23 Oct How To Start An Ambassador Program
Tracking the return on investment for social media efforts can be difficult: quite often, followers grow much more quickly than sales. At least it can seem that way, as the former is more quantifiable in the immediate while the latter can take time to build. However, buying likes and follows isn’t enough. When it comes to social media, the quality of your followers will increase the bottom line. It’s not just about numbers. Today’s post explores how to start a brand ambassador program using grassroots marketing techniques to grow your social media presence in a meaningful way that will, in turn, increase sales.
What’s a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who follows your company on social media and talks about it in a positive way in front of potential customers. This person should embody the brand they are endorsing and provide credible, trustworthy promotion and visibility of the brand and its products. They should have a sizable, loyal following that they engage with on a regular basis. Look for active accounts with regular weekly posts. Bright, high-quality photos and clear language are an absolute requisite.
Why are brand ambassadors so effective?
- People like to buy from people. This is why customer testimonials have always proven so effective. When real people represent and promote your brand, their followers can emotionally engage in the brand. The theory of social proof supports this—people look to the experiences of others when making decisions about their own lives.
- Word of mouth advertising works, and that’s exactly what brand ambassadors do! However, instead of just telling their friends and family, they tell all of their followers on social media, too. Choosing someone with a large built-in audience will further amplify your message, allowing them to more effectively promote your products. Their reach grows your own reach and vice versa. A brand ambassadorship can easily prove beneficial for both participants!
- There’s strength in numbers. There are lots of options in the marketplace, and having a group of people who can promote your brand in a consistent, positive way will increase your visibility and help you stand out in the crowd.
- They build trust for your brand. Consumer skepticism is growing about traditional advertising methods; at the same time, paid advertising no longer reaches as many people as cost-effectively as it used to in the early days of social media. In a recent Neilson survey, only 33% of consumers said they trusted paid advertisements, but 92% trust peer recommendations. One of the reasons paid advertising fails is due to a lack of recognition and trust—a brand ambassador provides the perfect workaround, extending and strengthening your brand awareness.
How do you find brand ambassadors?
Here at Stitchcraft Marketing, this is something we do every day for our clients! Here are a few tips to get you started:
Step 1: Identify your existing fans. Find people who are already posting positive things about your company and products online and follow them to get an idea of their social media voice. A quick, easy way to find people is to search your brand’s hashtags throughout social media. Your targets should be people who both post about your brand consistently while also maintaining dialogues with their followers. Another trick is to pay close attention to anyone who regularly tags your brand.
Following influencers is an integral part of locating effective brand ambassadors. Their reach will extend your own, and give you good insight into the kinds of content and products that elicit interest from your customer base.
Step 2: Share their posts. When they say something positive about your brand, share it on your own social media channels! By boosting their reputation as an expert, you will build goodwill and also make them more loyal to your brand.
Step 3: Track their activities. You’ll soon notice a measurable engagement that you can directly link back to the effectiveness and reach of your given campaign, and with the right tools, back to actual sales.
Create A Brand Ambassador Program
Step 1: Create An Ambassador Hashtag. Apart from your brand’s standard hashtag, you should aim to create a hashtag specific to your brand ambassadorships. Something that relates to them being fans and admirers of the brand, which will allow followers to identify other fans. Your brand name + the words fan, love, fanatic, lover, and devotee are all good options.
Step 2: Strategize Your Year. Your calendar year is full of unique opportunities to promote your brand on social media. Explore the ways your particular craft ties into the holidays and seasons and strategize content structured around those themes. When you have some ideas in place, it’s time to gather your brand ambassadors.
Step 3: Reach out. Once you’ve found unique, trustworthy voices, it’s time to reach out. Offer your potential brand ambassadors complimentary product packages in exchange for branded social media posts. This is a wonderful opportunity for increasing awareness about new products, so consider that a good focal point.
Ideally, your brand ambassadors will not only create content for channels like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, but will also create blog posts that center your product and its uses. They can guest post on your social media channels and blog, while also posting content to their own. This will prove mutually beneficial and is a great way to increase both your and your ambassador’s visibility.
At Stitchcraft Marketing, we have created a network of designers and bloggers who are influencers in our industry. Every day, we reach out to our network and send them products for review on behalf of our clients through our blogger outreach program. We’ve seen this as an effective way to reach new audiences and build brand recognition in the fiber community.
Click here to contact us online to learn more about how we can help you establish a brand ambassador program.