So you want to start a social marketing campaign using the supporters we talked about in our last blog, great! But where should you start? By recruiting your Ambassadors and encouraging their continued engagement. What follows are some helpful tips for building your word of mouth ambassador network, including recruiting Ambassadors and keeping them engaged once you’ve established a relationship with them.
(Updated May 2021)
In 2012, the concept of brand Ambassadors was still pretty new to companies and brands. In just 9 short years, the landscape of Ambassador marketing has changed dramatically; expanding well beyond what any of us in marketing could have imagined. The concept of brand Ambassadors has become so common that you probably know a few yourself. In fact, you might even be one!
Because Ambassador marketing has become so commonplace, we thought we’d update a few things in regards to how to build your word of mouth Ambassador Network and make it fun for your brand and your Ambassadors. To make it easy for you to see what we’ve added, we’ve bolded the new additions.
So you want to start a social marketing campaign using the supporters we talked about in our last blog, great! But where should you start? And what’s the difference between an Ambassador and an Influencer?
An influencer is pretty similar to an ambassador who advocates for your product, brand or service to their audience. These individuals are paid through product or cash and are typically unfamiliar with your product. This means that you will have to create a script for them and their word-of-mouth marketing may not be as authentic as a brand ambassador.
Ambassadors are the golden egg of word-of-mouth marketing. Already huge fans of your product, these individuals don’t need to be convinced to use your product because they already use it and love it! Brand ambassadors offer your product or service using an authentic and convincing voice that influencers simply do not have.
Building Your Word of Mouth Ambassador Network
By recruiting your Ambassadors and encouraging their continued engagement, you can successfully create a worldwide network of fans that do all the heavy lifting for you. And the best part? They actually want to help you! Did you know that 90% of people trust a recommendation from a person (even a stranger) more than a traditional paid ad? That’s how powerful brand ambassador network marketing is.
With 43% of brands already using word-of-mouth marketing with the help of brand ambassadors, what are you waiting for? What follows are some helpful tips for building your word of mouth ambassador network, including recruiting Ambassadors and keeping them engaged once you’ve established a relationship with them.
Take these 4 7 steps to help in building your word of mouth ambassador network:
1) Identify Your Brand Ambassadors
Your brand ambassadors are out there, you just have to find them. Which shouldn’t be all that hard considering these are some of your diehard fans! These are the people that are sharing, snapping, and TikTok-ing with your brand on a regular basis. Thanks to social media’s improved search functions and tagging abilities, your brand ambassadors are probably already trying to talk with you on a daily or weekly basis through their posts.
2) Build Buzz
Our clients have used many different media to recruit Ambassadors including internal companywide emails to engage employees, e-newsletters to customers, web site updates, Facebook page posts, blogs, and Tweets. As long as you include a link to your Ambassador sign up page in whatever communications piece you concoct, the possibilities are endless!
One of the best ways to build buzz, find ambassadors, and keep it all organized is to create a specific hashtag for fans and brand ambassadors to use when posting about your organization, brand, product or service. Coca-Cola did a great job with their #ShareACoke campaign which allowed Coca-Cola lovers to virtually share their Coke when posting a photo with their #ShareACoke hashtag.
3) Entice Them with Schwag
Chances are good that the individuals you are targeting to become your Ambassadors are already fans of your brand, product, or organization. In fact, the best brand ambassadors are the ones who have made your brand, product or organization an integral part of their personality.
So, give them what they crave… more of your stuff! Ambassadors are more likely to sign up if they have a shot at getting something out of the deal. Discounts, giveaways, contests, and samples are all easy ways for you to entice your Ambassadors to spread your message. Even those few lackadaisical social-media-phobic employees can easily be enticed with opportunities for professional development, paid time off, or a vacation!
4) Give Them What They Want
Your Ambassadors will expect some love for continuing to give you access to their social networks. Fortunately your SocialToaster Reports make it easy for you to see who is generating traffic for you, how often, and where it is coming from so you can reward your Ambassadors, similar to the way that sales organizations reward their associates with incentives.
5) Keep the Dialogue Going
By signing up as an Ambassador, an individual is signaling their interest and excitement for your organization. That is of course if they don’t already work for you, in which case we hope they are VERY excited about it! We can’t think of better potential customers than Ambassadors themselves! Don’t forget that you have the opportunity to market to these individuals in addition to through them. Newsletters, chat rooms, and social network groups are all great arenas in which to engage your Ambassadors and further bolster their passion to your brand through targeted communications pieces.
6) Make Them a Star
With word of mouth marketing accounting for nearly $6 trillion of annual consumer spending. Your brand ambassadors are some of your best “employees.” Highlighting your brand ambassadors on your official website, social media platforms, or even sending out highlight emails to your list-serves to give them their 15 minutes of fame can have a seriously magical effect on your relationship.
7) Encourage Feedback
Not every ambassador is going to have access to thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less convincing than the heavy-hitters online. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 study, consumers read an average of six to seven reviews before trusting a business. Encouraging your ambassadors to leave reviews on your Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business pages, or even directly on your website will help to solidify new customers’ decisions and amplify your brand ambassador’s voices.
Still Lost? Don’t Stress!
If you’re still struggling with how to recruit Ambassadors, don’t have the time to do it yourself, or social marketing really isn’t your cup of tea, there are consultants like us who can help you. Just make sure you work with a reputable agency with a skilled social marketing team, and not just your college student neighbor who is addicted to Facebook. We are more than happy to help you build your Ambassador network. Just contact us at 855.62.TOAST, send us an email, or request a free demo and we can do all of the heavy lifting for you.