Quietly Creating Loyal Brand Ambassadors

Recently, a former co-worker invited me to receive a “free” facial and in-home cosmetics trial with products from her direct sale cosmetics line. I like this coworker and have given her a lot of business in the past, but my immediate response to her latest offer was no way, I’m a Philosophy girl. Wow, did I really just say that? At that moment, the true definition of a brand ambassador hit me square between the eyes because somewhere along the way, hard-nosed, eagle eye Terilyn had unwittingly become one! Philosophy is the skincare line I fell in love with a few years ago while watching an infomercial on late night television. The question that plagued me was how had I become so loyal to this particular brand that I would pass on a free facial and a visit from an old friend? Here are a few of my insights:
The company told a relatable and inspiring story. The storyteller, who happened to be the company founder, wasn’t selling that night. Instead she simply told an inspiring and relatable story about being a working mom who struggled to find time to properly care for herself. She also seemed honest and sincere about offering a high quality product. She was convincing without giving an overt sales pitch and that piqued my interest and planted seeds of trust.
The company acknowledged and actively sought the attention of potential customers. Many skincare and cosmetics companies either ignore or forget about women with dark skin. It was refreshing to see beautiful models with a wide range of skin tones showcasing the products. This inclusion spoke of the company’s appreciation of diversity. This caught and kept my attention because I appreciated being represented as a beautiful consumer instead of an obvious afterthought or not at all.
They actively sought ways to accommodate their customers before, during and after the purchase. There are no hoops that I have to jump through to purchase the product. Things like auto delivery, full money back guarantees, immediate customer response through social media and telephone eliminate the likelihood that I will even think about buying skincare products anywhere else.
Finally, they have a solid product with outstanding customer service. I took a chance purchasing skincare products from an infomercial, but it ended up being a good risk. I like the product and have shared it with family and friends who have also come to love it as much as I do. Nothing takes the place of an outstanding product that is combined with amazing customer service. People want to patronize a business that has that winning combination.
All of these steps can be adopted by any businesses large or small. It just takes creativity and an open mind. Consistently incorporate these steps into an active social media marketing strategy and you just might be amazed by the number of loyal followers who start singing your praises!


4 Signs It’s Time to Hire an Outsider to Manage Your Company’s Social Media Presence


For some business owners, managing the company’s social media presence is just another one of a

I need help with my social media marketing!

I need help with my social media marketing!

million tasks that must be completed during the course of a business day.  They are comfortable with the various social media platforms, they enjoy interacting with their customers online and they are able to carve out enough time to build a strategy and maintain a consistent presence.  This is great for the few who can manage it.  However, managing a company’s online presence requires a lot of time, energy and some pretty tough skin; in other words, it may not be for everyone.  Here are a few points to consider that may indicate it’s time to hand over the laptop.

  1. There is no plan, no strategy, you’re just there.  You set up a Facebook account because, that is the thing to do.  You have some nice pictures on the page, and you even post a few witty comments every so often.  This is a great start, but there’s a lot more work to do.  First, it’s imperative that you know exactly who your customers are.  Identifying your current (and potential) customers is key to developing a targeted marketing strategy. You also need to know which social media platform your customers are most likely to frequent and when is the best time to engage with them.
  2. You can’t take negative feedback.  You’ve created a kick ass business with the best food, service or product this side of the moon and whoa to anyone who dares to say otherwise!   The only way to ensure your business is immune from negative reviews or comments is to close shop. Being able to divorce yourself from the need to have everyone love everything your business produces is a must.   A quick, heartfelt response that attempts to rectify an unpleasant experience, can turn an unhappy customer (with a large social network) into a loyal, happy customer with friends (who also have large social networks).   Ignoring your social reviews and comments is a no, no, that should not even be an available option.  That goes for the positive as well as the negative reviews.
  3. You don’t like social media and think it’s a waste of time.  It amazes me that everyone isn’t as crazy about social media as I am.  For me, it’s right up there with sex and chocolate (not necessarily in that order).  But that is not the case of everyone.  If you don’t enjoy learning about the newest Twitter change, or Google+ update, and you don’t care if you’re among the first chosen to get a new roll out, you may want to find someone who is to manage your online presence.  If you find someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about social media marketing, you probably have someone who will do a great job managing your company’s brand and image.
  4. You don’t have time to be committed to a consistent social media schedule.  I recommend devoting at least 15 minutes a day to monitoring, updating and analyzing your company’s social media presence. Also, at least 30 minutes a week should be devoted to learning about platform updates, trends, and policy revisions.  You want to get optimum results from your social media marketing efforts, so it’s important to know how to effectively utilize all of the tools available on your social media platform(s) of choice.   A good social media strategist is on top of all of the revisions and trends that affect multiple platforms and can effortlessly find ways to work them in your company’s favor.

This is my short list of indicators, I’m sure there are more!  If you think of anything I missed, please let me know.  I welcome your comments!