Streamlined Communication for Success

Good and effective communication is an essential tool in achieving productivity in any ambassador program and is crucial for maintaining strong, lasting relationships with your individual ambassadors. Marketers who commit to establishing clear and streamlined communication with their ambassador teams will surely succeed at building trust, maintaining accountability, and growing the community in an organic and meaningful way.  

There are a few challenges when it comes to establishing a good foundation for effective communication. For one, tracking a conversation or action item can become a logistical nightmare. The standard manual and digital tools that companies may use to communicate with ambassadors often lack the ability to successfully track the progress of individuals while also allowing them to assign new tasks. This can be overcome by investing in a solid analytics and reporting tool that tracks and measures the progress of ambassadors, while simultaneously giving the ambassadors themselves an easy way to collaborate and demonstrate that their tasks are complete and successful.

Streamlined communication also requires welcoming feedback and suggestions in addition to praise. Communication in ambassador programs for many companies is one-sided, possibly relying on generic emails or static newsletters. So yet another challenge is to maintain an organized program while giving ambassadors the sense that they are part of a collaborative community, and working on behalf of a company that values their ambassadors’ unique engagement and feedback. 

Brands should consider providing a forum for an open dialogue between the brand and its ambassadors to help build and maintain rapport between HQ and the team. Opening a two-way communication channel with your ambassadors will help brands create a strong sense of belonging within the community. Such a channel also offers direct feedback and a flow of creative ideas that will keep your ambassador program innovative and on message.

SocialLadder includes the following features to achieve streamlined communication and to make sure your brand ambassador community is thriving and not dying on the vine:

  • In-App Ambassador newsfeed with real-time activity & conversation
  • Push Notifications linked to challenges, rewards, & pertinent information
  • Quick access to information like handbooks, Google drive documents, videos, and more
  • In-App Chat Feature

It’s with these tools that running a successful brand ambassador program becomes possible-providing a solution for streamlined communication, and giving your community the power to deliver your message while communicating with each other. 

 

Living the #BootsLife with Canada’s Biggest Country Music Fest

Country music fans flock to Ontario’s Boots and Hearts from all over to see what the #BootsLife is all about. This year’s lineup again has some of the hottest country acts, such as Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and many more performing over 4 nights in August. With their rabid fans clamoring for a way to get involved and spread the word about the festival, organizers evaluated their options and decided SocialLadder would give them the versatility they needed to be a home for their fan ambassadors.

With nearly 1300 ambassadors in the program already, this year’s Boots and Hearts looks set to shine. 

 
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Use Your ImagineNation to Build an Engaged Community

Atlanta’s Imagine Music Festival is back with SocialLadder for the second year in a row, activating the “ImagineNation” ambassador team across the country. With the promotionally heavy squad that Imagine has built leading into year 6, they needed a platform that can:

  • Easily generate promo codes for over 1500 ambassadors, 
  • Manage street team activities from their backyard all the way across the country, 
  • And amplify their already robust social media presence. 

SocialLadder has been able to deliver on every aspect, with Imagine well on their way to exceeding last year’s totals of 3500 tickets sold and 22 million impressions, with 2x the number of ambassadors (and growing) already in the program.

Ambassador Sierra had this to say about this year’s program. “I have been promoting music events for over 7 years and I enjoy every moment and every opportunity I get to spread the word. I am so passionate about music and grateful for each event that allows our community to gather in celebration of it. Any chance I get to help someone else have a great experience makes it all worth it!”

Next up? Country Music Fans are flocking to get backstage 

 

Boutique Festival Brands. Is This the Future?

Some of the greatest festivals in the world will never draw 25,000 people per day, book a million-dollar headliner, or curate a lineup full of artists with the biggest Spotify numbers. Boutique festivals present a great opportunity to attend a fantastic festival with the music and vibe you’re looking for, without the massive crowds. 

Northern California’s Northern Nights Music Festival and Colorado’s Arise Festival are just two of the many smaller events that use SocialLadder to boost their ticket sales and engagement. Both events have typically capped out in the thousands, not tens of thousands, but may not be far off after their recent success.

By utilizing the full suite of SocialLadder tools to manage their programs, both events have already seen a staggering ROI. Matt Whitlock of Northern Nights had this to say, “SocialLadder helped us both broaden the reach of Northern Nights Music Festival with attendees, and throw a successful event from start to finish.”

Next up? ImagineNation is back

It’s More than Music for These Experience-Focused Music and Lifestyle Festivals

Central California’s Lightning In A Bottle and Envision Festival in Costa Rica, are all about getting people to come together as a community to have meaningful real-world experiences. 

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By offering yoga, workshops, sustainability programs, and art installations alongside world-class music talent, these two festivals provide destinations to revitalize mind, body, and spirit. Building a SocialLadder program for these events are less about selling someone a ticket, ambassadors are true disciples of their movement, showcasing the experience for the world. 

