Brands and Bloggers: Brand Ambassadors

Alison-Faulkner-Speaking-at-Alt-Summer-2015

By: Sara Urquhart; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Two weeks ago, I mentioned brand ambassadorship as a way social media influencers can offer value to brands. But what are they? And how as a brand do you find the right fit? Today I cover what a brand ambassador is and a few tips for how companies can find and work with them.

A brand ambassador is simply someone who promotes a brand in the world of social media. They may be loyal fans that interact with a brand on social media organically (like Alison of The Alison Show and her love of Diet Coke). If so, they are already brand enthusiasts, and authentically love and use a brand’s products. These people are mentioning specific brands often in positive ways, and engaging with the brand to ask questions and give advice. They already feel an invested connection to the brand, and they’re perfect candidates to become formal brand ambassadors.

If companies have natural brand ambassadors, it’s likely that their brand is already a good fit for that influencer’s community, which means it could be easier for her to enter into a formal agreement with that brand. 

Of course, brands might be happy with letting loyal fans continue to praise them without any formal agreement. It’s free publicity, right? The reality is that if brands approach a loyal fan with a formal opportunity to interact with them, it will cement that fan’s allegiance. You never know when a consumer will stop tweeting about sharing brand love, but if brands hire ambassadors, they can be sure of what to expect.

Brands and ambassadors can agree on a certain numbers of pins, tweets, or mentions each month, whereas “free publicity” offers no assurances.  A formal agreement means that brands have some say in the way things are executed, as well as an opportunity to amplify a voice that’s already working for them.