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How To Cultivate Social Media Brand Ambassadors!

Why Brand Ambassadors Are Paramount

Since I launched my Social Media Marketing company in 2012 there has been one singular question I hear from every client during our pre-launch interview (I’m paraphrasing of course)… “What is the secret sauce for a ton of likes on Facebook?”. My response goes something like this: “Likes are important, but not THE most important part of your social landscape. It’s better to have 100 followers that are highly engaged than 5,000 that just liked you for a free widget.” And after a little over a decade in marketing & advertising, my philosophy stands strong!

If the only thing that matters to you in life is having 1,000 likes on your Facebook page, then save yourself a ton of time and buy them (I really don’t recommend this option). $5 and a 30 second search on Fiverr.com will get you that. Here… I’ll even give you a link.

However, if you’re a serious business person who honestly wants a fan-base engaged with your product or service (more than the 3 seconds it takes to click “like”) then I have some real, tried-and-true tips to help you turn fans into champions of your cause. The cherished “Brand Ambassadors” of your business!!!

1. Tickle the Senses

Visual media works particularly well for generating interaction with your audience, particularly images, video and music. Research has shown that on Facebook, photos receive an 87% interaction rate from followers (the next best is a sad 4%). On Twitter, photos can boost retweets by 35%. Ultimately the more likes and shares your media has, the more potential it has to reach a wider audience. Think of it as a modern 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon (if you had to click on that link to know what I meant, I’m disappointed). If someone likes your post, most of their friends see it too… if one of them likes it, their friends see it… next thing you know, Boom.. Kevin Bacon.

2. Want to Play a Game?

Games, polls, giveaways and competitions garner a great deal of interest across social media. Fans become highly engaged in the outcome because of their own personal involvement… but be warned, while this is great for boosting immediate engagement this will not create a long relationship. That being said, everyone wants to have some fun from time-to-time!

3. Ask Questions

You many not think that answering questions would be high on your fanbase’s agenda, but in fact this can be an excellent way to start conversations. Pose general questions to strike up a dialogue (as long as you put in the time to actually respond!). Plus, asking about feedback for your brand, products or services can be a great way to find out what they think. Warning: just remember that you may not like everything you hear, but it can provide valuable insight into whether you are meeting your customers’ needs. Plus, Comments bring that whole 6 degrees of KB into play again too!

4. Tracking

Why put in the time and effort if you’re not going to pay attention to what actually works??? Monitoring how well your status updates, tweets and pins are received (in terms of likes and shares) can give you valuable insight into what works best for your business. Also, keep an eye on whether your company is mentioned elsewhere on social media and whether it is in a positive or negative light. Same goes for your competitors, keep an eye on what they’re up to.

5. Be There

Consumers today want to feel that they are interacting with people and not just a brand. Meaning, as well as generating content on your profiles you also need to be present to answer questions and to interact with comments that are added to your updates. With Twitter’s fast-paced stream, you have between 20-30max to respond before customers (or potential customers) simply move on. Facebook has a slightly longer response time, but not by much.

Being present is the final and probably key element of engagement, and it is vital to building relationships with people you’re grooming into brand ambassadors. Even a simple thank you for commenting demonstrates to your audience that you are watching and listening, and nothing fosters engagement in an audience faster than recognizing that they are being heard.

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Hi, I’m Travis Ford, owner of Rock Harbor Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency that adapts Social Media and Brand Voice for businesses. I welcome opinions, helpful critiques and comments of admiration only. (All others can go to the back of the line.) Leave me a comment here, Follow us on Facebook, or tweet me, and we can chat further. As always… I like to end each post with a slow clap building to a crowd pleasing crescendo of joy!

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