By Justin Delos Reyes
Brand ambassadors (also referred to as evangelists) can add major value to your business and targeting them is a social media strategy worth spending time on. People are more likely to listen to their friends and family when making purchasing decisions than they are to marketing and advertising messages. It is in your company’s best interest to identify and select ambassadors for your brand because wherever they go, you go.
Below are a few reasons why your time and resources should be spent targeting these individuals on social networks.
Brand Ambassadors Are Cost Effective
Don’t waste your time and money trying to get an A-list celebrity or industry guru to tweet for you. You’ll have to jump over hurdles to speak with them and they have a bunch of other things on their plate. In a recent interview by ClickZ, principal research scientist at Yahoo Research Dunch Watts said (in reference to paying celebrities to tweet for your brand), “[Celebrities] don’t pay attention to others. The media is focused on media…”
Your existing customers are your best (and most affordable) ambassadors. Satisfied customers will recommend your brand, product, or service to their friends if you treat them right. That means living up to their expectations and acknowledging their value. A simple way to do that is to publish tweets saying “Thank you” to individual followers. Giveaways will certainly motivate them to love your brand more than they already do, but a tweet is free and can go farther than you think. They will gladly spend their precious time talking about you if you regularly acknowledge them.
Brand Ambassadors Are Your Best Critics
We recently talked about criticism on social networks and how to handle trolls (malicious intents). Brand ambassadors are just the opposite of them. Ambassadors might be critical of your work, but they will offer solutions and suggestions to make things right. If there are 5 to 10 people who regularly post constructive feedback on your Facebook wall, you should target those followers. Not only will they market your brand to their friends, but they can also help your company moving forward. Their comments and concerns can be used as a tool to help your company understand its target audience better.
Brand Ambassadors Offer Instant Marketing Oppotunities
The difference between a brand influencer and an ambassador is that an influencer is someone you must convince to talk about your brand, and the courting process can take a considerable amount of time. They often have a large number of followers, but unlike an ambassador, influencers do not have a history of showing interest in your product or service.
Reaching out to influencers is a good strategy because it presents a high risk, high reward situation. But if you want more peace of mind, a handful of brand ambassadors will give that to you. You can reach out to influencers and hope they talk about your brand. You can hope an influencer gives you the exposure you want. You can hope an influencer dedicates his or her time to promoting your service. You can hope all day and all night when you work with an influencer.
But that’s not the case with brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors take out the stress that hope brings. Once you identify your ambassadors, you can be confident in the work they’ll do because they have a history of talking about your brand.
Have you identified your brand ambassadors? What have they done for your business and what are you doing to acknowledge their value?