We’ve all heard the cliches.
- “Build raving fans!”
- “Word of mouth is the best form of advertising!”
- “Delight your customers!”
These sayings would start to get really annoying if they weren’t 100% correct.
As I said in part 1 of this series, it isn’t what you’re saying about your brand on social media as much as it’s about what other people say. Unfortunately, many people only talk about a brand if they have something bad to say. To counter this from both a reputation perspective as well as an exposure perspective, brand ambassadors are the most important people in your public relations world as it pertains to social media.
Everyone already knows that you love your brand, that you believe in your product, and that you have the best of everything to offer your customers in your opinion. If you didn’t believe that, you wouldn’t be in business, so most claims by a company are not believed. Not every brand can be the best, but every brand claims to be the best. As a result, people go to two forms of outside sources to confirm or deny claims. They go to experts in many opinions – Roger Ebert has made and broken many movies with his words over the decades. The other place they go thanks to the power of social media and review sites is to their peers. What are other people who have already tried your brand, product, or services saying about you?
The presence of brand ambassadors is not just a matter of encouraging happy customers to write reviews. Reviews are great and extremely important, but there’s no real “skin in the game” when they post to these sites. They’re one within a group. If a company has 100 Google Local reviews, what’s one more added to the mix, at least from a customer’s perspective. It’s not a personal thing when someone posts to review sites.
Social media, on the other hand, is a personal thing. Those who take their social media seriously are much less likely to say something good about a brand. When they do, it actually means something. Their friends and family who already have an opinion about the person will take their recommendations on social media more seriously. This isn’t even taking into account Facebook Graph Search which has the potential to amplify this even more (we’ll see). This is simply looking at the state of social media today. If someone’s willing to say that they love your brand, product, or service on social media in general and Facebook in particular, it’s the most powerful review anyone can give you.
It’s the “skin in the game” that isn’t present on review sites.
If your company is actively building brand ambassadors, you’re already seeing the amazing results. You’re hearing from your customers either through social media itself (“You were right, Bob. ABC Motors took great care of me, too!) or at the store itself. If you aren’t hearing about people coming to your store because they heard about your from a friend, you’re not building brand ambassadors. I’m not trying to use circular reasoning here. Just stating a fact. If you build brand ambassadors regularly on social media, you will hear about it at the store. It’s that simple.
In the next story, we will go into detail about how to identify potential brand ambassadors. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to Soshable by Email to get the full scoop on how to make the most out of your social media marketing efforts.