Watching the huge success that's been had adding social media brand ambassadors to their marketing mix has been an incredible learning experience for the industry. This, coupled with the massive advancements in E-commerce adoption in the last two years has encouraged more brands to experiment with ambassador partnerships. If you're diving into some articles to learn more, this is a good place to start.
For further reading, this guide to building a brand ambassador program might be helpful.
But before you dive into building your first Social media brand ambassador campaign, it makes sense to clear up some definitions.
What is a social media brand ambassador?
A social media brand ambassador (or, influencer) is a person who has a large following on social media networks such as Instagram and has been recruited by a company to promote their product, service or brand to that following.
Because of their increased reach and large following, brands are hungry to identify influencers who speak to their target audience and can convert them into customers.
The difference between an influencer and a social media brand ambassador
Unlike influencers who are often paid simply for one piece of content, social media brand ambassadors are a part of long term relationships with those brands that they work with. For example, they might create social media content on a monthly basis for as long as a year or more.
Unlike influencers, they become less of an ad-placement for a brand and more like an extension of their marketing team. They tend to be paid on a regular interval, they are given KPIs to hit, despite that they while they are not technically employed at the company.
To note: Some companies also define a brand ambassador as someone whom they hire to promote their company full time. They attend conferences and perform other public events and often are educated in marketing fields.
Are social media brand ambassador’s a popular part of the marketing mix?
Generally speaking, interest in working with brand ambassadors are on the rise. A trend from Google shows the increase in interest around the brand ambassador search topic.
Meanwhile, Influencer marketing has also taken a rapid climb in interest according to google trends. According to sites like Mediakix, Ad-spend for this type of marketing will be more than 10 Billion dollars next year. Many (myself included) believe this estimate to be quite low.
Another type of marketing often considered as related to or somewhat similar to social media brand ambassador marketing is Affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you offer many people the opportunity to sell your product through trackable links with affiliate tracking software. They may then promote that product as they see fit.
The Ad spend for affiliate marketing according to Statistica has surpassed 8 Billion in the US alone.
Finding social media brand ambassadors
Finding social media creators to recruit as brand ambassadors can be extremely daunting.
- Increase in fraud via purchasing fake followers and reach.
- Decrease in easily accessible data to verify influencers are a good fit.
- Increase in the number of social media creators and networks.
That’s why we built Modash to help you find influencers, a simple but powerful search engine with nearly 100,000,000 social media creators who are easy to filter by the target audience.
Choosing the right ambassadors
Social media brand ambassadors should speak to your target audience. The only precise way to understand whether or not they do is with data.
One option when starting out is to ask your brand ambassador you work with to show you their Instagram (or other) social media analytics.
Some influencers won’t be excited to show you this. It is a direct peek into their stats and figures. This can sometimes simply be a sign of a shy personality, but sometimes it’s a sign of fraud.
A small minority of social media creators have many fake followers, or followers from irrelevant countries. It’s important to use a tool to identify these.
While asking for details directly from influencers can work for the first 3-5 creators, it will quickly become an extremely annoying task. It makes more sense to use accurate tools like Modash for identifying and analyzing influencers. This will allow you to quickly and easily get all the data you need to choose the brand ambassadors on social media best suited for your brand.
Recruiting social media brand ambassadors
Outreach to brand ambassadors required automation and personalization to do effectively.
There are lot’s of tools and strategies for influencer outreach but the cliff notes are:
- Get contact details directly from the ambassadors’ social media page or from a tool that offers them.
- Use your favourite email outreach tool to help automate the initial process.
- Use an easy API plugin to automate commenting for Followups.
Visit this page for a more thorough breakdown on how to contact social media brand ambassadors. We talk through tools, strategy and best practices there.
Maintain strong relationships with your ambassadors
Because the nature of creating a brand ambassador program that kicks ass involves maintaining relationships with your social media brand ambassadors.
Here are a few tips:
- Make sure they have enough of your product / Swag to effectively promote your product over time.
- Occasionally, give them a special experience or consider inviting them to (exciting) company events.
- Build a simple landing page your ambassadors can quickly visit in order to get the answers they need to frequently asked questions.
- Be reliable. Pay on time, answer as promptly as possible and try to maintain a casual working-relationship with the influencer.
Our friends at Google once told us:
The most difficult problem we are trying to solve [in influencer marketing] is figuring out how many social media brand ambassadors one marketer can effectively be friends with.
If you can manage to maintain your ambassador relationships, you’ll see huge returns vs constantly having to recruit new ambassadors. That’s the beauty of brand ambassadors, they are a reliable and compounding alternative to influencer marketing.
Brand ambassadors are a huge part of the future of marketing and some folks are getting in fast while there is still a huge opportunity for reduced prices.