Brand Advocacy

What is a Brand Ambassador? Find the Answer to a Critical Question.

Picture of Sociabble By   Sociabble  

What is a brand ambassador? It, like Employee Advocacy, is a term we often use, but it’s important to remember that not everyone knows exactly what it means, or why the concept is so important to marketing and communications in our modern, digital age. In this article, we’ll explain it all.

There’s a simple truth to online marketing and communications: it’s getting harder and harder to receive organic visibility in the digital ecosystem. There are a number of reasons why this is, from algorithms to digital clutter to new privacy laws, but there is one unifying solution that can help: brand ambassadors. What is a brand ambassador? This article will answer that question, and explain why they’re absolutely crucial given the online climate today, and how any employee, with the right coaching and resources, can become an effective brand ambassador for your company.

In this article, you will learn:

1. What is a brand ambassador? And what is the benefit of a brand ambassador program?

2. What are the different kinds of brand ambassador programs?

3. How can companies implement a successful brand ambassador program?

4. How Sociabble can help your company with your brand ambassador program

 

1. What is a brand ambassador? And what is the benefit of a brand ambassador program?

A brand ambassador is any person, paid or unpaid, professional or amateur, who speaks out on behalf of a company and attempts to bring attention to its services, its products, and its mission. One way or another, they have a vested interest in promoting positive brand awareness across their social networks and with the general public.

What is a brand ambassador

As to the benefits? Well, positive brand awareness makes people want to buy a company’s products. It makes them stand out against their competitors. And it makes the company appear more attractive to prospective talent as well. If everyone is talking about how great a company is, and influential people are singing its praises, it only stands to reason that individuals will want to seek out whatever they offer, and if they have the chance to work for them, they will!

Why is this important? Because the conventional means of promoting brands are becoming less and less effective online, with social media algorithms prioritizing individual content over companies, and with a host of new digital privacy laws making it difficult to target consumers. Brand representatives are not subject to these kinds of constraints. Plus, they’re seen as more authentic and more trustworthy by social media networks and the general public alike.

 

2. What are the different kinds of brand ambassador programs? A brand ambassador definition.

As noted, brand ambassadors can take several different forms, although their end goal—of increasing positive brand awareness—is the same. What changes is the nature of their role, and how they spread the message. The main types of brand ambassadors include:

Business Partners

They have positive experiences with the company they’re promoting, and they recognize that doing so is mutually beneficial. Everyone wins! For example, a provider of digital workspace solutions may help partners to stay competitive in their market by providing relevant content and strategies.

Here at Sociabble, as another example, we provide useful content to our partners so that they can leverage their own advocacy programs via our Sociabble Heroes forum. It’s B2B communication for a win-win strategy.

Customers

Often times the best company ambassadors of all. Who better to convince other customers, assuming, of course, they have good things to say about the brand? Customers are honest, direct, and they have firsthand experience with the product or service being offered. For these ambassadors, social media listening and CRM strategies are key to developing their role.

Influencers

These are people with powerful networks and levers of influence that can be recruited to help spread positive brand awareness. They are often paid to do so, but not always—sometimes they simply love a company and its products or services.

A good example of this was when Defi Wind, the world’s largest windsurfing event, launched Sociabble4Fans, an online platform powered by Sociabble, designed to build a community of superfans, eventually engaging 1,400 windsurfers and their thousands of followers across the globe during a three-day event.

Brand ambassador Defiwind

Employees

This is perhaps the most overlooked type of brand representatives, but it’s also possibly the most powerful, and the easiest to activate. Through an Employee Advocacy program, their enthusiasm for their company can be harnessed and their social networks transformed into active conduits for generating positive brand awareness. It’s effective and sustainable in the long-run, compared to other types of brand ambassadors. Want to see proof? Just check out these employee advocacy statistics:

 

 – Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels. That means 8x as many likes, shares, and comments. (sociamediatoday.com)

 – Only 33% of customers trust brands, while  90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. It’s true—employees make the best brand ambassadors. It only makes sense to channel their enthusiasm for the brand. (socialreport.com)

 – Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees through Employee Advocacy vs. the brand (business2community.com)

 

Brand ambassador quote

3. How can companies implement a successful brand ambassador program?

When it comes to setting up and running a brand ambassador program, there are several steps a company can take that will ensure success—or at the very least, greatly improve your odds of getting enthusiastic ambassadors who are willing to spread the word about the company and its services and products online.

