This week’s chat, led by our own Kelly Lux and Sahana Ullagaddi (@iamsahana), centered around brand evolution, and how CM’s should go about facilitating changes and positive development around their companies or products.
Brand education strategies centered around telling a full story about where the brand/company/service started, and where exactly the staff and the users want it to go. Participants mentioned using “behind the scenes” content, like staff intros or funny exclusives, to build a relationship with users and create a culture of trust across the full spectrum of users (from the reminding diehards who have been there from the beginning why they should stay, to the newbies you’re still trying to “stick.”)
So, how do you do that?
Basically, be authentic and transparent about how any changes will be good for the user, be open and available for discussion, don’t throw out any surprises which might cause adverse reactions, and “under-promise, over-deliver” on the changes you roll out. Some useful tools to ensure this happens include hangouts and tailoring quality, relevant content to each chosen medium your organization has used to maintain their online presence.
I was especially interested in the discussion of brand ambassadors during this chat. For me, this title calls to mind the people who used to stop me on the street on my way to my internship in New York, and either try to hand me a colorful flyer with a worthless coupon, or try to get me to sign a petition (or worse, a newsletter sign-up sheet). However, I can see how a group of brand ambassadors who are very good at their jobs could be very useful at disseminating a message amongst their followers, friends and even people who pass by on their morning commutes.
This idea applies to my own job within the campus police department in that, technically, I have access to around 140 “brand ambassadors” in the officers who are paid to patrol the campus and surrounding areas. There are always officers working, at any given time of day, because we have shifts rotating in 24 hours a day. I handle the “broadcast” functionality, basically providing a constant stream of information on events inside the department; technically, the officers could be utilized for the other part of it, at least in their “in real life” interactions.
The idea’s been floated that we, as a department, start Facebook pages for the more well-known officers, and make it a more personal way for “us” to interact with the student body online (sans marketing, “click here, do this” speak). That responsibility will eventually probably fall to me, so it will be an interesting process to change the way I think and the way I post – from institutional to personal.