With all the buzz on social media, it can be difficult to get your brand singled out and heard among the others. For this reason, many brands enlist social media ambassadors to help publicize their products, services or their story. Every brand has a story, and sometimes, all a brand needs are the right people to tell it.
But how does a brand create a social media ambassador program that truly leverages the conversation for the its benefit while compensating the storytellers? Here are five tips to help brands accomplish exactly that.
Like any other plan, when it comes to marketing, a brand must start with its goals. There are several benefits to employing social media ambassadors, especially as it relates to the platforms they use and the advantages those platforms brings with them.
A brand must identify whether it wants to improve brand visibility, drive more content, change its brand image, improve sales or achieve something else. While all goals are interconnected, it is best to identify an initial goal and focus on that. Working toward this goal will make decisions and strategizing much easier going forward.
Create Compensation Packages
Most social ambassadors may ask for compensation in the form of money. However, many others may take less money or none at all, in return for other perks. For instance, depending on the brand, they may settle for discounts, free product/gear, trips to cover the brand and represent them at certain events or an honorable mention as a part of the team on the company website.
So, a brand must think carefully about what it can offer its ambassadors and plan accordingly. It may also prove wise to come up with a monetary compensation plan, while identifying other perks. Brands can then ask ambassadors to pick the options that best suit them.
Decide on a Platform
Building a presence on different social media platforms takes time. Brands are not assured success and popularity on one because they have a quarter of a million followers on another platform. Customers prefer different social media platforms based on how they choose to interact with content.
The platform a brand chooses to select ambassadors from should also depend on the goal in mind. For instance, building content and links works best with blogging platforms like WordPress, Tumblr or self-hosted blogs. For visibility, brands could turn to Facebook and Instagram. For building more conversational relationships with potential customers, Twitter might provide the best opportunity.
Plan for Recruiting
Though many bloggers and social media users would love the opportunity to act as social media ambassadors on a brand’s behalf, brands should choose wisely. Brands should research a potential social media ambassador they wish to work with to see if anything in the person’s public or private life has the potential to harm the brand. After all, there is a reason that even people like Tiger Woods get dropped by sponsors.
Other criteria brands should keep in mind include how to measure the influence of social media ambassadors. Beware of only looking at how many followers a person has on their social media pages, as followers can be bought. Instead, look at how well-engaged people are with the content they put out.
There’s no point in continuing the ambassador program as is if it isn’t working properly, so brands must also decide on how to monitor success. There are a number of ways to do this.
Brands can assign special codes to ambassadors so they can measure when customers purchase products or services through them. This allows brands to identify who is contributing to the overall goal and who is not. Other methods may include tracking where website traffic is referred from, or even asking customers to identify how they heard about the company at the time.
However, keep in mind that results do not happen overnight and that even when social media ambassadors carry great influence, if the brand does not bring an impressive story or offer to the table, there is little the ambassador can do to compensate for that.