 

Select the type of ambassador program you wish to set up. You can choose from:

• Employees, who are engaged, and/or are experts in a certain field and are willing to express themselves

• Influencers/fans and clients, who love your brand, and would be excited to identify themselves with your company

• Business partners, who appreciate the shared values and collaboration they have with your brand (i.e. common goals on sustainability, etc.)

 

Set specific goals for each type of ambassador

Of course, there are the classic indicators such as reach, engagement actions, numbers of followers, and contacts. However, goals and benefits can be qualitative, too. Such as for:

• Employees: Developing Employee Advocacy. EA is a strong tool to strengthen employees’ engagement and a company’s culture, where employees can share their opinions on social media and tell company stories “from the inside.” Also, it can help employees to develop their digital skills and knowledge on social media.

• Fans: Building a special relationship with them will help your company benefit from their feedback on your brand and products; they can also give you suggestions and insights you did not think of prior.

• Business partners: Define what you can do together outside your classic scope of work, for instance how you could contribute to their CSR and vice versa; celebrate success together, it will increase the longevity of your relationship.

 

Use a tool for your brand ambassador program

The right digital communications tool backed with Employee Advocacy features—like Sociabble—will be useful for the creation of content by your ambassadors and the management of you ambassador program, thanks to:

the power to easily create content, easily share content across all major social networks, and communicate with people no matter where they are in the world

an intuitive and visually appealing UX

the ability to create targeted channels for your different types of ambassadors, custom newsletters and push notifications that work across mobile devices (this is especially important for frontline workers)

• a translation feature that will adapt to the language of your ambassadors if they are located in different areas or countries

• CSM support with launch assistance, which can make a huge difference in getting your program off the ground

 

Additionally, a tool like Sociabble will allow you to manage different types of ambassadors on different channels, putting in place different actions to engage them, according to their interests and objectives. Plus, you can create synergies, as you will have one single platform that can serve as a central hub for communicating around specific occasions and events. For example: together with our client Edenred, we designed their award-winning “Red Boat Trip Challenge” to promote their sponsorship of a Class40 yacht in the legendary Jacques Vabre race. Edenred employees were issued a photo challenge and other prompts, to encourage them to create and share their own content across their social networks as a way of building awareness of the event, as well as the company’s involvement.

Red boat trip Challenge brand ambassadors

Create an incentive to boost the motivation on your platform

Thanks to gamification and rewards features, you can encourage participation by ambassadors by incentivizing their engagement. Sociabble even comes with CSR reward features like “Sociabble Trees,” which rewards employees with trees planted in their name to fight deforestation, and “Support My Cause,” which gives employees the power to choose their own CSR initiatives linked to rewards.

Beyond CSR, the Sociabble platform also comes with features designed to encourage praise and peer-to-peer recognition, which is a great way of generating positive momentum and encouraging sharing. Giving kudos to co-workers for achievements and helpful actions is made simple, easy, and fun, and adds that extra incentive for social media engagement.

Lastly, Sociabble has ready-made rewards programs, including leaderboards with badges and points, that can foster a spirit of friendly competition and incentivize the creation of content and sharing. Rewards and badges are given out automatically depending on the criteria established, in a way that’s simple for admins to set up and monitor. Adding this exciting “gaming” element boosts employee involvement and adds positive energy to the whole campaign.

What is a brand ambassador

Measure the performance of your brand ambassador program

Data is important, for measuring KPIs, gauging progress, and making adjustments if necessary. For example, with the Sociabble platform, specific metrics allow admins to monitor total clicks on any given piece of content, the total reach of any given piece of content, equivalent paid media savings, to see how much money is being saved versus a paid campaign, and the ability to create customized analytics tailored to a specific platform or campaign.

Which in turn can be used to adjust and tweak the overall strategy to maximize the effectiveness of the ambassadors campaign. Thanks to this kind of data, admins will:

know what types of content are the most engaging and should be encouraged

know which social networks are most effective for maximizing reach

know how your ambassadors react to certain incentives and which ones generate the most engagement

measure the impact on your brand’s overall reach, so new audiences can be targeted according to need

 

4. How Sociabble can help your company with your brand ambassador program

What is a brand ambassador? After this article, you should know the answer. If you’ve read all this and think an ambassador program is something that your company would like to improve or explore, Sociabble is happy to help. Our platform, which is designed for both Internal Communication and Employee Advocacy, comes backed up with consulting and expert assistance to ensure that your ambassador program is a success. We’ve already helped industry leaders like Coca-Cola CCEP, L’Occitane, and Primark enhance their employee communications, and we’d love to discuss ways we can help your company too.

To learn more, you can sign up for a free demo.

 

 

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