How you can proactively manage yourreputation online using brand ambassadorsThe reputation of a brand takes years of caref...
leverage the powerful voices of their brand advocates online. This not only drives sales but alsocreates a network of peop...
Brand ambassadors - powerful and trusted voicesThe result of all this hard work is an extremely powerful voice for your br...
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agency:2 - how you can proactively manage your reputation online using brand ambassadors

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The reputation of a brand takes years of careful and meticulous development and maintenance – but it can all be lost in mere minutes. That’s why having a proactive reputation management programme in place is vital, both offline and online.

This article discusses how to put a comprehensive reputation management strategy in place so that your brand is ready for challenges as they occur.

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agency:2 - how you can proactively manage your reputation online using brand ambassadors

  1. 1. How you can proactively manage yourreputation online using brand ambassadorsThe reputation of a brand takes years of careful and meticulous development and maintenance –but it can all be lost in mere minutes. That’s why having a proactive reputation managementprogramme in place is vital, both offline and online.Online your company’s brand personality is communicated through many channels – your corporatewebsite along with your social presence such as your Facebook Page, Twitter account, LinkedIn,Flickr and YouTube channels. Increasingly these are the first places that people will go to findinformation about your company, especially if a news story has just broken about your business.Brands must therefore take a highly flexible approach to proactively manage their online reputation.Planning is key – there must be a comprehensive reputation management strategy in place andbrands have to be ready for challenges as they occur, it’s no use simply being reactive and constantlyfire fighting issues.How to communicate your brand messagesBrand values and USPs must be powerfully and effectively communicated through these channels soyour audience can receive and understand the messages you want them to know about your brand.It’s also important to remember that your online presence is more than outward communication.Brands must be able to create multi-way dialogue between themselves and consumers so that theseplatforms boost and broaden your brand messages. This can be amplified by using brandambassadors.Brand ambassadors encapsulate and embody the vision and ethos of your brand. They help build acommunity who care about the brand they represent. As well as acting as a diplomat for yourbrand, showcasing the product or service you offer in the best way possible.Influential brand ambassadors can encompass internal stakeholders right through to passionatecommentators. Each audience segment has enormous potential for influencing their peers andensuring your brand’s success.Social media and brand ambassadorsSocial media provides the perfect channels for brand ambassadors to encourage brand advocacy.While ‘real people’ talking about brands is not a new marketing technique, social media has madeconsumers’ voices louder and more relevant than ever. People use social channels such as blogs,Twitter and Facebook everyday to make recommendations about brands - so creating a virtualcommunity of brand ambassadors ensures your brand is authentically promoted by trustedindividuals.Peer-to-peer communication has been proven to be much more effective than traditionalcommunications in influencing brand consideration and purchase. It’s therefore crucial that brandsJune 2011 www.agency2.co.uk 0207 775 5608
  2. 2. leverage the powerful voices of their brand advocates online. This not only drives sales but alsocreates a network of people who can engage with your audience and defend your brand’s reputationif it faces any challenges.Nurturing brand ambassadorsWhether you are trying to create an internal or an external communications plan the end result isthe same – to build up the reputation of your brand and what it offers. However, each campaignrequires a different strategy. The key to any successful brand ambassador programme is toeffectively harness the passion shown by these people and empower them to share their views. Thisis a complex task which requires dedication and a thorough understanding of engagement modelsand user behaviour. As well as understanding how to comply with the legal and ethical frameworkwithin your target market.Creating brand advocates is different from gaining re-tweets or Facebook ‘Likes’. It is an extensiveprocess based on analysing and identifying your most important audience groups, what they needfrom you and how you will engage with them. The next step is nurturing a long lasting relationshipwith influencers who actively connect with your brand. Forward thinking brands will take this a stepfurther and leverage powerful networks of prominent influencers who speak directly to the targetaudience you are trying to reach.Finding people who are potential Brand Ambassadors is the first step. It’s essential they are a goodfit and have a respected presence online. This is achieved through analysing demographic data,online reach and content relevancy. From the very first time you contact an influencer this must be avery personal experience - sending out a mass email is not the way to create individual relationships.Once you have identified and contacted your potential ambassadors, you must work hard to create arelationship with them. Engage them in conversations and nurture your connection with them. Theend goal is to build real passion and engagement around your brand. Taking such a proactiveapproach to reputation management, rather than being reactive all the time, is good practice. Itensures that if you want to launch a new product or service or if a crisis hits, you have an existingcommunity already in place. An example of an existing network of influencers would beBrandvocacy – agency:2’s brand ambassador platform. Brandvocacy programmes can be activated ina timely and scalable manner for any organisation to amplify your brand messages.More than this, through creating content and having it shared across the web, social media isincreasingly influencing search and SEO. So, combining the power of your fans’ conversations online,together with the reach of your own messages on branded social channels, will have a big impact onyour search results.June 2011 www.agency2.co.uk 0207 775 5608
  3. 3. Brand ambassadors - powerful and trusted voicesThe result of all this hard work is an extremely powerful voice for your brand which is well worth thetime that it takes to foster these relationships. Businesses now have the power to engage onlinecommunities in new ways and leverage the power of these groups to create relationships with theiraudience. Brand ambassadors provide trusted, personal and, therefore, highly effective messagesthat engage audiences.As social media’s influence continues to grow and grow, brand ambassadors have become a key partof a brand’s communication strategy. It is therefore imperative to leverage the voice of passionateinfluencers to promote your brand. They provide a unique way to humanise and personalise yourbrand, extend the reach of your message and help you to create a positive brand story that willresonate powerfully with your target audience.June 2011 www.agency2.co.uk 0207 775 5608

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