Should brands contract only Influencers who posted about their products in the past?

No, that’s a shortsighted approach and out of touch with the way influencers work.

After all:

  1. Many products and brands are totally new and no one has used them yet (and that’s the whole point of hiring SMI (Social Media Influencer), to gain awareness.
  2. If SMI used “Adidas shoes” so far (and enjoyed them tremendously), it doesn’t mean she won’t enjoy “Bronx shoes”!
  3. SMI who are professional may not post about any brands they aren’t hired by (it’s a matter of not working without compensation)

I know I may sound like I’m contradicting myself here, but come on… if you are a brand and you see an SMI who is very suitable for you, someone with your kind of audience, with followers who CARE, then introduce any new product to her and consider hiring her. Even if she’s promoted a competitive product, if she just hasn’t tried yours it’s worth introducing it and trying to convince her. Because if she IS convinced, she can share why she switched to your product, and that’s a good thing!!

Related:

I like to keep it real, which some people consider contrarian… well, so be it: check out my articles that have been tagged “contrarian”

“I have a cute dog… :-)” in your YouTube About…?

Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level.

This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. 

Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.

In past articles in the BSMP* series I explained how you can optimize YOUR story-telling through your profile photos, extended name, update line, profile description, hashtags, CTA, URL and Influencers. Today we will discuss a case study, this time over your YouTube account’s “About.”

*BSMP = branded social media profile, a term that was coined by… me.

Ok so the other day – while I was looking for new engagers for my Mishu’s YouTube channel – I bumped into a YouTube account that has the following sentence on their “About” section (we call it BSMP):

YouTube BSMP - "I have a cute dog"?
YouTube BSMP – “I have a cute dog…:)”?

I have a cute dog…:)

Continue reading “I have a cute dog… :-)” in your YouTube About…?

“I just wanted to share this blog about the lack of transparency in the influencer marketing industry”

I don’t think WE should handle transparency, as well as ethics and morals. In fact, we shld stop it… Think about that – influencers are community builders. The only ones who are important here are *their community members*.

If those like x% of transparency, ok. If they like x-12% transparency, that’s ok FOR THEM too, it’s up to the people to decide which communities they are following, not for us at all. Now those communities are gather around certain niche topics. The brand can choose whatever communities they want to. #DeepThoughts

Continue reading “I just wanted to share this blog about the lack of transparency in the influencer marketing industry”

Feedback Influencers for Walmart.com and Amazon Vendors

Hire niche SMI* with the sole objective of getting feedback for samples received from the factory before placing a minimum quantity order with your manufacturer, and definitely before sending a new product to the Amazon (or Walmart) warehouse.

I have been there. I was an Amazon Vendor and really enjoyed it. What a journey it is! It’s exciting to build a small empire, your own legacy, with your own brand and various products and creations that you have envisioned.

Continue reading Feedback Influencers for Walmart.com and Amazon Vendors

Brands, your media war against fake influencers may not work if you don’t do these 5 things.

From time to time brands launch media PR campaigns to complain that the influencers they hired “were fake.” For example, the following was promoted and mentioned on Google 255,000 times (that’s a quarter million!).

Unilever- urgent action against influencer fraud
“At Unilever, we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands. Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships,” said Keith Weed
Source: https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/unilever-social-media-influencers-advertising-1202848790/

And Casper – the mattress company – stated in their S-1 filing, under “risk factors” that one of Casper’s disclosed risks is “the network of social media influencers it uses to advertise.”

For me, this is equivalent to them saying something like: “I’m making a decision to choose bad partners, and my partners – therefore – are a risk to my company.”

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/casper-ipo-filing-instagram-influencers-risk-factor-mattress-startup-2020-1

So, here is the question that needs to be asked (and let the debate began):

Brands, why are you partnering with bad partners in first place?

The influencers you hired are unethical – they did dishonest things (e.g. buying votes, sorry … followers)

You partnered with unethical.

Are you asking yourself why you hired unethical people/partners in the first place? Perhaps you should take a hard look at your hiring/contracting process and make the changes so it will not happen again.

