In the ever-changing world of marketing, brand ambassadors are the people who represent and promote brands via their social networking activities and other online endeavors. These individuals usually have an appeal all of their own and thus, having them affirm the validity of brand images allows companies to capitalize on the good names that they have already built for themselves. With the right strategies, companies and ambassadors can reap the rewards of long-lasting, symbiotic relationships.
Choosing The Right Brand Ambassadors
It is important for businesses to choose ambassadors that are viewed by the public as trustworthy authorities in their industries. For instance, professional athletes make excellent ambassadors for up and coming manufacturers of nutritional supplements and sportswear and for pain management or sports injury clinics. In order to successfully entice a person to hold this position, it is usually necessary to identify a way in which promotional activities can be mutually beneficial.
Companies that have little to offer by way of symbiotic promotional relationships can alternatively leverage the training, talent and industry experience of their own employees in order to fill these positions. According to Louise Julig of the Social Media Examiner, Adobe was able to move from fourth position on the SociaLook Leaderboard to first after having implemented "programs to empower employees to share on social media". Thus, these efforts can be just as effective when performed entirely in-house.
Allow Brand Ambassadors to Humanize Your Brand
Empowerment is key for ensuring that employees or outside ambassadors feel confident enough to engage with customers and prospects via social media in a way that makes brands more personable. Thus, it is important to establish clear, yet flexible guidelines on how ambassadors can interact with the targeted market. Moreover, companies must decide upon a social media tone that is in line with their desired brand images, the common language of their markets and their overall goals of their brands. The general tone of social media conversations is something that should be clearly defined well before these efforts have begun.
Simplify Things with Hashtags
Hashtags that are centered around trending ideas or ideas that companies want to see trend are great for simplifying this process. Businesses can give everyone participating in these efforts the opportunity to submit ideas for hashtag posts or they can give a heads up on the already trending topics that they wish to pursue. Each contributor can then find his or her own unique way to tie these topics back to the related business for increased social media awareness and customer engagement.
Highlight the Accomplishments of Brand Ambassadors
Remembering that this is a symbiotic process is not just essential for keeping the most desirable brand ambassadors committed to this campaign. It also helps to reaffirm their statuses as qualified, industry experts. Thus, companies should regularly use their social networking profiles to highlight and promote the achievements of their ambassadors. This will help brand ambassadors remain respected third-party sources of information even as it promotes their individual interests.
Proactively Protect Company Reputations
Choosing the right brand ambassadors is also essential for proactively protecting the commercial reputations of the businesses that these individuals are intended to promote. By forming these relationships, companies are inextricably linking their reputations to those of outside parties. This is certainly one reason for companies to consider the benefits of choosing ambassadors in-house.
When both parties understand the intricacies and potential effects of these relationships, however, everyone can work together for the betterment and stalwart protection of all involved reputations. A positive ambassador with admirable behaviors can bolster the reputation of a brand significantly. Regularly highlighting the accomplishments of this individual will reflect well on the business and make it much more difficult for others to tarnish the commercial image given the positive associations that are made through the ambassador.