Let’s assume, for a moment, that you have step one on the path to building your Brand Ambassador Factory covered. For those who don’t know, step one would be to make sure that your business is operating in a way that creates extremely happy customers and clients. There’s nothing I can say on this social media blog to help you there – run a good business and make people more than satisfied with the results you deliver. If you aren’t doing that, social media can’t fix it.
With the assumption that you’re running a good business out of the way, let’s move on to step two. You have to identify potential brand ambassadors. The initial requirement is easy – they have to like you. Unfortunately, it goes much deeper than that. Liking your business isn’t enough to make a brand ambassador. You have to look for other qualities to go along with it.
This is where stereotypes have to be thrown out. A hip 20-something isn’t necessarily addicted to their smartphone and Facebook. A 65-year-old grandmother isn’t necessarily still handwriting postcards to her grandchildren. You can’t identify a potential social media user without asking them. Once you start asking, you’re going to be surprised at the results.
Before you ask, you’ll want to make sure that your employees are prepared for the initiative. It is an initiative. To downplay it as something that you’re “playing with” or to isolate social media activity to a single person is a mistake. It takes every customer-facing employee at a company to really get the most benefit out of this. Have a meeting and even have everyone read this blog post first. It’s important that they get it before trying to sell them on the concept.
Here are some characteristics you’ll want to look for when determining whether or not to approach someone about being a brand ambassador for your business:
This isn’t as much of a no-brainer as one might think. There are tons of shy people on social media. In fact, social media offers a venue for shy people to interact with their world from a safe distance which is part of its popularity. These shy people aren’t going to be brand ambassadors.
You want that person who can’t stop socializing. They are often talkative in person, sharing information without being asked. They will likely check their smartphone throughout a long transaction. If they grab it and take a peek every time it pings them with a new text message or Facebook update, they’re connected in all the right ways.
We’ve all known that ever-connected person who is a total snob. Their profile is probably loaded with cynical comments, which are only slightly less cynical than what they say about people in real life.
Friendly people are much more likely to be brand ambassadors. They are the ones who carry an extra smile with them in case yours runs out of juice. They like you the moment they meet you and many people like them as a result.
This is an extremely important trait of a brand ambassador because these are the type of people who are willing to help you out when you ask. At the end of the day, very few people become a brand ambassador without prompting, which means that you want to identify those people who are willing to put their name behind a good experience they’ve had with a company. Remember, brand ambassadors are giving personal endorsements. It’s not like asking someone to post a positive review on Yelp. Getting them to post on their social media is a true endorsement. Since it’s a reflection of themselves that reaches their friends and family, it actually means something. It’s “skin in the game” which is why it’s so much more powerful than a simple positive review.
This is the moment of truth. Are they happy, and I mean really happy with your product or service? If they meet the first couple of criteria and they express extreme satisfaction with their transaction, you’ve found an ideal candidate to approach about being a brand ambassador.
You’ve done right by them and you could really use them to do right by you on social media. This is it. You’re about to get a real endorsement from a real person who is likely trusted by their friends and family.
* * *
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the ways to approach a potential brand ambassador and put them to work for you.