When deciding on the best way to promote your small business, there are a number of options available to you. One of the most relevant in today’s marketplace, though, is the use of social media. All you need is an account and some followers to get a piece of the marketing pie.
There are a few difficulties to really breaking into the social media scene as a small business, one of which is a high bar for accessing influencers. Influencers have huge followings, but they also are a paid source of authority. Their followers trust them to provide useful information, to back worthwhile brands, and to represent a lifestyle as much as a product niche.
Rather than focusing on high-profile influencers to make headway in the marketing world, small businesses can benefit more from the sway of brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are generally drawn from your preexisting customer base, making them highly relatable to other buyers. It’s all about leveraging their passion for your product to reach those with shared interests.
It’s fairly easy to convert an average customer into a brand ambassador. All you need to do is look for people who are already talking about your products, following your brand on social media, or referring people to your company. Pay attention to what they have to say and spend some time responding to and connecting with them.
Those small interactions might include responding to and sharing tweets, asking for feedback on an exclusive survey, or even doing a customer profile of the individual on your website. While ambassadors are compensated, they aren’t paid branding professionals like influencers, which makes them much easier to woo.
What Makes An Ambassador?
A great brand ambassador can look like many different things. For example, CaratLane’s ambassador Sunita describes herself as typically not very into jewelry or accessories, but still found herself very interested in the brand. This makes her very different from brand ambassadors who have played the field and know every product on the market. Having different types of ambassadors helps your brand appeal to different subsets of the market.
One thing that all good brand ambassadors have in common is that they’re active on social media – and they should have the following to show for it. Brand ambassadors are sometimes known as micro-influencers, generally defined as social media users with 10,000-100,000 followers. This gives ambassadors the ability to boost the prominence of your business accounts, increasing interaction with your brand and making all features of your customer more memorable.
A Circular Structure
When working with brand ambassadors, the idea is to maintain an ongoing pattern of interactions. Ambassadors boost your brand via social media and they’re rewarded and reengaged using gift cards, products, and other brand-related items. They circle around and generate referrals for your brand by reviewing your products, talking about positive brand interactions, and generating buzz around your content. They can even do a social media takeover, running your accounts for a day or two.
You can’t run a strong social media campaign as a small business without the support of brand ambassadors – you just don’t have the reach alone. Build your network and undercut the competition with the help of your best customers. The best part is, they’ll be honored that you asked.