We live in a new business world. One where Word of Mouth referrals and social engagement have eclipsed traditional marketing and push messaging. The new ‘Connected Consumer’ wants to be HEARD. Because of this shift in communications companies, brands and leaders have had to discover new ways to get their messages out. I have had the FABULOUS honor to be included on the front end of an Ambassador model movement. My very dear friend and Social Media Director at Inman News Katie Lance introduced the Inman Ambassador program a few years ago and it has grown leaps and bounds ever since creating an engaged and connected community. She’s set the bar and modeled the behaviour and trained us all well to spread the Inman Gospel, amplified and shared among our audiences far and wide. Our collective reach is immeasurable!
I am a natural promoter when I love a brand, and that’s what being an ambassador is all about. As such I have also become affiliated with Coffee with Krisstina Membership program built by Krisstina Wise, Founder of The Good Life Team in Austin Texas. As a natural fan and promoter of the amazing work they’re doing I was offered the opportunity to formalize it. Affiliations are really nothing more than ambassador programs where you lean into your natural fans; your brand evangelists – the ones who are spreading the good word about you and set them free!
A strong Ambassador strategy looks like this: Shower your evangelists with love! Shine the light on them! Raise their profile and bring them into the fold and they will be brand loyalists for life! Arm them with well crafted messages they can easily promote/tweet and provide them with fabulous content they’re proud to share! Katie Lance does this exceptionally well!
Brian Solis celebrated his 1st year anniversary as Principal Analyst with the Altimeter Group with his report: The Rise of Digital Influence where he says this:
“Social Capital is the key that unlocks digital influence and new customer touchpoints. Like loyalty programs where customers are rewarded for their repeat businesses, brands can now reach connected customers to build relationships, recruit into ambassador programs, involve them in important events, or reward them with exclusive content, access, or products and promotions as recognition for their social stature and support.”~ Brian Solis
Brian Solis also hosts the Pivot Conference in New York City and you guessed it – I’m an Ambassador! I’ll be sitting front row in NYC this October (2012) tweeting and sharing (with the hashtag #PivotCon) the sound bytes from the best of the best in Social Biz strategy for major brands! VERY exciting! AND watch for #ICSF tweets coming at you from San Francisco August 1 – 3 for Inman Connect!
Have you identified who your natural ambassadors are? Might be time to lean in.