Ever since social media exploded in popularity, and became a buzzword for companies everywhere, brands have experimented with the best way to market themselves on emerging platforms.
One method that’s proven effective is starting a brand ambassador program. Brand ambassadors are typically fans of a company that work to help its promotional efforts.
Such programs sound great on paper. What better way for companies to appeal to users than to let fans play a role in their marketing strategies? The problem is that managing a team of brand ambassadors, who are often spread across the country, can be a nightmare.
That’s where Reppr comes in.
Manny Lubin and his older brother Ron founded Reppr just over a year ago to help students find ambassador opportunities. After working with companies, however, the two quickly realized the bigger problem was the management and coordination of ambassador programs.
“It involved a lot of emails and Excel spreadsheets, and accepting content submissions was a nightmare,” Manny Lubin says. “We compiled a list of all the operational issues and those are what our new product solves.”
In early March, Reppr launched an all-in-one management suite for companies to form ambassador teams and collaborate with ambassadors on marketing efforts. The platform lets companies communicate with their team, review ambassador content submissions and track the engagement level of each ambassador.
“We’re all fans of certain brands,” Lubin says. “With Reppr, you get the opportunity to be a part of that brand and help them grow.”
Anyone can make a profile on Reppr and apply to represent (or rep) as many companies as they want. Once someone is accepted into a brand’s program, they use the complementary mobile app to submit ideas and content for marketing campaigns.
In keeping with Reppr’s millennial tilt, users vote on other ambassador’s submissions through a Tinder-style swiping system, allowing brands to see which submissions are most popular.
Companies can create ambassador teams for just a dollar a rep and run the program however they’d like. From there, it’s ten dollars a rep per month. Reppr requires companies to compensate ambassadors, and brands have adopted many different reward structures, including monthly payments, commission on sales and free gear. Companies that have ambassadors help with events may even pay hourly.
“It’s flexible, the compensation plan is totally up to the companies,” Lubin says. “We’re really just a communication tool. If a relationship isn’t working out, you can delete someone with the click of a button. Users can leave programs just as easily.”
Since brand ambassador programs are so new to most companies, Reppr gives advice on how to get the most out of their teams.
“We recommend brands use their rep team as a fan-sourced creative ad agency,” Lubin says. “You can ask them for ideas on a new hashtag campaign or, if you’re thinking of posting an image, run it by your team to get instant validation. There’s not a ‘right way’ to run a brand program yet.”
Lubin sees Reppr as a mutually beneficial system; ambassadors use the service to partner with brands they love, build their resumes and receive rewards. Meanwhile, companies get to leverage the creativity of true fans that want to contribute to their success.
Reppr also seems well suited to help companies engage with the notoriously distracted social media demographic. On platforms like Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, it’s never been easier to skip or ignore a canned ad. With Reppr, companies can put out user-generated content that looks more organic.
“If individuals can rep brands they’re passionate about, the content they create won’t feel like an advertisement - but more like an authentic testimonial” Lubin says. “We’re paving the way for fan-sourced marketing.”
There’s a new buzzword for you.
Images courtesy of Reppr.