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How to Win Millennial Brand Ambassadors in 3 Steps Identify enthusiastic young customers, make them experts, watch them show off their knowledge on social media.

By Christie Garton

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Who doesn't enjoy being an expert? Whether it's being the company's top analyst or simply the restaurant connoisseur among the friend group, everyone loves when their opinions are sought out and valued. This is true of millennials, who reportedly get a psychological boost from giving advice.

This is good news for brands looking to tap into the millennial market. Millennials are more likely to both show their purchases to their friends and write product reviews than their older counterparts. Combine this need to share, their information hungry nature and their desire to consult their social circles before making a purchasing decision and you've got the perfect recipe for effective brand ambassadors.

Read below to find out how to make the most out of the millennial generation's powerful purchasing influence.

1. Make them the expert.

In the past, it used to take years of professional experience and academic knowledge to be considered an expert. The definition of "expert" has drastically changed for many millennials. From YouTubers to bloggers to close friends, millennials value the advice of other shoppers in similar life-situations willing to share their firsthand experience. In fact, 84 percent of millennials report that user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy.

This lends itself well to an ambassador program creation. Brands should be creating their own groups of millennial experts or ambassadors that their peers can turn to when making purchasing decisions. Do some research and select influential millennials in your target audience, then arm them with facts about your brand, exclusive information and product sneak peeks. Not only will your brand ambassadors feel empowered and validated by being the "go-to" for their peers, your millennials consumers will be more likely to try your products after reading powerful peer recommendations.

Related: Marketing to Millennials? Make It Personal and Customized.

2. Connect on their court.

It's not just about what you say, it's about where you say it. When making brand decisions in the store, millennials are 262 percent more likely to be influenced by smartphone apps and 247 percent more likely to be influenced by blogs and social networks than the average shopper. To capitalize, give your brand ambassadors a voice on a platform that is easily accessible to millennials, such as an app, on your blog or on social media. Allow them to post recommendations and user-generated photos to help their peers make educated purchasing decisions.

Once a consumer has made a final purchase after input from their peers, it's time to complete the circle. Encourage social sharing with hashtags and requests for reviews. Brands like Warby Parker have this down to a science. The popular glasses brand encourages potential consumers to order a "Home Try On Kit" and then snap photos of themselves trying each pair of glasses to share on social media for peer feedback. This millennial-favorite brand has created the engagement playbook:

Connecting with millennials on their favorite platforms? Check.

Encouraging social sharing? Check.

Allowing millennials to solicit advice from their peers and reach a broader consumer network? Check and check.

Related: 7 Clues So Millennials Will Spread Your Marketing Like Wildfire

3. Monitor and listen.

The potential reach for brands and their ambassadors on social media is huge, meaning millennial influence is both a powerful tool and a dangerous weapon. They have, on average, 200 more connections on social media than their older counterparts.

If you just ask for feedback and walk away, you're missing a huge opportunity to build loyalty while getting to know your young consumer better. Listen to what your millennial consumers are saying and then act. Prevent a trickle of negative feedback from turning into a destructive tidal wave of negative consumer sentiment by letting consumers know you hear their concerns and are working to fix the problem. Be willing and ready to respond to any negative feedback you're finding and do everything in your power to make things right.

Millennials are more connected with their peers than ever before, sharing updates constantly throughout the day. If brands can tap into these powerful conversations, utilize valuable feedback and become integrated in the day-to-day life of millennials, there's nowhere for the bottom line to go but up.

Related: Want to Reach Millennials? This Is How They Spend Their Time. (Infographic)

Christie Garton

Founder of 1,000 Dreams Fund

Christie Garton is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author and creator of the 1,000 Dreams Fund (1000dreamsfund.org), a social enterprise which empowers young women in the U.S. through scholarships and life-changing advice. Garton is the author of the best-selling college guidebook for women, U Chic: College Girls' Real Advice for Your First Year (& Beyond!) (4th Edition, Sourcebooks 2015) and co-author of Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever(AMACOM 2013). Garton has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and U.S.News & World Report. She holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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