Are ambassadors the secret ingredient to social media success?

Are ambassadors the secret ingredient to social media success?
SHARE
THIS



The tattered remnants of social media campaigns are all over Facebook. Giant advertising or marketing projects with enormous budgets have heard the cries of gold, and rushed into the hills of social media. 

Marketers flocked to Facebook in the hopes of striking viral. The only issue is that not a whole lot of them had much, if any, idea of what they were doing. The resulting sea of failures was enough to create more than a few cynics.

The major issue that I perceive stems from assumption. Brands assume that if they built the presences and provide some shiny content, people will come – and that’s incorrect. Without a clear value proposition, nobody is going to take part in anything.

Sadly, it’s a concept that is exacerbated by Facebook’s advertising structure – one that mysteriously delivers a page new followers, regardless of whether or not they’re actually worthy of being followed in proportion to the amount spent.   

So where are these legitimate, engaged brand-based communities? Can they actually be built?

Absolutely, and developing ambassadors is just one method of creating them.

What an online ambassador really is:

The term brand ambassador used to be associated with something like this:

But from a community management perspective, the term ambassador is far more general. It instead applies to those who act as leaders within the community. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they essentially represent a highly engaged community member. They also are the seeds from which communities grow.

Their networks may not resemble Leo’s sea of adoring fans. But they do represent networks nonetheless – networks comprised of a valuable target audience group. Your ambassadors may not be paid, but they are conduits through which to communicate with your audience, approaching them as peers, rather than as customers. The job of the brand becomes positioning them to do so, a task that requires identification, empowerment and support.  

The advantages that brand ambassadors represent are numerous. They not only grow the community, but also sustain it as it develops. They provide support to new members, and work to dispel the trolls.

There are many who would tell you that the absence of ambassadors was instrumental in the downfall of the Kony 2012 campaign, a campaign comprised of thousands of supporters armed with very few facts. Without enough ambassadors equipped with a genuine understanding of a complicated issue, the overnight community collapsed, as the few highly vocal cynics went practically uncontested in their efforts to topple the movement. 

Your ambassadors should be the ones who sit right on the edge of the idea diffusion bell-curve – early adopters, the people that are naturally excited about your offering. If you can identify these individuals you are going to find a far higher return when you engage with them, rather than with those that aren’t quite as interested.

The role of ambassadors needn’t always be this formal however. Look at Nike’s ‘She runs the night’ campaign. The campaign was highly ambassador-focused, but the ambassadors were young female runners. Identifying these people and supporting them did not comprise of formal training but simply giving away a few free sneakers and running activities for them to participate in. The real life engagement carried over into online discussions, designed to create a buzz around the Nike brand with the ultimate call to action being towards recruiting runners into a night race. The campaign was a huge success.

More and more brands and campaigns are taking this approach – identifying the few who will talk to the many, empowering them and supporting them in their voluntary role.

In order to communicate with a target audience, you need to understand them, and nobody knows a particular type of person better than someone who is that type of person. Ambassadors provide a much-needed point of reference in the murky world of social media engagement.

Not all campaigns, and not even all brands, are going to have activities that are ambassador-friendly, but if you want to make people care about something, a sure-fire way is to give them ownership.

Matthew Cox is a strategic consultant at Dialogue Consulting.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

Nils Vesk (pictured below) is an innovation architect who’s delivered programs for some of the most prestigious organisations in the world, including Microsoft, IBM, Commonwealth Bank and Nestle. In this guest post for B&T, he shows you how to spot a lasting trend that’s not merely just another passing fad…   The importance behind learning […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Study: Almost Half Of Aussies Browse Mobile Retail Sites For “Retailtainment”
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Study: Almost Half Of Aussies Browse Mobile Retail Sites For “Retailtainment”

A new study today has revealed that although mobile commerce may have begun as a convenient way to shop on-the-go, it has quickly developed into an entertainment experience for many Aussies. The PayPal mCommerce Index Trends Report 2018 (which you can read in full here) found that two thirds (67 per cent) of Aussie smartphone owners browse shopping sites just […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

In this guest post, King Kong’s head of growth, Sabri Suby (pictured below), takes a look at recent changes to Google’s rankings and how it will affect content makers and the measure of any content’s success… Changes to Google’s ranking algorithm mean that time on a page is valued higher than the number of clicks. With these new rules […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis
  • Media

An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis

Whoops! B&T's stuffed up and this certainly comes with our sincerest apologies for any offence caused.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD

One need only look at the Cadbury Favourites chocolate selection to know it has nought to do with industry diversity.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour
  • Media

Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour

Eyeota, the global leader in audience data, has today released its latest results on automotive purchase intentions in Australia. The results provide a deep dive into what motivates the buyer and segments those into six different personas.

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA
  • Marketing
  • Media

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA

AANA's annual Christmas dinner and dance got a teensy bit more crowded following this announcement this morning.

QMS Introduces ‘The Lonsdale’ To Melbourne
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Introduces ‘The Lonsdale’ To Melbourne

Digital outdoor media company QMS Media has turned on a new premium landmark digital billboard situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Delivering a commanding presence at the major intersection of Lonsdale and Russell Streets, ‘The Lonsdale’ offers extended dwell times to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, impacting more than 2.2 million contacts per month. […]

Portrait of a woman looking through out the blinds. Office worker looking through window blinds
  • Opinion

The Lurking Brand Threats Facing CMOs

Treading on gardening rakes and possible alien abduction notable omissions from this CMO threats piece.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Susannah George
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Susannah George

B&T is delighted to profile Urbanlist supremo Susannah George who, we understand, is not related to George Brandis.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ikon Lands Avis Budget Group Account
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Ikon Lands Avis Budget Group Account

B&T chooses and recommends Avis and John Karandonis shoes. Hang on, that was the end of Sale Of The Century.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine