Brand ambassadors are the people whose opinion is so influential, they get others through your door. Customers and qualified job candidates are both attracted by brand ambassadors, who have the clout to get people to sit up and pay attention.
Traditional brand ambassadors have been those who knew how to get friends and family to patronize a brand. They were persuasive, personable, and understood what was important in a product. These days, however, most brand ambassadors ply their trade online.
A brand ambassador may be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of the rest. However, the fundamental thing that links them all is they inspire trust. Their recommendations carry weight not only because they’re connected to others, but because they consistently add value.
Enter the concept of the brand ambassador program.
There are several ways to craft a brand ambassador program, but most work like this:
- The program amplifies the brand outside of traditional “thought leadership” channels.
- It gives people an opportunity to connect with a brand in a holistic and organic way.
- It enables employees (and sometimes customers) to act on their brand loyalty.
A brand ambassador program subverts the idea that you have to be in the C-suite or part of the social media team to make a big splash for a brand. It’s a way for participants at all levels, even customers, to take part and draw others to your work like a magnet.
Some experts have called it finding your tribe.
Some lucky brands have seen their number of brand ambassadors grow without any outside plan. Many, however, are learning that establishing a brand ambassador program is the way to go.
1. Give Employees Outlets to Share Their (Relevant) Views
Encourage your employees to blog and you’ll soon learn they have a lot of opinions.
Anyone who has used some creativity and discretion in their work has had the opportunity to develop their own take. Your content team can help guide them onto topics that might resonate with your audience, while giving them both the freedom and support to shine.
2. Educate Participants on Social Media Best Practices
These days, everyone recognizes the power of social media. Most professionals, especially in tech, want to know how to get more mileage from it.
If your company already has social media best practices, lift the curtain. Find fun, entertaining ways to communicate your brand standards on social media – with a focus on sharing cool content and connecting directly with customers.
3. Give Brand Ambassadors Real Recognition
Feeling like you’re part of something is one of the most vital parts of being a brand ambassador.
Help them live that feeling by providing recognition, encouragement, and – yes – swag. Watch ambassadors to see how they use their tools and platform, then give them the microphone so they can help others replicate their success.
That’s what being an ambassador is all about.
4. Encourage Employee Reviews on Glassdoor
A brand ambassador program can help you position as an employer of choice. Glassdoor and other company review sites are trusted by top talent who want to plot their best next career move.
Only a tiny fraction of employees review on Glassdoor, so remind your brand ambassadors that they can articulate your value on platforms like this, too.
5. Make Ambassadors Part of Your LinkedIn Strategy
When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn is the undisputed king of leads.
Anyone in your organization can be a brand ambassador if they choose to create content that connects your brand with those who can benefit from it. Strategic posting about exciting projects and innovation can help you get attention from key talent who can move your organization forward.
6. Close the Loop with Surveys
Like other aspects of your operations, your brand ambassador program should always be getting better.
The simplest way to drive improvement is with surveys given to your brand ambassadors after training and at regular intervals from then on. This allows you to continuously refine the program and gets even more people delighted to take the next step in living your brand.
7. Have a Statement of Values Ambassadors Can Get Behind
Okay, so it’s not technically part of your brand ambassador program – your company should have a values statement anyway.
But remember: Values bring your company down to earth. They give each employee something concrete to measure their actions against besides the bottom line. That makes your message much more resonant when your ambassadors reach out.
In a world where brands never stop talking to you – I’m looking at you, Wendy’s – brand ambassadors are essential. They give your brand the human touch, instead of leaving your audience feeling they’re being chattered at by animatronic brand-bots.
Are you a brand ambassador? Tell us about it below!