So now you have your brand ambassadors nicely organized and trained. Let’s remember that they have their “day jobs,” and might need a bit of encouragement to remain at your branding beck and call! Here are some ways you can keep their loyalty:
Send regular updates to all your brand ambassadors about the status and successes of your various organizational social media platforms. Include contest results, crises averted, issues managed, meaningful comments from audiences, examples of how your overall strategy is being met – whatever you think will resonate best, in short soundbites and interesting visuals.
Meet with your ambassadors regularly, as we discussed in a previous post. In between meetings, send small tips and techniques emails as you come across them.
Ask for ambassadors’ advice as you face new audience or messaging challenges.
Thank them often and publicly for their help and time in moving forward such an important organizational set of initiatives.
Call on a subset of your ambassadors (a group of 5-8 people) to be your go-to experts in specific subject areas that come up often, are particularly troublesome or strategic for your organization. Ask these to monitor the social media landscape to see who’s writing about the topic and who’s responding and in general, the tone and intensity around the topics. Also ask this group to respond to outside blogs and other social media platforms on behalf of the organization. This group should also expect to be alerted in case of an organizational crisis so they can help you and your team respond.
Consider a “Brand Ambassador of the Year” award and give it to an employee or group of employees who have engaged with you and your team with the highest level of commitment and perhaps have shared a lot of their time and expertise in helping the organization meet goals via social media. (Hint: the first year, you might want to give a collective award to all your Ambassadors and in subsequent years, to individuals.) Make it as big a deal as your company will support – maybe find a time to present it in conjunction with other human resources awards or at a meeting of company leaders. This will serve the dual purpose of elevating the importance of branding programs overall, to your company.
You also can consider smaller, tangible rewards for one-off special help any Ambassadors provide – such as gift cards, treating them to lunch, things like that.
Develop a comprehensive rewards system that awards points at different levels for contributing content for blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets and other items important to your program. Ambassadors can collect prizes once they gain enough points. This has to be managed so content is high quality and not just spewed out in order to gain the points, obviously – but this type of system has worked for many other employee programs!
Remember to copy Ambassadors’ supervisors on all thank you or recognition messages – this could serve their overall career goals well, and earn unending goodwill toward you!
I’m sure many of you have other ideas to add here – let’s hear them! Thanks and let me know how it goes!