We’ve talked a lot on this blog about brand advocates and ambassadors. In this post I describe what an ambassador actually is and touch on why they are important to your brand or business.
I’ll expand on the importance of ambassadors in coming posts, but firstly it would good to understand the difference between advocates and ambassadors.
Advocate, Ambassador – what’s the difference?
An (brand) advocate is someone who defends a company, brand or product vehemently. They love the brand or product and may well promote it without even realising. They will follow new products and strongly support the brand. They are not sanctioned by the company themselves. They are doing for the love.
A generic example of an advocate would be anyone that helps out on a product or brand forum. Not moderaters necessarily but people that answer lots of questions and are generally very informative about the product.
A more specific example is the Apple fanboi. They are so stubborn a lot of the time that they do not acknowledge the fact that Apple products or software may be imperfect in any shape or form.
An ambassador is essentially the same, perhaps not so bullish as the fanboi, but basically has the same traits. However a company or brand may select ambassadors to be the official unofficial voice of the brand.
Ambassadors can be celebrities (Microsoft seems to opt for this option at the moment), regular people that have a bit of Social Status (popular bloggers are often a target in technology companies for example) or regular people who may ask to be involved.
Why are Ambassadors important?
There are numerous reasons for why ambassadors are important. For example ambassadors are
- an extra set of eyes from outside the corporation
- a tremendous feedback channel
- promoting your brand or product for (mostly) little remuneration *
- super enthusiastic. I’m sure you would struggle to find someone within your organisation with such enthusiasm
- usually normal people with friends in similar target group
As I wrote in know your audience better 70% percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends!! Ambassadors usually have friends.
* This can be something free, such as making someone a forum moderator, to giving sample products to test or promote, t-shirts etc.. or cash 🙂
How can I Identify Ambassadors?
While advocates just exist, hopefully, ambassadors are usually selected by a company or brand to be a spokesperson. A great place to start to find potential ambassadors is your Social networks. Checking out fans that interact with your pages, or forums, or tweet you are good start. Get a conversation going, build a relationship and trust.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. It’s an ongoing relationship that shouldn’t end after a promotion or campaign.
You can make the identification of ambassadors a whole lot easier with EzyInsights.