Who do you trust when it comes to trying a new product or experience?
Friends and family or slick advertising?
I know this seems like a no-brainer question and please note that there is zero shame in getting lured in by a well-done media campaign.
Been there, done that, will get sucked in again.
It’s human nature.
But all the big-wig advertising never feels authentic, because it isn’t.
People crave authenticity through others that we can connect with that make us think they get me!
That’s where the social media ambassador program comes in.
It fills in the big gaping hole of trustworthiness that big conglomerates create.
I love to cultivate a good ambassador program because it creates community, raises awareness for my events, and generates sales for my clients.
Here is how you can start growing your own social ambassador program for your event…
Select an Ambassador That Fits Your Show’s Personality
Choosing the right social ambassador is probably the most critical part of the entire process since what they say and do about your show will reflect on you.
Look for someone who is thoughtful and passionate about what your event represents -not necessarily an influencer- while possessing social media know-how. The last thing you need is to have to handhold someone throughout the process.
When you’re searching for someone I find it helpful to search via hashtags in the industry I’m currently working in. For example, if I’m working in healthcare I’ll start here.
It always helps to narrow the scope of your search based on your defined needs. Are you looking for someone within a certain age bracket? Does this person need to have a specific set of interests and buying habits?
If you are working with a hyper-niche market those little details really matter.
A Program for Any Budget
The person you are interested in needs a reason to be your ambassador.
I don’t suggest you approach someone and expect them to represent your event for nothing in return.
You both need to see value in what you are contributing.
Here is what I think are fair and reasonable incentives to offer your ambassador…
- Free admission to your event.
- Offer exclusive access to portions of the event that are reserved for VIP guests.
- Paid hotel accommodations.
- A limited stipend.
This person will be your on the ground “reporter” providing real-time updates so do your best to make them feel comfortable while they are working.
In return, you should be able to expect the following from your ambassador…
- A successful hashtag that fits the theme of your event.
- Content creation, like videos and blog posts – depending on your terms of the agreement – that showcase what they are looking forward to as well as interview content.
- Social pre-event hype.
- Live-tweeting/reporting from your event.
Know the Game
It’s always a good idea to have an edge over your competition.
I’m not suggesting anything cutthroat, just be savvy.
It’s OK to scope out the competition and see who their pool of influencers are. Would any of them be a good fit for your show?
Don’t shy away from asking someone who would fit the mold as your ambassador because your competitor has used them.
Consider sending your ambassador to another event and ask them to passively promote yours.
In case you think that you couldn’t possibly consider doing that, I’ll let you in on a little secret…it’s actually a pretty common practice.
For example, I know of a local runner that was tapped to be a social media ambassador for the marathon that would be held in her city. The marathon paid her fees to run in smaller races in the area while afterward, she blogged about them on the local city marathons platform. She promotes the other races while wearing, and passively advertising, the larger marathons attire.
It’s getting the scoop on your competition and gaining a little advertising along the way.
Keep it Real
I love programs that offer a win-win scenario and this one is all that.
It can boast real involvement with real people that produces real results without spending a bunch of money and time along the way.
One of the best parts of incorporating an ambassador program is seeing a community grow and bloom from sharing passions and communicating with people that want to engage back.
It comes with a larger purpose that has the opportunity to thrive and that’s about as authentic as you can get.