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Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing’

7 Steps to Building Positive Buzz Through Brand Ambassadors

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Third-party testimonials have always been important, but with the advent of social media and online consumer review services, they are absolutely crucial.  Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids, making it well worth your time to foster brand advocates who can “talk up” your brand to thousands of potential customers through YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Facebook posts and the like.

McKinsey & Associates estimates that two-thirds of the economy is now driven by peer recommendations, thanks in large part to the ubiquity of social media. At the same time, trust in corporate advertising and institutions in general (Washington D.C. anyone?) is sinking.

Why not create a formal brand ambassador program to give your testimonials a boost?  This can be an extremely impactful strategy for any brand, particularly challenger brands trying to gain traction in a new market.

Let’s take the tire industry for example. For a brand like Michelin, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising over the years to burnish its reputation for quality and safety, a brand ambassador program may not be as critical; although I would argue that even a powerful “pull” brand like Michelin could benefit from such a program.

Let’s say, however, that you’re an Asian tire brand trying to establish yourself in the U.S. Here’s a typical scenario:  A consumer makes a call to his local tire dealer asking about various brands, and the dealer recommends a brand he has not heard of. The price is great, but what about durability and safety?

The prospective tire buyer goes to the Internet to see what experiences other have had. This is where the brand ambassador program comes in. He sees comments from people he trusts (like fellow off-road enthusiasts for example). Maybe it’s a Facebook post or Tweet, or possibly a blog post or YouTube video.  Whatever the platform, it’s the validation he’s looking for to move forward with the purchase.

Off-road enthusiast David Jones, a brand ambassador for GT Radial tires, has active fans on Facebook and Instagram.  He also writes guest blogs and creates YouTube videos for the brand.

Off-road enthusiast David Jones, a brand ambassador for GT Radial tires, has active fans on Facebook and Instagram. He also writes guest blogs and creates YouTube videos for the brand.

An effective brand ambassador program does not happen by accident. Here are 7  key steps to setting up a program that will super charge word-of-mouth for your brand:

  1. First, put your listening ears on to find potential ambassadors. Set up Google Alerts for your product and make sure you check the “all results” box so you capture forum comments, not just media stories and blogs.  Monitor your Facebook page for fan comments, search brand mentions via Twitter, and monitor popular online forums in your industry. Alert your customer service folks. Talk to your dealers. Use every possible avenue to find brand enthusiasts.
  2. When you find a candidate, evaluate their clout. Look at their Klout score. Do they have a lot of Facebook friends or Twitter followers? Do they blog? Are they active on Instagram? Assess the size of their audience and how their audience matches up with yours.
  3. Does their tone of voice jive with your brand personality? They may be too “edgy” for your brand or not edgy enough. Dig some into their background. Are there any skeletons in the closet?
  4. Reach out to your top candidates, and develop a formal agreement which outlines what you expect from them and what they can expect from you (i.e., free product).
  5. Train your ambassadors on your product’s features and benefits and brand positioning. Also provide social media training; maybe they could use some pointers on Twitter.
  6. When your ambassadors produce content, amplify their voice through your website, social media platforms and marketing materials.
  7. Stay in touch with your ambassadors on a regular basis. Talk over upcoming events and opportunities. Show them some love, and they will provide you a steady stream of valuable content.

Two words to keep in mind as you implement your program – authenticity and transparency. If your ambassadors start sounding like corporate shills, you’ve lost the all-important third-party credibility factor. Train them on your product attributes and key messages, but let them talk about your brand in their own voice.  Maintaining authenticity contributes to transparency.  You have nothing to hide here. These people love your product; you are just helping them spread the love!

I would love to hear from you about other tips and case studies on successful brand ambassador programs.

GT Radial Brand Ambassador David Jones writes a blog post each time he participates in an off-roading event.

GT Radial Brand Ambassador David Jones writes a blog each time he participates in an off-roading event.

I’m Dumber Than I Thought.

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I have always believed that the essence of a good leader was to recognize what you don’t know and hire people who are smarter than you.  I still believe that is mostly true.  However, I learned  this past year that  my lack of detailed knowledge hurt me and my ability to give clear and precise directions to my vendors.

My New Year’s Resolution is to change that.

Tamara Weinberg just gave us (for her birthday) a great list of the Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009 and I am methodically re-posting each article on the JTMarCom Facebook FanPage. As I do that I am reading all the postings.

One posting from Louis Gray is:

40 Key Elements to Getting Started In Social Media

Tip number 5 is where I am starting.

