Influencers can inspire social communities around a brand – but only when those influencers’ personalities authentically match the brand’s persona.
What’s a great match look like? Consider Tyson Foods’ campaign, Why Should Cookies Have All the Fun? To spice up holiday sales of its chicken nuggets, Tyson invited mom bloggers to decorate the pint-sized poultry snacks. Soon, chicken-nugget reindeer and Santa Claus figures were popping up all over the web, and family shoppers were making their lists (and checking them twice) with Tyson in mind.
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Social influencer triumph
Tyson’s mom blogger militia was the perfect pairing for its family brand. The campaign netted Tyson 8.8 million social impressions in just four weeks, streaming past its goal of 2.6 million impressions over eight weeks.
Of course, Tyson made a great move choosing mom bloggers to spotlight its chicken. It could have selected celebrities for greater reach, but its posts wouldn’t have had the same authenticity or earned the same social engagement.
But Tyson’s greatest – and perhaps least recognized – contribution to the campaign’s success is how it treated mom bloggers who participated. It didn’t dictate which nugget creations influencers should make, and it encouraged influencers to write in their own voices that resulted in sentences like this, “Chicken nuggets will never be the same in our house, LOL.”
For Tyson, a hands-off approach with the proper influencers brought a family-first charm to its social feeds.
Make the most of influencer partnerships
It’s not enough to ask brand advocates to occasionally tweet your company’s content. Learn from Tyson’s triumph and manage influencer partnerships to lift your brand from its social doldrums:
- Give influencers space to create: Brands turn to influencers because these people are experts at developing engaging content. Don’t quash that creativity by putting too many constraints on them or parameters around the campaign. Allow them to write in their style, choose their own graphics, and share content with their personality.
Example: French champagne house Veuve Clicquot teamed up with fashion blogger Jacey Duprie of the site Damsel in Dior to promote its luxury après-ski yurt in Deer Valley, Utah. The company encouraged Jacey to caption candid photos of people enjoying the atmosphere and sipping Veuve Clicquot products.
Through her blog and social media posts, Jacey’s followers got a look at the atmosphere the brand created for skiers in the popular resort town. None of her content felt scripted or corporate. It was fun to read and the partnership was a natural fit.
- Repurpose influencer content: By nature, social media posts have short life spans. Make the most of an influencer’s content by reposting it on your own blog or social media channels. Create an online hub where content shared by influencers can live after it falls off customers’ Facebook feeds.
Example: Gap’s styld.by hub features fashion influencers styling Gap products in their own unique ways. The site enables the content to have a permanent home once it’s lost momentum on social media, and Gap republishes influencers’ work on Instagram to raise awareness of styld.by. This keeps influencers’ work fresh and ensures that Gap continually receives a boost from its bloggers’ audiences.
- Implement an influencer takeover: A great way influencers can draw attention to your brand’s social media sites is by taking control of the company’s social channels for the day.
Give influencers a goal for how many posts to complete. Ask them to share day-in-the-life or behind-the-scenes shots of them using your products. Have influencers promote the takeover on their own channels, and get ready to watch their followers flood your social feeds.
Example: Sephora invited Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to take over its Instagram account to promote the launch of Sephora’s Elizabeth and James fragrance. Because the celebrity twins don’t have their own social media accounts, fans flocked to Sephora’s feed to see what the Olsens would share. Sephora earned more than 270,000 “likes” from the single takeover.
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- Incorporate a social mission: Influencers and audiences want to engage with brands that care about more than their sales figures. Align your brand’s influencer campaign with a social mission to add depth to your influencer partnership and to benefit communities in need.
Example: Boxed Water enlisted influencers Jaime King, Aidan Alexander, and Meg DeAngelis to drum up support for its National Forest Foundation philanthropy initiative. The company vowed to plant two trees for every Instagram photo tagged with #retree. Within four weeks, 2,600 hashtag uses led to the planting of 5,200 trees – a veritable forest worth of social media engagements.
Marketers, if your social media strategy isn’t working, find some natural allies to boost your content. Influencer relationships help brands build authenticity and audiences respond best when a brand is promoted by people they trust. Before you know it, you’ll have earned their trust, too.
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Looking for more guidance on influencer marketing? Download our complete toolkit, Influencer Marketing: The Latest Strategies, Templates, and Tools, for a simple 8-step process – including templates.
Cover image by Viktor Hanacek, picjumbo, via pixabay.com