We all know them. Whether you happen to follow some of them on Twitter or are friends with a few of them on Facebook, we are all familiar with brand champions. You can usually find them sharing an Instagram photo of their favorite energy drink (usually with a hashtag like #GivesYouWings or #RideTheBull), conveying a great customer service story or ReTweeting every other Tweet your company shares.
Brand champions are individuals who actively promote your brand, usually having no actual affiliation with your company other than a strong love for your products and services. They share your content, promote your projects, and help take your brand awareness campaigns to the next level; all of this without any compensation other than the satisfaction of sharing some facet of your brand with their network. As the owner of a business or as someone in charge of marketing, you want to identify and get to know these people. They could end up being your greatest asset in terms of online marketing.
Here are a few ways you can begin to tap into your network of brand champions:
Create a Twitter List: Create a Twitter list of people you designate as “Brand Champions.” Track what they are saying, ReTweet their content that focuses around your brand and most importantly, chime in and start conversations. These are the people who will step up and defend your brand when you aren’t there and will be the driving force behind helping your content go viral. There are lots of conversations going on online at all times, and it is impossible to monitor them all.
Participate in a Reddit “AMA”: Ah, the infamous Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA). Reddit is an interesting community. Doing an AMA with your owner, head of marketing, or other key business members is a great opportunity to get to know a community you may not be familiar with; just do a bit of research before diving in. I have been an active Redditor for nearly five years’ now, and I still don’t fully understand what makes that community tick. You don’t want to be 100% promotional, as this is a time for the community to learn more about your business, your employees’ and where your organization is heading as opposed to just one specific upcoming product or promotion. (And be sure not to focus only on your upcoming film, RAMPART).
Reach out to Bloggers: Every day there are tens of thousands of new blogs created across the globe. There are more bloggers than ever, and they are writing on every topic under the sun. Identify blogs that cover your industry, especially those that are already writing on your brand and your products. Reach out to these bloggers and see if you can setup an interview, send products for review or invite them to industry events you will be attending. There are plenty of bloggers eager to produce great content; find the bloggers that you feel will best represent your brand and start a conversation.
With the rise of new media and an ever-growing list of social platforms it is easier than ever to find the people who best represent your brand online. These people already have a positive view of your organization and are the ones willing to go the extra mile to help introduce your brand to their network and to the world.
What are your favorite brands to interact with online? Personally, I have an affinity for Red Bull, Marvel, Starbucks and many others, and am more than happy to share their content and jump into conversations with them. It is never too late to implement a new media strategy into your existing marketing and PR efforts. Get out there and discover your brand champions!