Maximizing the Impact of Brand Managers Through Social Media – 3 Examples
Brand ambassadors represent your services and products through their words and actions. Instead of directly marketing your business, they act as perfect examples of who your customers are. They advertise for you by publicly enjoying your products. Jared Fogel was a powerful brand ambassador for Subway before the days of Twitter and Facebook. Now, because of social media, these company representatives can effectively advertise your business by word-of-mouth to millions of potential new clients without tying funds up in your marketing budget.
Large and small companies have put this advertising method to work to great success. Levi’s clothing company launched their brand ambassador campaign over multiple social networks with the Levi’s Guy, Gareth Hornberger, and later added Gaby Dolceamore, the Levi’s Girl. The pair talk about their day-to-day lives, what’s hot and what’s not and connect with customers without shoving Levi deals down their throats.
Ford took a somewhat different approach with their Fiesta advertising campaign, the Ford Fiesta Movement. Instead of focusing on one or two individuals, Ford leaped into an ambassador campaign with both feet. They delivered 100 units of the new Fiestas to drivers in the United States, who enjoyed the cars free for six months. During that time, participants tweeted, posted on Facebook, published photos on Flickr and created YouTube videos while completing challenges and tasks set up by the company.
The results were astounding. Ford put $0 into the advertising budget for the Ford Fiesta Movement. They received 4.3 million views on YouTube, 3 million Twitter impressions and received requests from nearly 50,000 potential new clients. You can imagine the posts, pics and videos weren’t centered on the Fiesta’s benefits, but on the actions of their customers – volunteerism, winning challenges and having adventures.
Coca-Cola got in on the action by selecting three fans of their products to globe trot while staying connected online in their social media ambassador campaign, Expedition 206. Tony Martin, Kelly Ferris and Antonio Santiago – Coke fans from the United States, Amsterdam and Mexico – took off on a tour of every country where the company’s products are sold. Coke’s campaign has been incredibly interactive, with fans at home choosing who the ambassadors would be, as well as where they stop in each country, from what tourist sites to see down to the restaurants they should try.
Both companies wound up putting their products in front of millions of viewers without spending a dime on advertising. Most small companies couldn’t afford to replicate either campaign, but there are plenty of ways fledgling businesses are using social media to create brand ambassadors of their own.
Take, for instance, the Creme Brulee Cart. The mobile snack and refreshment kiosk travels around San Francisco, supplying hungry employees with lunch every day. They are also unique in that their brand ambassador isn’t a customer, but the business owner. Curtis Kimball, the Creme Brulee Man, posts daily about where the cart will be, along with issues he feels are truly important. The key is making “important” an exclusive concept. If he retweeted everything he found remotely interesting, his customers were soon stop following him. As it is, the business has 12,000 followers and spends nothing on advertising. Still, the lunch cart is thriving.