Unless you’re living under a rock, or in some sort of social media vacuum, chances are you’ve heard of Instant Pot. Maybe a friend of yours raved about how much they loved theirs, or maybe you scrolled down your Facebook feed and saw a blog like this, or this, or even this. And if you’re like me, you probably concluded that you simply couldn’t survive another day without one. Turns out, I was expertly maneuvered by a sophisticated Instant Pot social influencer strategy. This strategy was so successful, that I was one of the 215,000 people that purchased an Instant Pot on Amazon Prime Day. Let me repeat that…215,000 units sold in one day. Pretty amazing any way you look at it.
I was curious to learn how a brand like Instant Pot would go about developing this kind of social influencer strategy, so I asked Colleen Pence. Colleen is a fellow Nogginer, friend, and as creator of San Antonio Mom Blogs, one of San Antonio’s most popular influencers. I wanted to get a closer understanding about how a brand like Instant Pot, or any other brand, might go about successfully pitching social media influencers.
Question: What should a brand do if they want to engage a social media influencer like you?
First, research! Learn who the influencers are who you want to work with: who are they, what do they typically cover, what don’t they cover? How do they cover it? How does their strategy fit with yours? Start now. Set up a way to track influencers/bloggers to follow and you’ll be better prepared when you do have a project that would be a good fit for influencers (and you’ll be ahead of the game).
Secondly, create a plan and be specific. What do you want to get out of the partnership? What are you willing to give the influencer in the partnership? How will you track the progress? Deadlines, payment, etc. should all be outlined. Contracts are a great way to specify the details for both parties.
Lastly, compensate! This isn’t always money. Figure out what your budget is or how you can build a relationship with your influencers. What do you have that’s of value to them? Access to your audience? Inclusion in upcoming events?
Question: What kind of budget should a brand set aside if they want to work with an influencer?
It will vary depending on what you’re asking the influencer to do, how big their reach is, what platforms you’re seeking, and how long it will take them.
For nonprofit partnerships, anywhere from $50 on up may be suitable. But, again, there are instances where money doesn’t have to exchange hands, especially with nonprofits. Is it a cause you love? One your readers will gravitate towards? Maybe in that case, focus on building relationships. Partner with the bloggers – share their site/content when you can, invite them to lunches/briefings/events so they get to know you and what you do.
Many bloggers, including me, have a few causes that are dear to them and they won’t always charge. Then again, remember, blogging is a business for these bloggers. They have to be selective about what they will and won’t charge for. But, there are other ways you can work together: I offer nonprofit rates. I offer sponsored posts that the client can write themselves as long as it fits with my editorial guidelines (not salesy – but informational – something my readers would be interested in) – this costs less than having me write the post.
Question: What is the most important thing to remember when working with a social media influencer?
When working with influencers, remember: they are a business and not an afterthought. They work hard to cultivate, grow, and keep their readership – which is the big value and benefit to you and your campaign or project. Compensate them as such. Don’t leave invitations to the last minute. Bloggers need to be able to plan – the good ones get lots of invitations – make yours timely and compelling so they can’t refuse.
Question: Besides Instant Pot, what social media strategy have you been most impressed with and why?
One recent strategy I’ve admired is the use of Facebook Groups and Facebook Live to sell Lula Roe clothing, which is not available in stores, but only online through consultants. The consultants sell the cute, colorful, comfortable fashion during Facebook Live events. Because the number of items of particular patterns and looks are limited, these online events or parties become exciting and energized, with customers buying items like crazy and often attending multiple parties per day in search of their favorite item or print. Hosting these live events on Facebook where most of their demographic lives, is a key piece to Lula Roe’s incredible success. For more, see: http://www.businessinsider.com/lularoe-is-making-millennial-moms-rich-2016-9
And I’m not the only one who seeks Colleen’s advice! Colleen, along with Tori Johnson of sTORIbook and Melanie Mendez-Gonzales of ¿Que Means What? were the social influencer panel experts at San Antonio’s Public Relations Society of America’s January luncheon. You can click here if you want to watch our live feed recording of the event. And if you’re looking to build a Social Media Influencer campaign of your own but don’t have the time it takes to research influencers, craft strategy and deploy, you’re in luck. Creative Noggin does have the time and would love to help you win over the hearts (and minds) of your target audience.