A couple things to know before becoming a brand ambassador

In an era where being a social media influencer can be a full time job, people must be weary of taking on that responsibility.

In the era of social media, brand ambassadors are becoming a commodity as companies work with people, typically 18-24 to promote their line. From offering free items to discounted purchases, many millennials sign up to work with their favorite brands for a chance to become a social media influencer. The question still stands– what does it mean to be a brand ambassador, and how will this change the world of advertising?

According to Wikipedia, a brand ambassador, sometimes also called a corporate ambassador, is a person who is hired by an organization or company to represent a brand in a positive light to help boost sales. Brand ambassadors typically get certain perks including free items, significant discounts or even promises of trips abroad.

The Muse wrote about why companies should consider adopting an ambassadorship program to help boost sales, and many of the perks included a dedicated fan base, ability to reach new audiences, and the ability to feed the content machine. Companies don’t need to work as hard to advertise as they hire, for basically no cost, others to promote for them. It’s a cheaper way of advertising, and it’s more practical in the long run. Brands don’t have to buy as many ad spaces or look for expensive TV spots to sell their products. They rely on word of mouth to get their items sold.

There are things to be aware of before becoming a brand ambassador. Some people work as one for a living, making a couple hundred a week, but others do it as a way to boost their following or to get free items from their favorite brands. Some companies might try to scam potential ambassadors though, promising them luxurious benefits but ultimately giving them nothing in return. ABC News reported a story about a jewelry company that contacted several women to promote their high-end, handmade, statement necklaces. The women got a discount to buy the necklaces ranging from $140 to $200 at a way lower price if they promoted the brand. These women went onto social media platforms, especially Youtube, and reported that these necklaces weren’t high end, were not handmade, and were pieces of scrap metal. The Better Business Bureau investigated deeper and gave the company a rating of F, the lowest rating, for lack of customer satisfaction and lying about the products they were selling.

While this is just one story of an ambassadorship gone wrong, not all ambassador opportunities are necessarily dangerous. Brands like BANGS Shoes and Tees for Bees have very positive ambassador programs that include discounts and a community of people. These brands as well sell their products for charity, so as an ambassador you’re also helping out others.

Becoming an ambassador is a great way to save money on brands you enjoy and is a beautiful way to meet other people. Research the brand that you’re interested in applying to, and if a company reaches out to you, look into what other ambassadors for that program say. Watch out for brands that don’t have any addresses for locations or not many details on their products. If you find a brand that checks off all the boxes and works for you, go ahead and apply. Being a brand ambassador is a great opportunity, and it’s one that’s changing the way brands market for a long time.