For small businesses looking to build awareness and trust in their local community, leveraging current customers as brand ambassadors can be an extremely effective strategy. Here are some tips for turning happy customers into vocal advocates for your brand:
Identify Your Most Passionate Customers
Look for customers who are highly engaged with your business - those who visit and purchase frequently, enroll in your loyalty program, or interact positively on social media. Reach out to get their feedback and gauge their interest in becoming a brand ambassador.
Highlight Shared Values
Connect with potential ambassadors over your shared passions, values, and community ties. Local brand advocates are motivated by supporting businesses they believe in. Emphasize how you both care about the same neighborhood or causes.
Make Them Feel Special
Special perks and VIP access make customers feel valued. Provide ambassadors with exclusives like members-only events, discounts, early access to new products, or special recognition. This incentivizes them to share their positive experiences.
Set Clear Expectations
Be upfront about what you expect from brand ambassadors. Set goals around activities like social posts, reviews, event attendance, and outreach. Provide guidelines on voice and branding. Compensate them accordingly for their work.
Give Them Content to Share
Make it easy for ambassadors to showcase your brand by providing content like photos, videos, and text. User-generated content that shows real customer experiences is also powerful. Supply hashtags and handles.
Recognize Their Efforts
Find meaningful ways to show brand ambassadors that you appreciate their advocacy. Send handwritten notes, highlight their work on social media, or offer rewards for referrals or sales generated. Recognition fuels further engagement.
Create a Private Community
Bring your ambassadors together in a private Facebook group or online community. This gives them a space to connect, fosters advocacy, and makes them feel like VIP insiders. It also allows you to communicate easily.
Turning current customers into local brand ambassadors provides word-of-mouth marketing that feels authentic. With some special treatment and clear expectations, you can develop powerful grassroots advocates.