1. Familiarize yourself with the basics of web-mastering. If you have not already done so, learn how to use FTP.

2. Learn the basics of HTML, and  the basics of  DNS how to configure it for your domain names. (How to Guide)

3. Learn how to configure a POP email account, and how to take a screen shot and edit and resize images.

The less you have to rely on someone for these basic tasks, the better off you will be and you might even save some out of pocket expenses.

I know you may know most of this but as I go through these list I always learn that I am not as smart as I think I am.

What do you want to learn or re-learn this year?


Hello my name is Christine and I have a FEAR of Blogging.

Friday, August 7th, 2009


Ok. The truth is out. As a marketing professional  and social media speaker (who advises clients to blog) I am afraid to do so myself. My husband John is the writer on our team and creates fabulous blog posts, speeches and detailed proposals for clients. I help create the concepts, do the research and design the graphics, etc.  I have been providing useful links on this blog but no original content. I know I need to blog.

Here are the reasons I am scared:

1.  I have slight  dyslexia and tend to get my letters mixed up.

2.  I cannot spell.

3.  I now wear tri-focal glasses and have trouble seeing the computer screen.

4.  Verbal communication comes much more naturally to me.

5.  I read a great deal. Books, papers, blogs . . . so I know what good writing looks like.

6.  I am a “people pleaser” and I am afraid not everyone will like me. (If I do this right, not everyone will.)

7.  Most of all I don’t want to appear stupid.

What am I doing? First I Googled “Fear of Blogging” and found out I am not the only “fraidy-cat” out there. Then I read the posts of some  great informative bloggers such as Chris Brogan, Chris Garrett, and Charles Bohannan.

So, here I am for better or worse. I hope that my ongoing posts on social media marketing and other aspects of marketing will not only help inform others but will help me face my own fear.

What is stopping you?  I’d really like to know. Maybe we can help each other.



Social media CRM

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Social Media CRM: What Are the Rules of Engagement? http://ow.ly/iGJB

B2B Benefits of Social Media Monitoring

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

How Social Media Monitoring Can Benefit B2B… (Search Engine Land) >> TechNews.AM http://ow.ly/iy4l

Marketing Budgets are Up!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

New Research shows Marketing Budgets are up – and being used… http://ow.ly/ioPM

100 Terrific Twitter Feeds for Young Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Twitter is an excellent resource for learning, especially those who are building a business. You can learn about marketing, news, and more, and see what other successful young entrepreneurs are up to. Check out this list to find 100 feeds young entrepreneurs should watch on Twitter.


These groups on Twitter cater to young entrepreneurs.

  1. Mediabistro: Mediabistro is a great community for news, opportunities, and more for media professionals.
  2. @yeos: If you’re a young entrepreneur in Sweden, be sure to follow @yeos to learn about networking, inspiration, and idea exchanging.
  3. @texasventures: Texas Ventures is an entrepreneur network and student organization for Texans.
  4. #yep: Tweeters taking part in #yep are young entrepreneurs and professionals on Twitter.
  5. the_pitch: You can learn a good deal about pitching from this contest for entrepreneurs.
  6. @thestartupeu: @thestartupeu represents a group that supports startups, entrepreneurship, venture capital, and more.

News & Advice

Follow these Twitter feeds to find news, advice, and more.

  1. @EntMagazineAmy: Amy Cosper is the editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine.
  2. @guykawasaki: Check out Guy Kawasaki for news in business and more.
  3. @digg_frontpage: Find out what’s on the Digg front page from this Twitter bot.
  4. @smallbusiness: Follow @smallbusiness to get updates on small business news.
  5. @entrepreneurpro: Follow Ben Lang’s Twitter to learn about teen entrepreneurs.
  6. @JohnChow: John Chow is a great person to follow if you’re interested in learning how to make money blogging.
  7. @WebWorkerDaily: Follow WebWorkerDaily, and you’ll learn about better using the web for work.
  8. @ginatrapani: Gina Trapani is the founder of Lifehacker, and guru of all things productivity.
  9. @JasonCalacanis: Jason Calacanis shares news and more about social media, blogs, and online entrepreneurship.
  10. @StartupGuru: Brian Tsuchiya’s feed is full of useful startup news links.
  11. @IncMagazine: Follow @IncMagazine, a magazine for entrepreneurs.
  12. @College_Mogul: @College_Mogul reports on startups, entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.
  13. @EntMagazine: Follow Entrepreneur Magazine on Twitter here.
  14. @barefoot_exec: Carrie Wilkerson aims to educate, empower and encourage entrepreneurs young and old.
  15. @wiredmag: Get the official news feed of Wired magazine here, especially useful if you’re a young entrepreneur into technology.
  16. @onstartups: Read about startups from the founder and CTO of HubSpot.
  17. @teenbizcoach: Check out Shonika Proctor’s feed to learn how to use your talents for business.


If you’re interested in learning how to better market and brand your business, be sure to check out these Twitter feeds.

  1. @zappos: Follow @zappos to learn a thing or a thousand about good customer service and marketing.
  2. @missrogue: Tara Hunt is a great person to follow if you’d like to learn about marketing that works.
  3. @mashable: @mashable will help you make sense of the social web.
  4. @chrisbrogan: Chris Brogan is the president of New Marketing Labs, a social media agency and education company.
  5. @adbroad: Helen Klein Ross shares information about social media and more.
  6. @WillieCrawford: Willie Crawford is an excellent resource for learning about Internet marketing.
  7. @eMarketing_Tips: Get tips for emarketing, social media, and more from @eMarketing_Tips.
  8. @problogger: Follow Darren Rowse to learn how you can more effectively use your blog as an entrepreneur.
  9. @nichelady: On @nichelady’s feed, you’ll learn how to make payday come every day.
  10. @smmguide: Social Media Guide shares information about social media marketing.
  11. @darrenmonroe: Darren Monroe shares lots of tweets about leadership and web marketing.
  12. @marketingwizdom: Follow Robert Clay to learn about low risk/high return marketing strategies.
  13. @adhustler: @adhustler is all about affiliate marketing.
  14. @wbaustin: Bill Austin shares news from Internet marketing and beyond.
  15. @oudiantebi: Oudi Antebi is a social marketing expert and entrepreneur.
  16. @MrSocial: Mr. Social is a marketing guru and social media expert.
  17. @ScottAllen: Scott is an expert in social media, and loves to help entrepreneurs.
  18. @TYSONtheQUICK: Tyson is a marketing student and COO of Meisab Labs.
  19. @Debbas: Check out Debbas to learn about promotional items and printing from a professor of marketing.
  20. @brianadrian: Read Brian Adrian’s tweets to learn about social media and web 2.0 marketing.
  21. @DiyanaAlcheva: Diyana is a marketing specialist and Internet network marketing business coach.
  22. @danschawbel: Dan Schawbel of Personal Branding Blog will help you brand yourself and your business.
  23. @BrandKarma: Check out @BrandKarma to learn about branding for your business.


Follow these business and life coaches who can help you get a better handle on what you’re doing.

  1. @sacca: Christ Sacca offers advisement to startups.
  2. @mariaandeos: Check out Maria Anros to learn how to attract a following and new clients.
  3. @socrates_soc: Socrates is an Internet marketing expert and coach.
  4. @MariSmith: Mari Smith is a friendly social media trainer that loves to help others grow their business.
  5. @RonDavies: Follow Ron Davies to get coached in making the most of Twitter.
  6. @AndrewWindham: Andrew Windham is a professional speaker, entrepreneurial and business coach, and more.
  7. @GabeStrom: GabeStrom is a coach inspired to help you reach your full potential.
  8. @Rob_Moshe: Rob Moshe is a life success coach that can help you with attraction marketing.


Get inspiration, ideas, and more from these entrepreneurs on Twitter.

  1. @randfish: Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEOmoz, a search optimization and Internet marketing firm.
  2. @richardbranson: Chairman of Virgin Group, Richard Branson is one of the most recognizable and successful entrepreneurs on Twitter.
  3. @boutiquegirl: Maiken Jepsen is a work at home mom, designer, and the owner of a boutique clothing shop.
  4. @RobMcNealy: Rob McNealy is full of inspiration for new entrepreneurs.
  5. @tferriss: Tim Ferriss is the author of #1 NY Times bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek.
  6. @kevinrose: This founder of Digg is full of random ideas.
  7. @r27: Rajesh Pancholi owns and operates the creative UK studio known as R27 Creativelab.
  8. @TEDchris: Chris Anderson and his organization share ideas worth spreading.
  9. @tonyrobbins: Get inspired by @tonyrobbins.
  10. @teenceo: Patricio Quezarda shares the details of being an emerging teen CEO and digital media mogul.
  11. @StaceyMonk: Stacey Monk is an entrepreneur and dogooder.
  12. @calbucci: Marcelo Calbucci is the founder and CTO of Sampa.
  13. @IncSpring: Wes Wilson’s IncSpring is a social marketplace for entrepreneurs.
  14. @stanleytang: @stanleytang is a 16 year old internet entrepreneur and best-selling author.
  15. @davesnyder: Check out Dave Snyder to learn about search and social media marketing.
  16. @sumaya: @Sumaya is a founder of The Cultural Connect, and has been recognized by Business Week as a top young entrepreneur.
  17. @nlw: Nathaniel Whitmore is the founder of Assetmap.org and a founding organizer of Change.org.
  18. Jeremy Schooley: Jeremy Schooley is the COO at Digital Labz.
  19. @gotmelik: Melik Yuksel is a 14 year old blogger, web and graphic designer, and entrepreneur.
  20. @sundaycosmetics: Beverly Davis is the entrepreneur behind Sunday Cosmetics.
  21. @rseanlindsay: Sean Lindsay wears the hats of entrepreneur, creator, connector, technologist, and builder.
  22. @darbydarnit: Petri Darby is the “Chief Darn Officer.”
  23. Joann Sondy: Joann is a seasoned entrepreneur and owner of Creative Aces.
  24. @netgeek06: Thomson Chemmanoor is the founder of Digital Labz.
  25. @chrispund: Chris Pund writes a blog for young entrepreneurs and even manages two web-based companies of his own.
  26. @RickM: Rick Myers is the founder and CEO of Talent Zoo.

Finance & Venture Capital

These Twitter feeds will teach you about economics and funding.

  1. @freakonomics: Get more of the goodness found in the Freakonomics blog from @freakonomics.
  2. @mintdotcom: Learn about finance, money tips, and more from Mint.
  3. @turbotax: Check out Turbo Tax to get the tax help every young entrepreneur needs.
  4. @planetmoney: @planetmoney will help you get a handle on the global economy.
  5. @vctips: Get a look into the minds of venture capitalists from @vctips.

Blogs & Writers

Check out these Twitter feeds to find excellent advice from bloggers and writers concerned with young entrepreneurs.

  1. @YoungGoGetter: @YoungGoGetter will keep you up to date on the latest for young entrepreneurs.
  2. @Retireat21: This blogger is all about helping young entrepreneurs make money online.
  3. @TPEntrepreneur: The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur will help you go from aspiring young entrepreneur to industry leader.
  4. @socialentrprnr: If you’re an entrepreneur focused on social change, be sure to check out @socialentrprnr.
  5. @yarostarak: Yaro is a professional blogger full of advice for bloggers and Internet marketers.
  6. @garyvee: Check out @garyvee to see how social media can improve your business.
  7. @shoemoney: Jeremy Schoemaker is a blogger that can help you learn how to make money with your blog.
  8. @Gladwell: Malcolm Gladwell’s Twitter will have you always thinking about success.
  9. @venturehacks: @venturehacks aims to be a business school for entrepreneurs.
  10. @MattWilsontv: Matt Wilson supports entrepreneurs under 30.
  11. @doshdosh: @doshdosh is a great resource for Internet marketing and making money online.
  12. @copyblogger: Brian Clark will teach you about new media content.
  13. @thebizguy: Find tweets from Adam, a cofounder of YoungEntrepreneur.com on @thebizguy.
  14. @penelopetrunk: Follow Penelope to learn about the intersection of work and life.
  15. @ramit: Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich and PBWiki is a goldmine of knowledge for young
  16. entrepreneurshttp://www.selectcourses.com/blog/2009/100-terrific-twitter-feeds-for-young-entrepreneurs/

McDonald’s Rolls With YouTube

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

McDonald’s Rolls With YouTube For McCafe Launch

By Tameka Kee – Mon 04 May 2009 09:01 PM PST

imageMcDonald’s is launching an all-out ad blitz for its new line of McCafe premium coffees—and one of the first places you’ll see the branding is on YouTube. McDonald’s has rolled out a rich media spread on the YouTube homepage, taking advantage of one of the video site’s new ad formats: the “tandem masthead” (pictured here). Lionsgate first tested the two-unit ads, which share creative across the top and side of the screen, about a month ago; YouTube is making the tandem ads an option for all advertisers as of today.

YouTube Product Manager Zal Bilimoria spins it as a major coup, since it will be McDonald’s first rich-media buy on YouTube. (McDonald’s previously ran video ads on the homepage—but it wasn’t for a high-profile product launch). The fast food giant joins ABC, Electronic Arts and Volvo as brands that have taken a chance on YouTube’s larger, flashier ad units; Volvo tested another unit, the “expandable masthead”—it incorporated photos, videos and a Twitter feed, no less—which YouTube is also offering up to advertisers across the board.

Bilimoria said YouTube decided to make the experimental ad units a permanent part of its roster after tests found that the original homepage mastheads (which YouTube debuted in January) had user interaction rates that were about “three times higher than other rich media units of a similar size.” The McDonald’s campaign serves as the latest sign that YouTube is making some progress in its quest to legitimize itself as a hub for premium ads and content: it made it easier to find and promote full-length movies in mid-April, shortly after sealing a rev-sharing deal with Disney for special ESPN (NYSE: DIS), Disney/ABC channels.