How to manage a team of brand ambassadors
For a team of brand ambassadors to have success, it is essential to select the adequate channel and train those in charge of spreading the message.
Creating a team of brand ambassadors from a group of employees of our own company makes more sense each day. Many organizations have already realised their employees are not alien to the changes in habits that affect the other consumers. Nowadays they are also more active on the Internet and in social media platforms, speaking about brands, creating content and sharing experiences with other users. Furthermore, other users perceive what those employees share in their social media accounts as more credible than the content coming directly from the brands’ accounts. It is one of the advantages of horizontal communication between equals, compared to vertical communication in which both actors are found in different planes. Given this, a good number of companies have already opted for creating a team of brand ambassadors based on the participation of their own employees. Nevertheless, this more than accurate initiative can lose its effectiveness if we do not consider a certain series of basic rules.
Resist the temptation
If a company starts a program with the objective of having their employees’ activity in social media favour the reputation of their own brand, the easy outcome is falling into temptation and asking them merely to convey the corporate message, which would be a huge mistake. First, because almost no one would voluntarily participate in a program that snatches their social media profiles to advertise a company, and the mess is guaranteed if participation is not voluntary. Secondly, the social media followers, friends and contacts of each employee are experts at ignoring advertisements, like the rest of the consumers, so if they see the profile of said employee as a brand showcase, they will disregard those messages and, in some cases, they might even unfollow the profiles. This means we need to find better suggestions for our brand ambassadors, such as:
- Reposting the brand’s content they believe in and identify themselves with (even better if that content includes motivational, human or technical themes instead of being pure ads).
- Sharing content related to news and trends in their sector, not necessarily coming from their companies. This will make their audience perceive them as experts as time goes on, rather than seeing them as advertisers of the company that pays their salary.
Selecting the right channel
Nowadays, there is a great variety of social media platforms, each one with their own specific peculiarities, user typology and reach. Twitter’s 280-character language has little to nothing to do with LinkedIn’s professional attitude or Instagram and Tik Tok’s friendlier image. Some contents will work better than others will depending on the platform and their visual nature, their technicalities, the target audience, etc. We need to analyse our content to make sure that our efforts are rewarded and we are not talking to an audience that finds us irrelevant or does not share our language. If our employees are also going to be our team of brand ambassadors, they have to be doing their work wherever interests are at stake.
Training the participants of the program
Being a brand ambassador is not a trivial task. Without a doubt, it would be poorly effective and irresponsible to tell our employees to participate in conversations about our brand without following a certain criteria outside of their own understanding and the knowledge they have as occasional users of a social media platform. Brand ambassadors must be trained, or at least introduced to certain aspects such as the use of social media platforms, the creation of effective messages, managing trolls and their reputation crisis, their online identity, etc. Precisely, this training should be presented as their first reward for participating in the program and it should benefit both parts: the employee will get useful knowledge that will help them in both their professional and personal activities and the company will be able to profit from the work of the collaborators inside the team of brand ambassadors.
Establishing KPIs, a dashboard and measuring the results
The activity of a team of brand ambassadors may have a wide range and a long journey, but it is essential to know where we want to get with this type of programs, be aware if we are doing it right to be able to modify our strategy on the fly if the results are not as expected. It is convenient to plan what we want to do ahead of time, for example, increase our number of followers in social media, get positive interactions, solve a pre-existing reputation problem or generate leads or sales. Since almost no one has a crystal ball, and social tasks can be capricious and may depend on variables difficult to apprehend, we should not be reluctant to rethink our strategy and rectify according to what the numbers are telling us.
The common opinion among business people is that, given the open and free speech character of many social media platforms, it is impossible to influence what people say about our brand. However, that is totally wrong. Maybe our activity is not determining and our degree of control is almost never what we wished for, but a well-trained and motivated team of brand ambassadors can influence aspects such as brand knowledge or reputation significantly. Investing in our own employees to form that team will create a valuable asset for the company.
If you need more information about brand ambassadors, do not hesistate to contact us.