Let's start with a simple exercise: Close your eyes and think of a brand that you truly enjoy. It can be for any reason, whether it's their products and services; their marketing campaigns; or the tone of the company. You can likely think of at least one brand. Now, answer these questions: Would you refer your friends and family to this company? Would you write a positive review about the company? Would you post on social media about an exceptional experience? If you answered yes, you are a brand ambassador.
Brand ambassadors are sometimes hired by large companies to help build awareness about the brand and represent the company in a positive light. However, in our modern business atmosphere of social media and word-of-mouth advertising, brand ambassadors are everywhere – representing companies for free! With something as quick and simple as a tweet about exceptional service or a picture of great packaging with a handwritten note, brand ambassadors love sharing experiences with their friends, family and social communities.
Once someone has a very large social following, their opinions become highly valued by companies. Brands seek these people out and send free products in return for an honest review. These ambassadors are now called influencers. Because they have such a high reach on the social channels, they influence peoples' buying decisions. Companies spend millions of dollars on influencers to establish a relationship and increase their reach.
Consider your own purchase decisions: Are you more likely to take recommendations from friends or buy from a brand you don't know? Most people want personal recommendations and firsthand accounts from influencers, ambassadors or from their close group of friends. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from family and friends over all forms of advertising. Many times, a friend may not even be in the market for a certain item, but when they hear about the experience and quality, they will likely become interested.
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