Building an audience takes a ton of work. Building a brand ambassador program is something else entirely.
Audience can come for a zillion reasons, good and bad — link bait, a fight in the comments section, a viral quiz. They can be looking for a tidbit of information or an expert resource. They want something you offer.
A brand ambassador wants to offer you something. They want to help you grow and spread your message. They want to share.
An ambassador is defined as (n) a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your audience promoted you, on purpose, and as a primary means of interacting with you?
Audience is great, but how can you turn them into ambassadors for you, your brand or your mission? Focus on sharing and caring.
Brand ambassador tip #1: Ask ‘em to share
A good general rule of thumb that I have heard from many sources is: People share what makes them look cool (or smart, or informed, or…). I want to take this one step further, however, and encourage a mindset shift akin to choosing to buy local — the #sharewhatmatters movement.
As we are flooded with more and more content, we as a community need to seek and share quality work.
There are material products that are mass-produced without regard to the damage it does to the environment, laborers or impact. Same for content.
The flip of this is that when something is meaningful, it should cut through the noise. The only way for us to ensure that is to share what matters. We all have our own corner of the world that wants to know what matters to us. Amplify that content.
How can you get YOUR audience to do this for you? Ask. Remember to simply ask for sharing. Consumers are savvy and will give their thumbs up. You need them to know that sharing is what keeps your lights on.
And I can tell you this for sure: to share, they have to care.
Brand ambassador tip #2: Show you care
Well, you better make sure that everything you build (product, service, content) means something, does something good, and is worth the space it takes up in an overcrowded market.
Do YOU care? It really has to start there.
It is my hope and belief that the business of the digital space is shifting from eyeballs to hearts. Relationships with audience will matter more than surface page views. And there is no audience more premium than an ambassador. Building ambassadors is paramount to a brand’s success online.
3 simple steps to build a brand ambassador program
If you’ve embraced the sharing and caring at the heart of a strong brand ambassador program, and you’re creating content that matters, it’s time to make it as easy as possible for your ambassadors to spread the word.
- Give your brand ambassadors a name. Deadheads, Little Monsters, Mamaloders. A group needs to know who they are and what they all have in common.
- Give them tools. Ideally, go to them! Set up a Facebook group, Google+ Hangout or some other way for them to be part of a special corner of your world. A clubhouse, so to speak.
- Give them ownership. I am not talking about equity; I am talking about emotion. Do they feel like they are integral to the success of your program? They should.
Have you built a successful brand ambassador program? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments!