All Things WOMM
From ‘Likes’ to Ambassadors

Brands were a hot topic on Facebook these past twelve months. Various studies confirmed that consumers are becoming increasingly selective. Also, they have no intention of letting brands take over their Facebook timeline. Facebook is primarily used to connect with family and friends. Research conducted by InSites Consulting revealed that consumers want to maintain an active relationship with no more than five brands. Other studies showed that consumers seldom, if ever, “dislike” a brand page. They prefer to hide this brand’s content on the timeline. All the brand in question sees is an increasing number of likes, but the consumer himself has hidden the content.

It’s clear that the bar has been raised for social media. With so many actors out there vying for consumer favour, you need to be on top of your game. Brands need a more strategic and effective approach to our online channels.

A Lot of Likes are Nice, but...

With so many specialists stressing the importance of engagement over brand reach, having a wide reach is all about becoming a source of shame in the current social media climate. I agree that engagement is important; after all, there’s no sense in sending content if it isn’t put to good use. However, I don’t share the notion that reach is unimportant. The more (high-quality) reach, the better. The trick is to build a well-balanced reach: good content strong enough to attract attention, while not being overly opportunistic (e.g. too many free giveaways).

Quality content is indispensable if you’re going to conquer consumers’ hearts. It’s a simple fact that a wide reach provides a much higher return on the content you create.

From Likes to ambassadors

The end goal is obviously to convert online contacts (likes) into active brand ambassadors. Several strategies are available to achieve that goal:

Consumer Involvement

Try to achieve low-level consumer involvement with your company. Campaigns like Lay’s “design your flavour,” McDonalds’ co-creation case, and many others clearly demonstrate that consumers are quite willing to take part in a fun campaign. Such a campaign is often as far as it goes but Lay’s came up with an original angle by identifying the super fans amongst the participants in the “design your flavour” campaign. Those fans are now part of a larger community and are frequently consulted by Lay’s. KLM’s “bright ideas” Facebook page is another prime example. The more involved people are with a brand, the more likely they are to become brand ambassadors.


The Consumer-Consultant

For more profound and specific questions, it’s quite practical to cast the consumer in the role of consultant. In this concept, the consumer-consultant feels very much involved, which ultimately makes him an ambassador. Heineken recently opened a pop-up dance club in Milan. Their goal was to build the world’s coolest and hottest dance club. To make it work, they enlisted the help of some 150 designers and clubbers from all across the globe. They photographed things they liked in clubs everywhere, went looking for the most innovative concepts they could find, and shared them with Heineken. The club actually got built and a lot of the input provided by the 150 was used in the elaboration of the concept. Needless to say they were very proud to see their ideas reflected in the design of the new club.

Involving a small group of people in the development of a new concept is a great idea, but consumers also like to help improve the quality of existing products. Simply take time to provide them with transparent feedback, because this is the key to creating ambassadors. It’s all very well to use people as consultants, but it is absolutely crucial to provide feedback on what the input is actually used for.


Branded Utility

Give people something to talk about. Once you succeed in bringing genuine, added value to consumers’ lives through your brand, chances are those consumers will spread the word and talk about your products. The classic example is obviously Nike+, but the sequel to this success story came from an unexpected sector when insurers Allianz linked the premium for their life insurance to the intensity of their customers’ weekly sports regimen. The cost of their life insurance is determined using the information from Nike+. This concept offers specific added value and is also an interesting topic of conversation.

How do you convert your fans into ambassadors? Leave all your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.

Steven Van Belleghem
Author of “The Conversation Company”

