Last week, we discussed how your event or association’s fans can be an incredibly effective marketing tool. Today we’ll share MGH’s social media marketing manager Ryan Goff‘s tips for identifying who those super fans are, how to vet them, set expectations, and manage and measure the success of their work. These tips are based on a speech Goff gave at the 2012 Social Media Tourism Symposium. The next symposium is Nov. 6-8 in Huntsville, Ala.
Step 1. Develop a questionnaire for potential ambassadors that goes beyond yes/no answers. You’re looking for expert sources who have more than surface knowledge of your company, association or event, so don’t be afraid to cover more than the basics. Phrase questions so they provoke a range of responses.
Step 3. Interview your top candidates by phone. Use what you learn there, and through the questionnaire, to build profiles so your staff can compare potential ambassadors side-by-side. Treat them like potential hires and really vet them.
Step 4. Define expectations and incentives. Write a contract so both parties understand the requirements and the potential rewards. Create a checklist of tasks you expect ambassadors to perform day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month. Regularly assess the work they do.
Step 5. Select a small group (10-20 people) and treat them like valued employees. Invest time in training them. Bring them on-site to an event, association headquarters or company. Share your short-term goals and big ideas for the future. Give them a behind-the-scenes tour. Educate them about deeper initiatives and core values. Answer any and all of their questions. Help them bond with each other. Think of them as an extension of your team.
Step 6. Empower them to not only be brand advocates, but evangelists. Never tell them what to say. If they’re true ambassadors, they’ll figure it out. If a mistake is made, don’t correct it for them. Point out the error and let them make it right. If something negative is posted, you may have to step in immediately to mediate and diffuse the situation offline. If you can’t trust the ambassadors you have, you need new ambassadors.
Step 7. Make them part of your marketing campaigns. Feature them in newsletters, online stories and social media posts. Let them to be your public face by making them central to advertising campaigns and offering them to the press for interviews.
Step 8. Be transparent. Create a disclosure statement on your website that ambassadors can link to so people understand the relationship they have with you when they post on other sites or interact with people on yours.
Step 9. Measure engagement. Track activity. Stay in touch. Reward and spotlight high performers. Talk with ambassadors who aren’t living up to your expectations to uncover underlying issues. Don’t be afraid to fire chronic under-performers, thank them for their service and explain why you need to terminate the relationship.
Here are five things you can measure to see whether your program is working.
Brand ambassadors can transform how people think and feel about your event or organization. Have you ever been so frustrated by something that you tweeted about it? Did anyone online answer that complaint? How did that make you feel? Share your thoughts in our comment section below.