brand ambassadorsYour company needs brand ambassadors. It can’t afford not to have them.

While brand ambassadors don’t have to be employees—anyone with an Apple sticker on the back of their car is considered a brand ambassador—having them internally makes a huge impact on your business. Brand ambassadors have a word-of-mouth power that marketing dollars can’t buy and they really humanize your brand.

Moving back to Apple, if you’re friends with any of their retail employees on social media, then you know how much they “drink the Kool-Aid,” which is a contagious effect that boosts Apple’s cult popularity.

Good employees with this passion for your brand will be invaluable to your business. When recruiting the next crop of candidates for your company, use these tactics to find excellent brand ambassadors.

1. Develop Recruiters As Leaders

How do you expect to hire great brand ambassadors if your own recruiters don’t lead by example? They need to be the best if they’re going to attract the best, and you should invest in their development as fantastic and outgoing ambassadors:

  • Make sure they meet consistently with the CEO and executive team to hone in on the company culture.
  • Ask them to shadow the sales team in the field (get out in the trenches, so to speak).
  • Make company values a part of the daily conversation, and make sure recruiters are putting that language at the forefront of every discussion.
  • Find your company’s internal success stories and have your recruiters share them far and wide.

2. Back to Basics Recruitment

Before using social media, the latest recruitment software, or trending boards, don’t neglect the focus on your own job site. Good candidates will stumble on your listing through CareerBuilder or LinkedIn, but great candidates will seek out your company first, hoping a relevant position is available. After all, the best brand ambassadors will be fans first and employees second.

3. People First, Position Second

Just like the best candidates search for a company first and a position second, employers should be doing the same with their candidates. While positions in IT and other technology fields are highly specialized, positions in sales and marketing are versatile and trainable. Recruiters should focus less on specific experience and more on how the person represents the company’s brand. A marketing guru who breathes your brand could easily cross-train into sales and become a great, long-term ambassador.

4. Invest Heavily In Social Media

If it isn’t obvious by now, social media is the medium that makes the power of brand ambassadors possible. And while your employees may use their own channels to promote your brand, you need a full social media department to support them in any way possible. Stay active on every channel from Pinterest to Snapchat and experiment with upcoming platforms like Blab (even if they don’t pan out). Create an editorial calendar and use Buffer to keep content flowing on a regular basis. Arm your ambassadors with material to share and they’ll make sure it gets out to the masses.