At today’s Rethink conference in Stockholm, Christine Donaldson talked about her experience as an Oakley Women Brand Ambassador. Christine who is a musician and a skier uses social media to create a unique online persona in order to garner the attention of an online audience. She started using Youtube for her music and Instagram to show her passion for skiing. When she began to establish herself as a social influencer, brands began to approach her with suggestions of partnerships. Today she is an ambassador not only for Oakley Women but also for other brands.
For someone who is interested in building a personal brand her advice is to find a personal voice and make your content distinguishable from others.
Today, there are no or few passive audiences. Customers rely on peers and create content on their own. By partnering with social influencers, brands could reach customers in ways that hopefully increases trust in the brand. Or in Christine’s words:
“Use the tool of human experience to get customer attention.”
Ideally, a brand ambassadorship should:
- Strenghten relations with customers
- Influence people to buy your product
From her experience as a brand ambassador, Christine gave the following advice in regards to ambassador programs.
Steps in building a brand ambassador program
Find the team – how to find your brand ambassadors
- Hold a contest (have applicants create content)
- Use a hashtag (see who is submitting the best content, that is of value to your brand)
- Invite relevant social influencers (if you already know who is influential, invite them to participate)
- Create a relationship (approach them with interest and offer)
- Provide a contract (make it official, sort out the terms that also allows you to terminate the relationship)
- Promote interaction and support between ambassadors
Beware of robots
- Never use robots to attract an audience (stay clear of influencers who are using non-ethical ways of building a following)
Provide value and build spirit
- Hold a retreat
- Offer fair product trade or value
- Share ambassadors profiles on your web site
- Use exposure as an incentive for quality content
Activate with ambassadors
- Utilize ambassadors in owned advertising assets (video/photo shoots)
- Feature as models in campaigns
- Create community events for ambassadors to attend or manage (so that customers can meet brand ambassadors)
- Ticketed events where ambassadors attend (for example interested customers can pay to learn skills from ambassadors, like skiing)
- Give social media training and training on brand voice and values
- Share campaign launch information so that ambassadors remain informed
- Enforce a certain number of posts and collect data monthly
When brands start to engage with social influencers they can follow the ladder of social engagement, a model described by Tara Hunt. Read more about that process here.