When brands communicate on social media, there's a built-in trust and understanding gap between professional communicators and a skeptical public. Finding a way to bridge that gap is crucial.
Nation Hahn, digital director at Blueprint for Athletes and chief growth officer at EdNC.org, has found that for the right brand and the right campaign, a great way to make the connection is by working with third-party ambassadors to intertwine the brand's story with the stories of real people. Writing in PR News' Social Media Guidebook, he describes a bevy of best practices for this kind of effort. Excerpted below is a list of his quick tips for working with and managing ambassadors on Twitter and beyond:
- Twitter is best used for content that is easily shareable. That makes it an ideal platform for ambassador engagement, but make sure your messaging is simple.
- Provide guidelines for your ambassadors, but don’t script them. Numerous messengers with the same exact message dilute the realism of the program. Use ambassadors/community members to create authentic content that shares a personal message.
- Hashtags can be an effective way to unite across users, as long as there isn’t oversaturation. Tweets with one or two hashtags can pay off with double-digit increased engagement. More than three is #overkill.
- On a hashtag note, involve yourself in existing hashtags that power communities related to your brand.
- Tweets are 12 times more likely to be retweeted if there is a specific ask for a retweet (and 23 times more likely if you spell out the word “retweet”). A request for a retweet is a call to action, which can lead to increased followers. Do not make this request too often.
- Official ambassador-created content inspires user-generated content (UGC) across the board. UGC is the best overall way that we have found to drive engagement and create a personal touch. It’s real, unscripted and engaging.
- Use content that is authentic to the platforms when possible. Don’t try to make a Facebook post fit Twitter, and photos created on Instagram are best used on Instagram. Stay true to the platform!
- Measure content often before you invest in paid advertising. We share content, see if it catches on and then boost it to our audience most often. This allows us to have a higher ROI.
Follow Ian on Twitter: @ianwright0101