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Want your message to come across as a recommendation from a trusted friend rather than as a commercial? Follow these steps to successfully recruit your brand ambassadors!

If 100,000 people like your brand on Facebook, that’s great! But how many of those fans would actively promote your new products? At SocialToaster, we build a framework for companies to recruit their best fans into active brand advocates who spread your brand’s message throughout their social networks. A major advantage of such an online program is that people don’t see your message as coming from you, a company, but from their friends and other personal connections. Aren’t you more likely to listen to a recommendation from a trusted friend than from a commercial? If you want to build such a program, you’ll want to follow these steps to successfully recruit your brand ambassadors!

Look Who’s Talking
When starting your search, take a look at who’s already interacting with you. Which users post on your Facebook page? On your Twitter? Rather than starting from scratch, seek out and target people who are already enthusiastic about your brand. People who have supported your company on their own are more likely to join a brand ambassador program than those who are not as vocal without prompting. Make a list of your top advocates and their social media networks to figure out from where you’ll be recruiting your brand ambassador base.

Listen to What They’re Doing
Once you’ve discovered your most vocal advocates and found out where they spend their time online, you’ll want to see what type of your content they share with their networks. For instance, if your top unsolicited brand ambassadors typically share your Facebook updates about new store openings, you should take note that this content is likely to be shared during your formal ambassador program. If your brand’s biggest fans usually comment on questions that you pose to the public, then you’ll know that people enjoy an interactive approach where they can bring their own material to you.

Create Ideal Content
Keeping your advocates’ existing social media interactions with your brand in mind, you’ll want to tailor your content to match up with your fans’ interests. Your online ambassadors are useless if they don’t want to share your messages, so make sure you’ve researched what types of materials your existing fans enjoy sharing.

Recognize and Reward
Your best fans want to be acknowledged and thanked for their help! You’ll want to build a reward system, whether based off of points, sweepstakes, or other types of contests, that gives your future fan advocates an incentive to sign up. While some die-hard fans are willing to share content voluntarily, offering a reasonable reward such as a gift card can greatly increase your chance of recruiting a new brand ambassador.

Build the Message
Once you’ve researched your advocates, found what content works for your company, created said content, and built a reward system, you can package these elements together into a neat recruitment message. Provide a headline, a brief description of your program (including possible rewards), a picture, and links for people to sign up for your program. Quick and straightforward messages are more likely to result in successful conversions, so keep it simple! But where will you send this message? Good thing you researched which social networks your target audience uses! If you already have a formally established brand ambassador program that you are looking to grow, make sure you directly send your recruitment message to your existing online ambassadors first so they can advocate on your behalf.

We’re Excited to Help
If you haven’t noticed from this post, we’re excited about building advocate programs for all sorts of brands! SocialToaster provides a platform for companies to recruit, incentivize, and grow their best fans. Click here to request a demo and see how SocialToaster gives your Super Fans super powers!