In a perfect world, everyone who buys your products would talk about them to everyone they meet.
The problem is, we don’t live in a perfect world. And, while some of your customers might be ardent fans, others may need a bit of coaxing to get there.
The good news? You can turn customers into enthusiastic brand ambassadors in just four easy steps.
That might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. The trick is knowing what makes someone a brand ambassador – and then leading them down the road instead of hoping they’ll get there on their own.
What Can Brand Ambassadors Do for You
Brand ambassadors are more than just enthusiastic fans. When brand ambassadorship is at its best, customers identify heavily with the brands they love.
One example is Apple customers. You’ve probably noticed that they:
Apple might be an extreme example because it’s a big company, but brand ambassadors can do a lot to increase awareness of your brand. They can give you a competitive advantage in your industry. If you’ve got fans who talk about you all the time, you’re getting free advertising from them every time they mention you.
Brand ambassadors can also help you build customer loyalty. Knowing that others are enthusiastic about your products can increase their perceived value. A truly enthusiastic fan can even create new brand ambassadors for you.
What Does Engagement Have to Do with It
You know that engagement is the Holy Grail of social media marketing. What you might not know is what engagement means nowadays. Your engagement might be up while your sales are down – and when that’s the case, it’s hard to get excited about a few hundred likes on Facebook or Instagram.
Not all engagement is the same. There are levels and you must understand them if you want to understand how to create brand ambassadors. Here’s how I break it down:
Your goal, of course, is to get as many people to step 6 as possible.
The Four Steps to Brand Ambassadorship
As I said before, there are four steps you can follow to create brand ambassadors. They’re not difficult, but they do require some planning and persistence on your part.
Here are two examples of brands I think have done a good job of creating brand ambassadors.
Starbucks runs a white cup contest on Instagram every year. They challenge fans to create designs on plain white cups and post photos of them. The company shares the posts with their fans and produces a limited-edition run of the winning design.
Beauty brand Dove often asks its fans to tell stories about themselves and their families. They’ve run Mother’s Day promotions where they request information about customers’ mothers and then create one-of-a-kind social media “cards” for them.
What you can see from these ideas is that fans will engage with your brand if you ask them, incentivize them, and reward them.
Your brand ambassadors are waiting to be inspired…
It’s time to start thinking about what’s going to convince your current customers and followers to embrace your brand as ambassadors.
Not sure where to start? Try asking on social media! Your fans who are already engaged will be eager to tell you what they want – and you can use their advice as guidance to get things started.