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Building Brand Ambassadors through Targeted Social Networking

Building Brand Ambassadors through Targeted Social Networking

Social media has changed the way businesses operate and reach out by bringing marketing to the forefront of every operation in a way that is both affordable and limitless. Reaching a large target market no longer requires a deep budget or complex strategies that can only be understood by professionals. While those professionals may be useful for increasing overall reach and providing strategy, anyone interested in spreading their business’s message can do so; all it takes is the creation of a social media account or two.

There’s a reason for this. Now, more than ever before, consumers are looking to relate to the companies with whom they do business. They want recognition now and then and to get to know brands before making any purchasing decisions; they want connections. Because social media exists based on these connections, it’s an excellent place to start when it comes to marketing.

All it takes is a little creativity, coupled with the knowledge that a few satisfied, connected customers can do more than a multi-million dollar marketing campaign — as long as the initial approach is correct. Below are a few ideas for building brand ambassadors through targeted social networking efforts.

Understanding Brand Ambassadors

While some brands go to great lengths to create brand ambassador programs, that’s not always necessary – the definition of a brand ambassador is vast and can vary from one company to another. Put simply, a brand ambassador is anyone not directly related to the brand – not an employee – who spreads the brand’s message with enthusiasm. This can be a satisfied customer who shares a testimonial with their own network, someone who receives a perk for their sharing (a discount code in most cases), or someone who goes above and beyond to refer customers to a specific brand based solely on their own positive experiences. The bottom line is this: any satisfied customer or enthusiastic fan can become a valuable brand ambassador.

Building Connections

The best way to empower your community is to focus on connecting with it in the first place. This requires ongoing effort and commitment. Ask questions and encourage your fans and followers to answer. Respond to comments and questions that are posted on your wall. Favorite any Twitter mentions and retweet posts that mention your brand. By taking the time to get to know your community, you’ll be taking the first step to building brand ambassadors.

Offer Promotions

By taking the time to offer special discounts and promotions to your community, you’re increasing the likelihood that purchases will be made – which, obviously, contributes to a higher ROI. However, you’re also showing your community you value each and every member, and that you’re willing to go above and beyond to gain their loyalty. This increases shareability and, therefore, the ability to reach a larger audience.

Create Targeted Content

Content is the lifeblood of any brand looking to maximize social media reach potential. However, it’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality. Set up online alerts that relate to your industry and stay current on what’s happening around the world. Think about how specific happenings and events relate to your customers and about how those pieces of information spur them on. Build on this by creating content that is likely to hit home – this is the content that will be shared.

Create content that is timely, useful and relevant; if it doesn’t relate directly to your online community or social networks, it will fall flat. Over time, examine the content you’ve created and take note of what’s made the biggest splash, as this will help in developing a strategy going forward. To expand online brand ambassadors, you’ve got to do your part by creating content that can be shared.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Take the time to reward customers who become brand ambassadors. If they share your content, call them out with a public thank you. Link to their content – where applicable – to show that you appreciate what they’ve done. This form of promotion is a two-way street and a retweet or two can go a long way. Promote those who promote you!

It’s simple: a few extra steps here and there can save your marketing budget while building a community that fosters enthusiasm for what your brand is all about. Building a free army of brand ambassadors can take any brand to the next level.

Image by Rosaura Ochoa

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