There are so many ways to help your favorite brands grow and flourish. Word-of-mouth buzz, either positive or negative, is one of the oldest and most powerful ways to share experiences with products, services, companies, etc. With the power of social media, in all its forms, companies have recognized that taking an active role in empowering their customers to spread the word is a win-win-win. It gives enthusiastic consumers an opportunity to try their products and services, either in advance of a wide-spread launch, or at a discounted rate. It gives the companies the honest feedback as well as the buzz to others about those products or services. And it also gives the potential customers an opportunity to hear true, honest experiences (for better or worse) about something they may not otherwise have known about, or may have been considering and were looking for more information and feedback before making a final decision.
There are two major arenas in which we actively participate to help spread the word about great companies, products & services. There are other ways, of course, but primarily we participate as Brand Ambassadors and Product Reviewers (for us, this is mainly Amazon reviews but there are many other retailers that solicit product reviewers as well). This series of blog posts will focus on Brand Ambassadorship, and we promise to have a series about Product Reviewing very soon.
Being a Brand Ambassador – which is also sometimes called being an Influencer, a WOM (Word-of-Mouth) Marketer, or a participant in UGC (User-Generated Content) – is about helping others find out about products, services, and companies. For us, it is important that our friends, family and fans hear our honest opinions and we focus our energies on companies that offer products and services that align with our actual day-to-day lives and would be also appeal to the largest group of our friends, family & fans so you can, if you choose, use our experiences as one of the many factors in the decision-making process to commit to a new product, service, vacation, etc.!
To be a successful Brand Ambassador, both for yourself and for the companies with which you engage, there are really only a few criteria that are non-negotiable. You must be honest, you must be responsive, and you must be willing to speak up. Honesty is #1, as both your readers and the companies are counting on you to tell the truth about the product/service, without any bias. You must be responsive, as many times companies and firms will require responses to surveys, questionnaires, or request that you blog, tweet, or post a video within a certain timeframe of receiving and trying the product/service and to have any face-to-face interactions within a certain timeframe as well, then report back to them on how it went. And you have to be willing to “speak up” in order to successfully spread the word! Whether that is through blog posts, Twitter parties or individual tweets, running a contest/giveaway, sharing photos or videos on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or Vine, or just talking to your friends, co-workers or family about the product or service! If you can be honest, responsive and speak up on a regular basis, you can absolutely be a successful brand ambassador. If you have a large reach, strong writing skills or are great in front of the camera, you will be up to your ears in opportunities!
If you are just getting started in the Brand Ambassador world, there are quite a few companies out there that offer great introductions and have strong user communities to give tips and guidance. You can also search for their hashtags on social media to help you find and connect with others who participate with those companies.
We have already blogged individually about two sites – Smiley360 and CrowdTap.
We are also working on individual posts on a few of the following but wanted to give you some links now in case you are anxious to get started!
Influenster is a great site for getting started. They have lots of interactive Twitter chats, and post lots of contests, giveaways and discounts on products. They also select members each month to receive a “VoxBox” which has full-size products to test and review!
If you are interested in signing up, we’d love it if you used our referral link here: http://www.influenster.com/r/1275696?utm_campaign=sum
BzzAgent is another great site for those new to being a Brand Ambassador. When you join, you will be invited to participate in lots of surveys to better get to know your lifestyle and what “campaigns” (products/services to try) would be the best fit for you. They work with tons of great brands and provide samples, coupons and helpful info to facilitate the conversations when you “buzz”!
If you are interested in signing up, we’d love it if you used our referral link here: http://u.bzz.com/ghb7d
We’ll also be talking about HouseParty, PinchME, Izea, BrandBacker, Klout, Swaggable and some of the more family-focused groups & companies like Moms Select and (Green) Moms Meet.
If there are any companies we didn’t list, that you’d like to learn more about, let us know in the comments. If there are any above that you’d like us to discuss first, we’re happy to do so, just let us know!
Also, don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! We post lots of quick links to giveaways and other great stuff on each of the channels, so follow/like and you’ll never miss out!
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. All suggestions are based on our personal experiences with no incentive or request from the companies. Please note the referral links provided above ONLY provide the company with info that we were the referrers, we do not receive any compensation for the referrals.