Anyone online can see that the remains of various social media campaigns are scattered all over Facebook! Many marketers have flocked to Facebook in the hopes of striking viral. However, one of the major problems behind these campaigns is that not a whole lot of them had much of an idea of what they were doing!
Do not assume that if you build a social media presence that customers will come. Always ask yourself, what is the value to them? The real challenge is building a brand-based community, and developing ambassadors is just one method of creating them.
Firstly, you need to understand that the term ambassator is far more general. It applies to those who act as leaders within the community. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they essentially represent a highly engaged community member. They also are the seeds from which communities grow.
Their networks may not resemble the adoring fans of a movie stars, but they do represent networks nonetheless – networks comprised of a valuable target audience group. Your ambassadors may not be paid, but they are conduits through which to communicate with your audience, approaching them as peers, rather than as customers.
The advantages that brand ambassadors represent are numerous. They not only grow the community, but also sustain it as it develops. They provide support to new members, and work to dispel the trolls.
There are many who would tell you that the absence of ambassadors was instrumental in the downfall of the Kony 2012 campaign, a campaign comprised of thousands of supporters armed with very few facts. Without enough ambassadors equipped with a genuine understanding of a complicated issue, the overnight community collapsed, as the few highly vocal cynics went practically uncontested in their efforts to topple the movement.
Your ambassadors should be the ones who sit right on the edge of the idea diffusion bell-curve – early adopters, the people that are naturally excited about your offering. If you can identify these individuals you are going to find a far higher return when you engage with them, rather than with those that aren’t quite as interested.
The role of ambassadors needn’t always be this formal however. Look at Nike’s ‘She runs the night’ campaign. The campaign was highly ambassador-focused, but the ambassadors were young female runners. Identifying these people and supporting them did not comprise of formal training but simply giving away a few free sneakers and running activities for them to participate in. The real life engagement carried over into online discussions, designed to create a buzz around the Nike brand with the ultimate call to action being towards recruiting runners into a night race. The campaign was a huge success.
More and more brands and campaigns are taking this approach – identifying the few who will talk to the many, empowering them and supporting them in their voluntary role.
In order to communicate with a target audience, you need to understand them, and nobody knows a particular type of person better than someone who is that type of person. Ambassadors provide a much-needed point of reference in the murky world of social media engagement.
Not all campaigns, and not even all brands, are going to have activities that are ambassador-friendly, but if you want to make people care about something, a sure-fire way is to give them ownership.
This article was sourced from B&T News. If you think your brand could benefit from a brand ambassator or you need help with your social media presence ask QA to help… it’s just another service we can work on with you to help you achieve better outcomes!