Your long-term clients know the ins and outs of your services, and they may serve as referral sources. But have you thought about how your dedicated clients can support your brand on social media?
Social media is a powerful tool that can help your firm generate quality leads, and it should be part of your business development strategy moving forward. One way to have social media support your firm’s branding process is to incorporate brand ambassadors to further your social reach. Ambassadors speak highly of your brand, services and events on their own social media channels. They can provide quick shout-outs to your firm or association, highlight upcoming events or timely services, and recommend your brand to their social media followers.
Here are three key elements to start building your own brand ambassador network to generate quality leads.
Who ‘Likes’ you?
On your social media channels, you may notice certain individuals who are consistently ‘liking’ or sharing your posts. This is one easy way to identify who is naturally falling into a brand ambassador role for your firm or association.
Check out your @mentions, post likes and comments to see who is already promoting your brand. You can also see who is using any of your company or industry-related #hashtags. If there is a particular client that you routinely recognize on your social media channels, chances are they would be a good candidate to become a brand ambassador.
Maybe you’ve noticed that people who ‘like’ you on social media and share your content are mostly employees of your company. Some of your employees should be brand ambassadors based on their public reputation or status. While you will have employees that you encourage to share information about your brand on social media, it’s also important to have a dedicated client serve as a social media brand ambassador to give a unique perspective to your services and products. Having a mix of perspectives allows you to speak to different audiences, which can help gain new referrals.
Remember, when your employees are active on social media, touch base with them to make sure their personal channels are professional representations of your brand with up-to-date competitive messaging. Review your social media policy with them.
Criteria for Brand Ambassadors
You don’t want just anyone, even if they do engage with your content, to become your brand ambassador. Think about these key factors when determining who you want to represent your brand on social media.
- Current Social Media Following – Are their followers your target audience? If not, they are not a good brand ambassador for your firm. Also look at the size of their social media following, how their audience engages with their posts and if they naturally use a tone that you think fits your brand.
- Dedicated Client or Referral Source – Can they speak specifically to your service experience? Make sure an ambassador you select knows all the ins and outs. It’s much easier for you and your future ambassador to already be familiar with your brand instead of teaching or training them. This also makes their promotional efforts more authentic.
- Networking Opportunities – Make sure your brand ambassadors have networking opportunities on social media. Chat with your brand ambassadors about what social media networking groups they participate in and how your brand or service could be shared amongst those groups.
Guidelines to Move Forward
Since the brand ambassadors you’ve identified already understand your firm or association, you may not feel like you have to tailor specific messages for them. But being clear about how you can work with each other will help you avoid misrepresenting your messages or brand on social. Here are a few tips for professional service firms and associations to build long-term relationships with brand ambassadors.
- Regularly discuss topics or upcoming events that you would like to see brand ambassadors promote. Here are a few examples of how your services or events could be shared on their personal social pages:
“If you missed ABC Construction’s webinar today on land surveying, you definitely want to watch the recording! I learned so much about the process and plan to share many take-aways with my own team. Here’s the link: [insert link to recording]”
“Planning for my individual and small business tax returns was made easy this year because of the counsel I received from 123 Accounting. Check them out for expert advice! [insert link to company homepage]”
- Clearly identify how often you would like your brand ambassadors to be promoting your brand. Maybe set a standard of two posts a month.
- Give back to your brand ambassadors! Offer a free service, conference registration or webinar to thank them for promoting your brand on their personal social media channels.
- Create a ‘thank you’ post from the firm’s social media account to publicly recognize them. This is an easy way to boost brand loyalty for your firm and the individual promoting your work.
Social media is a powerful way for potential clients or members to learn about your brand and services. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share what’s going new at your firm or association. Learn more about how you can with your target audience through social media.