Creating Brand Ambassadors Within Your Company
We live in a world not of customer service, but of customer experience. The world of B2B and B2C is fading, with B2I (business to individual) becoming more relevant than ever. An individual’s experience with a company is more important now than it has ever been, both in the world of customers and employees. Your employees can help your company grow faster now than ever before, if they are truly proud to be a part of your growing or established company. Your employees are the best people to share what your company does for the world and your customers.
Sharing news about your company is essential to your business survival, and who better to share your story than your employees, right? By educating, inspiring, and incentivizing your staff for sharing and endorsing company posts, you’ll grow your company’s online and offline presence and positively affect your company’s culture. We call these employees your brand ambassadors!
Brand Ambassadors – Who are they and why are they important?
A brand ambassador is an employee or person who absolutely believes in your product and lives the culture of your company. They promote your product or brand often without being asked to do so and are a reliable source of credibility in the field. They speak your language and are willing to represent your company on social media and other public platforms.
The best news is shared through word of mouth, and today’s social media is considered word of mouth. By engaging people to help you promote your brand by sharing your message online, you can amp up your marketing and get the word out about your business. These brand ambassadors can blast your message to your target market with just a few simple clicks. They share your product out of love for your brand, and because their message is genuine, it goes a long way toward gaining the trust of your current and future customers.
Your brand ambassadors will create content about your company, raving about your product, and usually sharing an image or video. Since these posts are shared voluntarily, and are not sponsored ads, consumers start to look at your brand as an authority in your field, simply because others they know like your product. The enthusiasm they share is genuine, and their friends, family and colleagues see that and start to get excited about your product as well. You become a go-to vendor.
Finding Brand Ambassadors Within Your Company
Brand ambassadors can truly help promote your business, when you find the right employees to be ambassadors. But how do you know what to look for in a person?
The key is to find someone you trust, someone who truly loves you brand, and someone that loves to share with other people. Your more trusted employees make good brand ambassadors because they have time invested in your company. They understand that helping your company grow and thrive can be good for them as well as you.
Even though employees are vested in your company, if they are outside the sales and marketing teams, their simple endorsement of your product helps to validate your brand. The fact that your employee is willing to go above to share your product looks good for your company. An employee knows the workings of your company, and isn’t going to share something they know the details on with their family and friends if they don’t like it, or knows it doesn’t work.
Setting Up a Brand Ambassador Program
Once you have some people that are ready and willing to be brand ambassadors, it’s time to put a program in place. Keeping it simple will make your employees more willing to follow through with it; however, some guidelines should be established.
Provide training. Employees that are participating in your brand ambassador program need to understand what is expected of them. Share with them what is expected, what is appropriate, and how and when to share. Set guidelines on which social media channels to use, how often you would like them to post, what is allowed to be posted and what is not. Some people rarely post anything on their social media, and some are a bit post-happy. Find that happy medium.
Share content. Your employees will do better if they understand the message you are trying to convey to your audience. Put a system in place so your marketing team is sharing the latest content, product updates, and company goals. Have your marketing team share content ideas with the brand ambassadors, so they have some ideas of what to post.
Communicate. Have a “go-to” person for your brand ambassadors. Questions will come up and your employees will want someone to turn to for answers. Having one or two people that can communicate with this group will send a consistent message to your team.
Let the brand ambassadors help. Listen to your employees. They will have some good ideas, and if they are highly engaged in your company, their suggestions can have a huge impact on your program. Ask them for their input and try a few small test programs to see what works for your company.
Define milestones. Let the brand ambassadors know what is expected of them, and then follow through. Set a certain number of posts per week. Ask them to share the results of those posts on a spreadsheet (how many impressions, likes, shares, etc). Make the goals realistic, and incentivize them for following through. Doing the little things, like having a pizza lunch once a month will keep their spirits up and the ideas flowing.
Share feedback. This lets the brand ambassadors know that you care – you see their efforts and hard work. When they have posts that do well, let them know you appreciate their time. Establishing this relationship early creates trust between you and your brand ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors can find a variety of customers that your business will never reach. The different channels that a person provides to the public can extend your marketing reach to a realm that you never thought possible, and bring in a whole new set of future customers. This is a very cost-effective way to broaden your audience. Take care of your brand ambassadors, and they will take care of your business.