Why Hashtags are important in Influencer Marketing?

hashtags in marketing

Why Hashtags are important in Influencer Marketing?

The hashtag turned 11 years old this year. The concept of tagging social media groups or topics with a hashtag was developed in 2007 by Chris Messina, a product designer who had been working in the Silicon Valley for years and had the idea when running an internet consulting company. It was Messina’s way of developing a group organising framework for the then little-known social network Twitter.

Today, hashtags are everywhere, and they are truly powerful. In 2009, Twitter added an option for users to search for hashtags, Instagram adopted them in 2010, and Facebook did the same three years later. From simply tagging a lipstick used in creating a makeover look or a new pair of cool trainers to helping oil the wheels of social movements, hashtagging has evolved into a symbol of the digital era and has even transcended the online world and significantly impacted upon real life, with campaigns such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter reverberating around the world with the promise of real change. For any brand, regardless how big or small, hashtags are a way of improving their social media campaigns, and this is no different when it comes to a successful influencer marketing campaign.

First of all, hashtags can help improve your audience reach. In this sense, they are an extremely helpful tool that will boost a post’s engagement and make an influencer marketing campaign more successful. Furthermore, as an important means of organising content, hashtags help targeted audiences to find content relevant to them. The majority of brands use hashtags in their social media posts, and it’s not surprising considering the impact they have. It was also found that a post with at least one hashtag results in approximately 12.6% more engagement, so it’s no wonder we see so many brand endorsements popping up.

Take the shoe and clothing brand Dr. Martens, which chose a mix of influencers, from the fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu to the punk-rap duo Ho9909, for its 2017 ‘Worn Differently’ campaign, highlighting the brand’s beautiful sense of style and the ‘rebellious spirit’ that links the brand with all its influencers. The campaign is both inclusive and aspirational, with the hashtag #WornDifferent attracting more than 20, 000 mentions on Instagram, demonstrating that selected influencers resonate well with Dr. Marten’s audience, which, in turn, builds trust and helps boost sales.

Another example is the jewellery brand Swarowski, which ran the #BrillianceForAll campaign on Valentine’s Day, partnering with several gay and straight couples to celebrate diversity. The campaign included the top fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni, the model Karlie Kloss, and creative director Kim Willecke, and it has since been used over 17,000 times.

If you were wondering how to get the hashtag game right, then read on. When choosing a hashtag for your brand or influencer partnerships, always take the time to make sure it’s the right fit, as it should perfectly sum up the message you want to get across. In addition, check if another brand isn’t already using your chosen hashtag; if so, it’s better to come up with something else, otherwise no one will see your content in a sea of posts. To put it briefly, a good hashtag should be short, relevant, and unique.

why are hashtags important in marketing

How to know when an Influencer has fake followers?

instagram fake followers

In a world where you can click your mouse a few times and legally buy yourself the title of Lord or Lady, it’s no wonder Instagram users have succumb to utilising virtual fakery to boost their egos and, more audaciously, their brand deals.

Fake followers, likes and comments are on the rise in the Instagram space, with brands often losing out to influencers claiming they have a larger following than they actually do. Often purchasing them in their thousands, an influencer or a brand has the opportunity to increase their ‘audience’ with little more than a direct debit. With Instagram attempting to clamp down on those providing these fraudulent marketing schemes, brands are increasingly savvy when it comes to identifying those faking it. For those less in the know, there are some easy ways to spot the authenticity of a user’s followers:

Engagement rates

Despite a large following, a user’s posts might not be receiving the likes and comments you would expect for someone of their size. The reason? Their followers might not even exist! Engagement rate is simply the average number of engagements an influencer gets per post, divided by their number of followers, and multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. If this number is less than 1%, you can almost guarantee that a portion of their followers are bought bots.

Comments

Ever see photos spammed with emojis and generic comments such as ‘cool pic’ or ‘love this’? This is a tell-tale sign that the remarks are automated and are not posted by genuine followers. Fake engagers aren’t paid to make the comments sound authentic and personal – they’re designed to increase the popularity of a photo by creating a sense of buzz around it. As technology develops, companies, such as US based Dovetale, are helping businesses identify these types of bots and shut pages down. However, the boost in awareness surrounding this type of fraudulence is helping everyday users recognise it themselves.

Growth in their following

If followers are purchased, the non-organic growth of a page is easy to identify as it will highlight itself as a spike in their data, whereas genuine growth will run on a consistent trend line. There are a few exceptions to this, for example, if an influencer was involved in a viral piece of content this may rapidly increase their following, but more often than not, growth will be steady.

Follower location

Although this information can be difficult to source, follower location can be a huge giveaway when it comes to fake followers. If a UK-based influencer has their largest audience in the Middle East, the misalignment could well be a revealing piece of demographical data. Understanding a brand’s target audience in relation to their product or brand message helps identify followers that would not be invested in a user’s content.

While the short-term gain of brand deals and momentary popularity might seem appealing to some Instagram users, it clearly undermines their genuine influence and authenticity. While you might not be able to identify every faker out there, be sure to have a quick read of their comments to suss out anyone trying to pull a fast one!

KSI VS Logan Paul - The FIGHT of the YEAR!

KSI vs Logan Paul: all fun and games or another dangerous publicity stunt?

YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul will take to the ring this Saturday to finally come to blows over their virtual feud. After Olajide KSI Olatunji (known as KSI to his fans) called out the Paul family back in February for their raucous internet behaviour, they both agreed to settle the dispute with a highly-anticipated boxing match.

US Influencer, Logan Paul, has certainly had a questionable year. From the idiotic upload of a video containing a suicide victim to frequently thrusting himself under the spotlight with yet another controversial upload, he's been the talk of the globe in 2018. Logan Paul and his challenger KSI have an impressive combined following of over 37 million dedicated YouTube subscribers and the fight is set to attract viewers from all over the world. The fight perhaps has even more spice to it, after Logan Paul walked out of the press conference promoting his bout with KSI, as his fellow YouTube star launched into attacks on Paul’s father and girlfriend. 

When KSI challenged YouTuber, Joe Weller, earlier in the year, their venue of choice, London’s Copper Box Arena, maxed out its capacity at 7,500 to witness the fight. Logan Paul and KSI are set to fight in Manchester arena - a formidable site with the aptitude to hold up to 21,000 attendees. Official ticket prices start at £35, with VIP packages up for grabs for a mind-bending £515. While these are the fees offered by authorised sales sites, rumour has it fans are paying up to £600 to get their hands on one of the tickets. 

Leveraging the platform where they first made a name for themselves, the pair have signed contracts with YouTube that has allowed the site the rights to stream the fight. For a modest - and yet to those who couldn’t care less - the price of £7.50, you can (legally) watch the streamed fight online and join the millions of anticipated viewers endorse two of YouTube's most famous faces scrapping over a few choice words. 

Logan Paul has ‘set all jokes aside’ and predicted that the fight will be ‘the biggest event in the history of the internet’. It’ll be surprising if you’re able to avoid the winner’s inevitable social media celebrations that will spam every corner of the internet for months to come. For the winner, ultimate glory over their fiercest rival, for the loser, their pride will be severely dented. If that's not enough to keep you entertained, Jake Paul (Logan's brother) and Deji (KSI's brother) will also take to the ring to settle their differences, a fight that seems to have been overshadowed by the main event.

Will you be tuning in?! For their fans and the YouTube community, this is one of the most anticipated events of 2018.

Pet influencers? