsored but over the years they became synonymous with the brand itself. Tiger Woods is a great example of how he and Nike go hand in hand. Today, companies can make this an intentional strategy by developing Social Media Brand Ambassadors to lift up a brand.
With the right strategies, an influencer marketing approach and ambassadors can reap the rewards of long-lasting, symbiotic relationships.
Choosing The Right Brand Ambassadors
Businesses need to choose ambassadors that are viewed by the public as trustworthy authorities in their industries.
For instance, professional athletes make excellent ambassadors for up-and-coming manufacturers of nutritional supplements and sportswear and pain management or sports injury clinics. To successfully entice a person to hold this position, it is usually necessary to identify a way in which promotional activities can be mutually beneficial.
Companies that have little to offer by way of symbiotic promotional relationships can alternatively leverage the training, talent, and industry experience of their own employees in order to fill these positions. According to Louise Julig of the Social Media Examiner, Adobe was able to move from the fourth position on the SociaLook Leaderboard to first after having implemented "programs to empower employees to share on social media". Thus, these efforts can be just as effective when performed entirely in-house.
Consumers correlate their positive feelings and trust from the ambassador with your brand. This makes for a powerful motivator in your marketing strategy.
Allow Brand Ambassadors to Humanize Your Brand
Empowerment is key for ensuring that employees or outside ambassadors feel confident enough to engage with customers and prospects via social media in a way that makes brands more personable.
Thus, it is important to establish clear, yet flexible guidelines on how ambassadors can interact with the targeted market. Moreover, companies must decide upon a social media marketing company tone that is in line with their desired brand images, the common language of their markets, and their overall goals of their brands. The general tone of social media conversations is something that should be clearly defined well before these efforts have begun.
Brand ambassadors humanize the brand by connecting with their already-won audiences. They explain frustrations and needs before your product and how it has made a difference. Their followings see the difference and relate it to their own lives. Instead of a brand talking to them, it’s someone they admire.
Simplify Things with Hashtags
Hashtags that are centered around trending ideas or ideas that companies want to see trend are great for simplifying this process. Businesses can give everyone participating in these efforts the opportunity to submit ideas for hashtag posts or they can give a heads up on the already trending topics that they wish to pursue.
Each contributor can then find his or her own unique way to tie these topics back to the related business for increased social media awareness and customer engagement.
Hashtags are an amazing way to start a trend and document the journey of the brand or campaign. Those who want to participate can. And those who want to learn more can easily click on it and see a history of posts contributed by the brand ambassador and everyone involved.
This tool puts the community first and “shows” not “tells” about your brand. When others talk about it, it increases your social proof and brand value.
Remembering that this is a symbiotic process is not just essential for keeping the most desirable brand ambassadors committed to this campaign. It also helps to reaffirm their statuses as qualified, industry experts.
Thus, companies should regularly use their social networking profiles to highlight and promote the achievements of their ambassadors. This will help brand ambassadors remain respected third-party sources of information even as it promotes their individual interests. The key to the management of these programs is to rely on the guidance and expertise of your social influencer agency.
Brand ambassadors want a fruitful relationship with you. They expect something in return, not just a financial incentive, but a credibility incentive. They are tying their image to your brand. That’s personal and a scarce resource for them. As they grow their following, you’ll benefit too.
Proactively Protect Reputations
Choosing the right brand ambassadors is also essential for proactively protecting the commercial reputations of the businesses that these individuals are intended to promote. By forming these relationships, companies are inextricably linking their reputations to those of outside parties. This is certainly one reason for companies to consider the benefits of choosing ambassadors in-house.
Think back to Tiger Woods. When scandal hit him, Nike was scrambling to figure out how to separate for a time to avoid a brand downfall. Subway’s Jared Fogle’s arrest caused a serious hit to their image. That’s why instead of choosing one person to speak for the brand and choosing multiple people on social media that are authentic can help get the benefits while eliminating risk.
Pick people who have had a track record with their audiences and you know have the kind of lifestyle, ethic, and character traits you are looking for. Get to know them and ask them the hard questions beforehand.
When both parties understand the intricacies and potential effects of these relationships, however, everyone can work together for the betterment and stalwart protection of all involved reputations.
A positive ambassador with admirable behaviors can bolster the reputation of a brand significantly. Regularly highlighting the accomplishments of this individual will reflect well on the business and make it much more difficult for others to tarnish the commercial image given the positive associations that are made through the ambassador.
Brand ambassadorship is an essential strategy to position your company for growth.