This entry was posted on December 27th, 2012
Tags: Advocacy, Social Strategy

Our Contributors

Rod Brooks
Vice President & CMO, PEMCO Mutual Insurance
Dennis O’Malley
CEO, Ready Pulse
Frank Burns
VP of Solutions, FeedMagnet
Ekaterina Walter
Theresa Trevor
Marketing Director, Amplifinity
Steven Van Belleghem
Author of “The Conversation Company”, B-Conversational
Jordan Slabaugh
Director of Social Media, Spredfast
Geoffrey Colon
Vice President, Digital Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Kendra Simpson
Vice President, Social Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Stuart Tracte
Account Director, Digital Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Brad Fay
Chief Operating Officer, Keller Fay Group
Kristen Zufan
Consultant, ComBlu
Gary De Jesus
Former Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, MKTG INC
Richard Beedon
Founder & CEO, Amplifinity
Andrew Rossi & Lauren Martiello
Creative Team, M Booth
Virginia Miracle
WOMMA Chairman and EVP of Services at Spredfast, Spredfast
Carri Bright
Senior Manager of Community & Support, Izea
Rick Murray
President of Edelman Chicago and WOMMA Board of Director, Edelman Chicago
Suzanne Fanning
President, WOMMA
Courtney Doman
Digital Marketing Manager, Spredfast
Ed Keller
CEO, Keller Fay Group
Anthony DiResta
Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Rose Reid
Digital Strategist, Account Executive, Social@Ogilvy
Blake Brysha
Freelance Digital Strategist & Social Advisor, Extole
Irina Kondrashova
Strategist, 360i
Rosanna Rago
Influencer Marketing, 360i
Megan Conley
Social Publicist, 360i
Emily Garvey
Senior Social Publicist, 360i
Danny Palestine
Social Publicist, 360i
Jose Martinez-Salmeron
Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director, Social@Ogilvy
Martin Oetting
Partner/Head of Research, trnd
Chloe Mathieu-Phillips
Supervisor, 360i
Peter Claridge
Marketing Manager, Unmetric
Stefan Pollack
President, The Pollack PR Marketing Group
Kim Cohen
Community Manager, Hunter & Bard
Leigh Pankonien
Vice President, Social Distillery, Inc.
Ryan Garcia
Legal Director, Dell
Joel Windels
Lead Community Manager, Brandwatch
Jye Smith
Vice President - Digital, Asia Pacific, Weber Shandwick
Marcia W. DiStaso
Assistant Professor, College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University
Asit Gupta
Co-founder, Advocacy WOM
Maggie Walsh
Senior Strategist, 360i
Ben Straley
Vice President of Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Gemma Craven
Executive Vice President, NY Group Director, Social@Ogilvy
Jeff Bodzewski
President & Chief Rhino, Rhinotale
Tom Chernaik
CEO at CMP.LY, Co-Chair of WOMMA’s MEAP
Devra Prywes
VP Marketing & Insight, Unruly Media
Katie Creaser
Vice President, Affect
David Yeend
Senior Brand Strategist, 22squared
Mr. iStratbuzz
Blogger, iStrategy
David Krejci
Executive Vice President, Weber Shandwick
Thomas Kim
Product Manager, Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Judi Friedman
Sr. Vice President, Fizz
Jasper Snyder
Vice President, Converseon
Nando Rodriguez
Senior Social Media Recruiter, NA, Social@Ogilvy
Ashley Libby
Principal & Founder, The Anca Group
Bill Chamberlin
Principal Research Analyst and Consultant, IBM
Jane Collins
Research Director, BlogHer
Neil Beam
Director of Sales, MotiveQuest
David Blake
Freelancer, Money Crashers
Andy Levitt
Founding Partner, HealthTalker
Jennifer Voisard
Senior Consultant, ComBlu Inc.
Matt Heindl
Senior Director of Social Media Marketing , Razorfish
Karen Kuller
Director of Marketing, Hunter and Bard
Martin Daniel
Marketing Executive, Unmetric
Kristy Woolbright
Senior Social Media Associate, 22squared
Nick Cicero
Lead Social Strategist, Livefyre
Desiree Mejia
Intern, Social Distillery
Jeff Morrissey
Brand Specialist - Marketing and Innovation, BISSELL Business Ventures
Jeff Woelker
VP & Director of Digital, Zócalo Group
Kristen Matthews
Marketing & Community Manager, GroupHigh
Ryan Simmons
Creative Technologist, 22squared
David King
Founder & Resident Wikipedian, Ethical Wiki
Jeff Epstein
Founder, Ambassador
Ryan Johnston
Account Coordinator, Social Distillery
Rob Key
Founder & CEO, Converseon
Mauricio Godoy
Account Director, Social@Ogilvy
John Moore
Chief of Wahoo, Brains on Fire
Jeremy Katz
Worldwide Editorial Director, Ogilvy & Mather
Allison Jordan
Intern, Zócalo Group
Ranjani Raghupathi
Marketing Executive, Unmetric
Dan Martell
Founder & CEO,
Deirdre Walsh
Sr. Social Strategist and Social Team Manager, Jive Software
Rachel Ullstrom
Account Director, Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Kyle Lebet
Associate Digital Media Director, 22squared
Rhena Wallace
Account Supervisor, Affect
Elissa Fontenot
Social Media Coordinator, Social Distillery
Danielle Johnsen Karr
Senior Community Manager, 360i
Mann Russ
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Covario
Brook Jay
CMO, All Terrain
Ashley Futak
Senior Marketing Manager, Extole
Erich Marx
Director of Interactive & Social Media Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc.
Maureen Higgins
Digital Marketing Manager, BOHAN Advertising
Mary Green
Social Media Fuze
Ashley Walters
Director, Consumer Experience, Powerhouse Factories
Erin Rankin
Social Media Manager, Johnson Group
Iris Vermeren
Community Manager, Brandwatch
Sarah Eck-Thompson
COO, All Terrain
Monica Bhandarkar
VP, Social Media & Business Development, JSH&A
Adam Wexler
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer , Insightpool
Lisaann Dupont
Communications Manager, Ryman Auditorium
Betsy Smith
Senior Digital Strategist, Flightpath
Steven M. Weinberg
Partner, Holmes Weinberg PC
Anna Kassoway
CMO, Crowdtap
Brandon Evans
Founder and CEO, Crowdtap
Deborah Holland
Executive Vice President, Publishers Clearing House
Clay Sifford
Chairman and CEO, Ovation, Inc.
Ben Rosenfield
Founder, Freebie
Chris Duskin
VP of Marketing, Extole
Kelly Karcz
Account Executive, JSH&A
Bob Troia
Founder and CEO, Affinitive, a Project WorldWide agency
Eric Forst
Chief Marketing Officer, Synapsify
Holly Regan
Software Advice
Amanda Nagele
Senior Account Supervisor, JSH&A
David Witt
Leader, Mid-West Region, WCG; Group Director, Brand Strategy and Engagement, WCG, a W2O Company
Lauren Gould
Marketing Manager, Ready Pulse
Kristen Sussman
President and Founder, Social Distillery
Alicia Lawrence
Content Coordinator, WebpageFX
Noemi Pollack
CEO, The Pollack PR Marketing Group
Sam Ford
Director of Audience Engagement, Peppercomm
Vanessa Squires
Program Manager, Fizz
Marcos Martinez
Business Development Executive, GroupHigh
Sandra Fathi
President, Affect
Josh Anisfeld
Vice President of Digital Engagement, Zeno Group
Ginny Broker
Senior Account Supervisor, Zócalo Group
Rick Liebling
Head of Global Marketing, unmetric
Ran Shaul
Katie Sotor
Crane USA