In today's marketing climate the communication strategies and channels are unstructured and require a facile creative mind to leverage the new social media and participatory element so important to building a loyal consumer base. The good news is that not only are advertising options widening in scope, there are also plenty of free or inexpensive ways to leverage social consumer engagement to increase revenue. One is approaching a current social media commentator, blogger, loyal customer, well-connected website visitor or employee rather than hiring someone to be a brand ambassador, transforming them from a fan of your business into a brand leader and integral revenue generator.
The social capital of a business has decreased in recent years now that its presence is primarily concentrated on the internet. The networking influence has shifted to the consumer on social media and blogging platforms and personal and professional networks. The majority of businesses use social media channels, but most do not approach, recognize and encourage the participants to expand the role and influence increasingly widening circles within networks.
Methods for employing the power of a brand ambassador include:
- Approaching one or several popular bloggers that write about your industry topic and offer them products or services in exchange for a review or promotion.
- Engage employees through your company's goals and give them the authority to offer customer coupons and promotions on social media platforms.
- Monitor social media and forums and identify enthusiastic customer fans that would naturally promote your business with word-of-mouth advertising. Offer them appreciation, recognition, offers and promotions to continue supporting your brand.
- Analyze the keyword bounce rate of your website -- the top keywords used to access the website and the related bounce rate for each. If a particular keyword draws a lot of visitors that mistakenly visited your website and left, if their purpose was related to your business in some way, you may be able to create content to engage them, thus expanding your circle of potential consumers.
- Be on the lookout of the perfect brand ambassador, an enthusiastic, warm, communicative person with an honest persona and active social network.
- Educate brand ambassadors about your product and service to ensure that she or he would be able to answer questions and intelligently convey your business's value and talking points.
- Engage consumers and brand ambassadors with user-generated content promotions: Photo contests, giveaways, reviews and guest blogs.
A social media expert may be the best person to recruit and leverage this potential revenue driver the best. While the amateur brand ambassador marketing approach is relatively new and a numeric ROI value is not available, a few case studies have shown that user-generated content is powerfully effective, and of course social media is a boon for most businesses that use it correctly.