Marketers should be reaching out to brand advocates on social media and asking them to become permanent brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors can be a great asset to any marketing initiative, but they have largely gone ignored.
When the social media “experts” first tried to tell us that brands need to engage consumers online every brand immediately added social media people and blasted promotional messages until most consumers decided that following a brand on social media was a waste of their valuable time. However, there some people who really love the brands they purchase.
It’s important to remember that consumers just don’t have the time to read all the content on their social media feeds. Most just skim articles and even Facebook admitted that organic reach is so low you need an electron microscope just to see it, but there are still consumers who make great brand ambassadors. So why not recruit these people and pay them to be your voice on social media?
Here is an example; I love Trek Bikes and ride over 100 miles a week. I belong to various cycling groups on Facebook and whenever someone asks for advice on a bike or accessory I always recommend Trek bikes. I know for a fact that I have persuaded several people to purchase Trek products, but as of today they have only said “thank you”. Would I be an asset to their brand? I think so and they could win me further over by inviting me for a factory tour or adding me as a brand ambassador at very little cost.
Of course, once someone “works” for a company they could be seen as selling out, but if they are transparent and speak as person to person rather than brand to customer they could win over skeptical consumers. In fact, if Trek were to hire me as a social media person to represent the brand I probably would give most of the money back by purchasing another bike.
Now imagine some new moms helping out other new moms via a brand ambassador? Millennial moms are not all the same. Messaging that targets the “average” millennial mom only reaches 30% of the intended audience. More than 1 million Millennials are becoming moms each year, so that’s a significant potential customer loss. In addition, they are a generation of infuencers. Not only are millennial women making the majority of purchasing decisions in their own households, they’re also impacting purchasing decisions in their friends’ and family households.
How She Interacts with Brands
As a digital geek, Tara enjoys doing a lot of online research before she makes a purchase. Friends and family respect her knowledge and frequently solicit her opinion for product recommendations — she’s a true infuencer. When brands show their appreciation for her expertise, Tara responds positively. Once you develop a rapport with her, Tara will become the best ambassador your brand could wish for.
Rather than analyze social media as a marketing channel to justify hiring people in-house to be the voice of your social media brands should recruit these people and keep them close. Yes, there are risks, but the rewards could propel brands where it counts.