10 Ways to Turn Customers into Ambassadors

Converting Customers into Brand Ambassadors

What is a Brand Ambassador?

A brand ambassador is a person hired — usually by an organization or company — to represent it’s brand in a positive light, increasing brand awareness and sales.

Today I had the pleasure of joining Startup Canada (@Startup_Canada) and The Coca-Cola Foundation (@cocacola_ca) for a live #StartupChats on Twitter as part of the #StartupWomen Program from 12pm–1pm ET. It’s hosted by Lyndon Johnson (@THINK_Lyndon), Founder of Toronto based COMMS.BAR to discuss Converting Customers Into Ambassadors.  The Wakelet can be found here and my answers follow:

  1. Brand ambassadors are more than your biggest fans, what are the top benefits of working with a brand ambassador?

    The top benefits of working with brand ambassadors are; increased brand visibility, traffic, sales and customer insight.

  2. What is the first step in identifying who your brand ambassadors would be?

    Forbes wrote a great blog post on ow To Find The Most Effective Brand Ambassadors who answers this nicely.

  3. What are the best ways to encourage your customers to create content and engage with your brand on social media?

    There are many ways to get customers to create content and engage with your brand, starting by asking engaging & relevant questions, survey and tag them, responding when they answer, talk about trends, engage their heart, use visuals, hashtags, contests, giveaways

  4. How do you determine who your most engaged customers are?

    I am old school and keep lists of my most engaged customers so I can be sure to circle back and return the favour. 
  5. What incentives can you offer customers to become brand ambassadors?

    I thank and nurture relationships with customers who become brand ambassadors, try to return the favour when I’m able, and reach out with special offers just for them when I have them. 
  6. What types of startups are best suited to using brand ambassadors?

    I would say brands that haven’t hit the tipping point yet, as so many will not buy until they see social proof.

  7. What are the top three qualities an ideal brand ambassador has?

    The top three qualities an ideal brand ambassador are someone who loves your product, has an engaging communication style and able to represent your brand well.
  8. What are the key indicators that your startup will benefit from having a brand ambassador?

    All businesses benefit from having brand ambassadors, but I would say those that need it most are organizations who field customer complaints or bad behaviour I would say.

  9. What strategies have you used to cultivate brand ambassadors for your startup?

    I’ve never ‘hired’ brand ambassadors, but I have encouraged employees and contractors with various incentives they find valuable and telling them how much I appreciate them. People like to feel appreciated!

  10. What are the potential risks startups can face working with brand ambassadors? How can entrepreneurs protect themselves?

    There are risks with working with anyone, including brand ambassadors so I would suggest hiring slow, documenting well, and firing fast (and nicely) if it doesn’t work out.

  11. What is your final piece of advice for every entrepreneur to convert customers into ambassadors for their business?

    I wrote a blog post on convert customers into ambassadors on my blog you may enjoy. called 10 Ways to Turn Customers into Ambassadors you may enjoy reading.

Have you hired brand ambassadors? Any tips you’d like to share?

Please add your thoughts to the comments below.

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Sue serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) including; Durham Region (Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge, Whitby), Halton Region (Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville), Peel Region (Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga), and York Region (Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch–Stouffville) from her home office in Scarborough.