Let’s first define what it means to be an “Ambassador.” The political definition, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.” Now let’s simplify this. Our everyday ambassador is a representative of a particular activity or, in marketing terms, a brand.
Social media marketing, or as it was called 15 years ago, word-of mouth marketing, has revolutionized branding, marketing, advertising, sales…the list goes on. But what has it done specifically for brands?
They’ve digitally collated constituents, adherents, bystanders, and haters, much like a political campaign, creating groups in every category around the brand. And the price to get in? Free.
Now that these “consumers” or “non-consumers”, depending on the angle you look at it, are all in one centralized hub like Twitter or Facebook. What can you as the social media liaison/advocate do to streamline the coalition process?
Two important best practices:
1) Reach out. Engage with the consumer. Did the consumer publicly say that they loved your line of T-shirts? Respond and ask for their address and send them that shirt and make sure everyone can see that you fulfilled this request. This begins to drip into viral marketing.
Here’s a good example. A fan of Taco Bell wrote on Taco Bell’s Facebook page, saying that he is the number-one-ranked swimmer in his town, and that he would love to have the Taco Bell logo embroidered onto his Speedo. A bit of an odd request. Odd enough however, to go completely viral, where this one fan post, was then Retweeted, Favorited, Liked, Shared, Tagged thousands of times because of Taco Bell’s quick/engaging delivery.
2) Engage in real-time. This phrase is thrown around a lot in the digital/social media space. Being in real-time is the process of communicating with the consumer while being mindful of timing and environmental conditions and events. But we’d add to it: “Engage in real-time by using explicit calls-to-action.”
A great example is when Ellen Degeneres took a selfie during the Oscars with several well-known actors, with the call-to-action being very explicit. “Let’s get the most amount of Retweets Twitter has ever seen!” It worked. She called upon her fans, whether they were constituents (who would engage without the explicit CTA) and the adherents (who participated because of the CTA).
This is the underlying concept: turn those who silently purchase the product, without public mention, into advocates through explicit CTA’s.