Brand ambassadorship is the new celebrity endorsement. Today’s social media influencers are the movie stars of the internet, and with thousands or millions of followers hanging on their every post, they’re a potent marketing outlet.
You may have many reasons for aligning your business with a social media brand ambassador. Perhaps you’re looking to increase your sales. Maybe your branding strategy is all about boosting brand recognition among millennials.
In any event, joining forces with social media influencers and ambassadors can elevate your brand awareness and boost your reputation as well as your bottom line. But first, you have to secure them. Here’s how.
Types of Social Media Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are creatives who post content that elevates your brand. Be it in videos, a mention in their stories, review of your product, or promotion, the goal is to get more eyes on your brand and help you tap new segments of your target audience.
For the purposes of this piece we’ll cover two main types.
The first is known as a social media influencer. These are typically users who have collected an impressive number of followers. In recent years, influencer marketing has become big business, and it can be easy to be dazzled by large follower counts.
The truth is, almost anyone can be a brand ambassador. That is, so long as they’re actively engaging with your target audience (and vice versa). Don’t underestimate the power of a small but captivated audience.
Which brings us to our next type of ambassador: your employees.
Think about it. You have this arsenal of people who are already loyal to your brand. Most of them come with a well-established audience of followers who are already invested in the content they share. If you’re not already leveraging your employees as brand ambassadors you’re missing out on a huge untapped market.
How to On-Board Brand Ambassadors
Ok, we promised you a how-to and we aim to deliver.
Before making the ask you’ll want to review their follower demographics and make sure they match your specified target audience. If all seems like a fit, reach out online or via email.
Once on board you’ll want to make sure they’re genuinely excited about your brand and give them as much context as possible. This means background about your company, your core values, campaign goals, product specifics, etc. The more familiar they are the better.
You also need to make sure you discuss in detail how they’ll represent your brand. Have a contract in place that specifies the duration or number of posts with a clause that you’ll reexamine your working relationship after reviewing the results of the campaign. Also, state any content they post is subject to approval and designate an individual on your team to give the all clear.
When working with employee brand ambassadors it works a little different.
Sure, you could just throw out a blanketed catch all requesting employees to share about an achievement or company update. However, you’ll be much more effective if you:
1. Make a direct request.
Keep a close eye on your staff to determine which have the most outgoing, gregarious personalities. They’re likely to have a similar social media presence. The more seen you make them feel, the more likely they are to want to share on behalf of the brand.
2. Incentivize your employees.
A little employee recognition can go a long way. Staying attuned to their needs at and outside work can help increase their advocacy. Whether you’re inspiring via friendly competition or everyone’s favorite, paid time off, be sure to compensate and recognize their efforts.
3. Create company–wide hashtags.
The more clever and creative they are, the more likely your employees are to use them.
4. Invite their feedback.
Everyone likes to feel seen and heard. Let your employees know you want their buy-in by inviting their feedback. You may be surprised to hear new channel recommendations or marketing ideas that you hadn’t previously thought of!
Remember, the goal of any effective social media partnership is to build an enthusiastic community that actively engages with your brand. Influencers and ambassadors are like a direct line to potential customers. Approach them right and you’ll all but secure more sales for your brand.
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