In 2019, each festival was able to exceed the ticket numbers and social engagement they had done in previous years, and introduce a whole new round of fans to their community. They also have built an ambassador community that they can activate year-round to share their values and vision.

Next up? Bigger isn’t always better …

A Rite of Passage in Detroit with Movement

It’s hard to believe we’re just days away from the halfway point of the year. Since we’re at that milestone, we thought it would be an appropriate time to share updates on several of the great brands working with SocialLadder to drive sales and boost fan engagement.

 

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Movement Music Festival in Detroit is a rite of passage for electronic music fans across the globe. Every year on Memorial Day weekend, thousands of people flock to the birthplace of techno for a festival experience unlike any other. This year, organizers used SocialLadder for the first time to engage with their audience and build a comprehensive fan ambassador team. 

Presale ticket sales kicked off with SocialLadder ambassadors prior to their lineup release, making it easy for organizers to amplify their unique lineup campaign, maximize pre-event buzz and jumpstart sales revenue right from the start. 

That momentum continued through the program, with 3x the ticket sales of their 2018 ambassador program, not to mention the added ROI of the 6.3 million impressions generated.

Next up? It’s more than music … 

 

Coming soon…SocialLadder Chat

Launching August 2019

Communication is the key to any successful community, so SocialLadder is excited to announce the launch of SocialLadder Chat. 

This new feature helps to further streamline communication by making it easier for admins, team leads and ambassadors to engage with each other directly through the SocialLadder app and record all conversations in the admin portal.

Ambassadors can communicate with each other, reach out with questions directly to admins, and even create group messages right inside of their SocialLadder app! Admins can initiate chats with their teams directly through the app as well.

 

 

Digital Marketing for Cannabis: A Roundabout to Regulations

According to the 2019 edition of the Marijuana Business Factbook, “retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States are on pace to eclipse $12 billion by the end of 2019 – an increase of roughly 35% over 2018 – and could rise as high as $30 billion by 2023.” With these staggering numbers in sight, the pressure remains for cannabis brands to aggressively reach their audiences via social media, by building a community through social platforms.

But with federal regulations in (both Canada and) the US restricting and monitoring the promotion of cannabis, strict social media advertising guidelines are supresive, and unlikely to change anytime soon. 

With cannabis brands being limited to a lifestyle and educational approach what is a cannabis brand to do to stand out to consumers?

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Rather than a traditional retail approach, cannabis brands need a strategy & the right tools to reach audiences organically, and communicate their branding messages to even larger audiences, more and more cannabis companies are building brand ambassador teams to help them educate budtenders and consumers. 

A brand ambassador program enables cannabis companies to: 

  • Amplify user-generated content creation & organic chatter
  • Manage on-site Dispensary representatives
  • Grow customer acquisition
  • Drive sales to specific eCommerce or brick and mortar locations 
  • Build a trusted relationship with ambassadors through a rewards program  

With a SocialLadder ambassador management program in play, Cannabis brands will be able to stay true to compliance while growing the brand and improving engagement with consumers through social media.

Turning Your Early Birds Into Your Top Advocates

5 Tips for Turning Your Buyers into Sellers

With all of the noise out there, consumers trust “marketing” less and less, so if you don’t know who your best customers are and then are turning them into your sales engine, you are missing out.

Let’s use the live event space to paint the picture. Buying an early bird ticket certainly has its advantages for music fans especially because it locks in the lowest price. For event promoters, it means they have fans who are committed to attending.

Being an “ambassador” might not feel like the right fit for everyone. But marketers who ease their audience into ambassador programs by building trust with their biggest advocates tend to have the most success.

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Here are the five keys to a successful early-bird campaign with SocialLadder:

1. DELIVER A GREAT PRODUCT 

This is the first thing, and the only thing to focus on. Without it, your customers won’t trust you and if there’s no trust, in the long run, there will be no product.

2. IDENTIFY YOUR ROCKSTARS 

Every great brand has a rockstar customer. The ones who adopt early and then spreads the word quickly. They are your “diamonds in the rough”. These are the people that trust your brand so much that they don’t even wait for the festival lineup to drop or for a celebrity to endorse it.  These are the Talkers and Planners … and they like to talk … A LOT. Marketers who can identify these people early will win big because they will help organizers expand their reach & drive awareness without cannibalizing sales.

3. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP

Understanding the needs and values of your buyers is important because it gives you the ability to create experiences for your fans. Fans who engage authentically and commit to ticket buying early will be a good temperature gauge for what to expect against your overall sales results. By getting up front real-time data you can inform other marketing efforts with the insights you gain through advanced reporting. Imagine the targeting you could do if you knew all of the brands or artists your fans were following?