Here are 5 things to look into and fix that can help you do it right next time:

  1. Review your vetting process. Find out what you did wrong in the past and how you can avoid repeating it. I’m happy to advise you on vetting influencers.
  2. Your name, your brand is EVERYTHING. And yet you entrusted it to unethical people. Consider putting a policy in place and a better process for external people who handle your brand messages.
  3. Review your company social media account on Insta/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc and your BSMP. Do each of your company posts have at least 10 comments? If not, it’s a sign that your story is boring and people probably spend less than 3 seconds on your posts. It’s time to rethink your strategy and, if you can’t come up with a more creative one consider hiring someone new who can or taking a break from social. Don’t maintain social media accounts for the sake of having them if they don’t do anything for your brand.
  4. And a word about “fake”… influencers are community leaders and so they mirror their communities and they mirror you, since you selected them. So, consider this:
    a. Are you leading by example on that topic? It is known that most brands have fake followers, including bots, and that they are possibly purchased. Is your brand on top of that? Do you regularly remove your fake followers, comments, and likes? Before you attack influencers, you should look at your own followers before you ask influencers to do the same. Because if you don’t do it, your community sees that and influencers see your behavior as an example!
    b. Are you using (or about to use) virtual CGI-generated influencers? Those are very cool and most of them are very successful in achieving results. But…they are “fake”… have you thought about that?
    In other words, be the leader in fighting fake, not by fighting influencers but taking care of your own accounts first.
  5. Review the rest of your practices: Is it easy for people to remove themselves from your mailing list and email list? When you we visit your site do you invade our privacy by tracking our web activities? Are you transparent enough? Are you really caring? Do you celebrate your customers? Do you treat people as a means to an end? When people contact you on website, do you answer with an automated template or as a human? Lead by example.

Because, if you don’t answer those questions, if you don’t fix the problems, after your PR campaign against “the bad influencers” winds down, your company will still need to break through, and it won’t be able to.

Miquela, Noonoouri and Shudu - CGI influencers - all three are very loved by their IG communities.
Miquela, Noonoouri and Shudu – CGI influencers – all three are very loved by their IG communities.

Takeaway: Instead of hiring media to announce that “you hired bad influencers and you will fight against that” >>

  1. Lead by example
  2. Rebuild your vetting process for partnerships.
  3. Rebuild your social media messaging.

Your thoughts? Let the debate begin!

Related:

Which Influencers NOT to Hire, no Matter What (and The Power of ♥)
Which Influencers NOT to Hire, no Matter What (and The Power of ♥)

Related:

I like to keep it real, which some people consider contrarian… well, so be it: check out my articles that have been tagged “contrarian”

“Engage Your Engagers” – Influencer’s First Commandment?

Indeed, and this is not only the First Commandment for any social media-ist. Every time engagers are going out of their way from their daily activities and bothering to engage with you on your social media account, engage back. Such attention is so appreciated in today’s world and is really the essence of building lasting relationships on social media.

We all have at least one engager on social media, and those people are so important. But wait…

Continue reading “Engage Your Engagers” – Influencer’s First Commandment?

Absurd following? Not necessarily!

Here is my question: should you follow someone back whose message is “follow me and I’ll follow you”? Before you answer…,

You should know by now that Twitter/Instagram/YouTube etc. are platforms for community building.

And SMI*? They are community builders, they are the people (or pets) that build a community around the clock, around a (often niche) topic they are crazy about, such as:

"I love to travel to Asia so much"
"Anything that has Orange in it"
"My mutt dog is so cute at home"
"We are proudly overweight"
"I have an attitude at school and I'm not ashamed of it"
"My respect for Gameboy is unlimited"
"Let's talk about black holes"
"I'm a bimbo"
Etc.
Continue reading Absurd following? Not necessarily!

Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile Series No. 10: Your BSMP Influencer

Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level.

This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. 

Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.

In past BSMP* series article I explained how you can optimize YOUR story-telling through your profile photos, extended name, update line, profile description, hashtags, CTA and URL. Today I will show you something new, related to SMI* on – yes – your profile.

*BSMP = branded social media profile, a term that was coined by… me.

Continue reading Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile Series No. 10: Your BSMP Influencer

Updated: Turn Influencer Content into an Ad – Example

Some of you have asked me what I mean when I say that brands should consider taking the content an SMI* create for them and convert it into an ad.

Here is a clear example. PetFriendlyCandles (the vendor) is recycling a post by Chutney on Instagram, an SMI, and turning it into an ad:

Turn Influencer content into ad - example
Turn Influencer content into ad – example
Continue reading Updated: Turn Influencer Content into an Ad – Example