4. ENHANCE WITH EXPERIENCES NOT CASH

Once in a lifetime fan-focused experiences will keep fans intrinsically motivated to spread the word about your lineup, onsite experiences & ticket price increases. Come up with rewards that will be a true motivator for your fans, but keep in mind that the greatest rewards can be something that shows the appreciation you truly have for your fans. Beyond Wonderland — for example — offered Insomniac fans a chance to hang backstage with their CEO Pasquale Rotella.

5. REWARD THE BIGGEST VOICES

So you’ve lined up fan-focused rewards and figured out who your Planners are, now it’s time to boost the organic chatter so you can pull back on your digital spend and get more REAL fans talking. Take the time to align your marketing calendar with your ambassadors and your word of mouth buzz will takeoff.  Imagine Festival, for example, generated over 3 thousand unique pieces of Instagram content, reaching nearly 4 million people. Imagine that!

Share the Love: 5 Tips to Boost Customer Referrals

The concept is simple: You have customers. Your customers have friends. Your customers’ friends probably “walk alike, talk alike.” In fact, they most likely like a lot of the same things — clothing, travel, social causes, Instagram posts, events etc.

You with me? It’s pretty simple. If your customers like your products, then their friends will too!

What do you think of when you hear “word of mouth marketing?” If you just said “social media” to yourself, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t start and end there.

Word of mouth is actually more powerful when it happens in the real world too.

In fact, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that two-thirds of all referred purchases come from real world recommendations, vs. one-third that are discovered online. Recommendations made by people are 10 times more powerful than impersonal ones. Need more convincing?

92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.

So why isn’t everyone doing it — and doing it well?  The truth is that “referral marketing” isn’t easy … and it’s so much more than automated referral links and pre-populated spammy messages for your customers to annoy their friends with on their social pages.

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But with a little planning, finding the right customers, and then giving them the tools to make referrals online AND <<drum roll please>> in the REAL WORLD … You will be able to turn your business into the next $1 Billion Brand.

Inspired by the book Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, here are 5 tips to get your customers talking:

  1. Talkers

Find your most authentic voices and actually talk to them. Understand why they love your product and how they talk about it to their friends.

I’m the talker in my friend circle. If I find something and it works, I tell everyone I know — and often who I don’t know — everything I know about it. All of my friends now subscribe to SunBasket, own a VitaMix, have been to Iceland, and wear Allbirds to work.

You don’t have to use discounts or product; things like early-bird access and newsletters often attract people like me who are authentically your most valuable customers and want to learn more or just support your brand. Using these “incentives” makes it easier to collect their contact information, which means you have a more personal way to engage them.

  1. Topics

Using real the feedback you get from real customers makes it easier to engage a larger audience more authentically. Create topics for your Talkers to organically talk about based on the topics they are interested in.

Niyama Sol ambassadors, for example, were asked: “Take a photo of yourself in your favorite place to do yoga on your personal Instagram.” Hundreds of real people shared their story to their friends and the brand saw lift quickly.

  1. Tools

Create an easy format for you and them.

Getting 10 customers to talk and spread the word about your brand to their friends is manageable; 100 customers a little harder; 1,000+ customers and it won’t scale unless you have the right tools in place.

One more time … MAKE IT EASY … You will thank me later.

Don’t complicate it for your customers. Add a sign-up link to your website and automate an invitation to join the ambassador program when a customer makes a purchase. Once they have joined, keep making it easy — give them access to your brand’s story, referral links, and topics to stimulate their storytelling about your brand.

Ensure that they are able to share their unique referral link or code and tell their story quickly on as many platforms as possible without any hassle. This includes social media channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and the like.

  1. Taking Part

Great. You have them talking the talk, now you need to show them that you can walk the walk … WITH them.

You want people to purchase your product without having to convince them. So the only way to do this is to make sure you are listening and engaging with your Talkers, and then rewarding them for authentically spreading the love about your product in the real world to their friends.

Make sure you make it easy for your Talkers to talk to you and encourage them to give you feedback. Big retailers like Sephora, Amazon and Nordstrom ask every customer to leave a review.

If they ask a question, you answer.

If they have a suggestion, you listen.

If they had a bad experience, you get a chance to fix it.

  1. Tracking

Understanding the data behind what is working and who is working the best for your brand is important.

You will find that some of the best Talkers don’t feel comfortable sharing a referral link online, but they will talk to anyone who listens in the real world. Or you may find that some of your customers are great content creators with high engagement, but they don’t see themselves as an “influence.”

Reward them & engage with them equally.

These are your “diamonds in the rough.” Love them and hold onto them dearly. They will intrinsically help you attract more people like them and are the best advertising investment you can make.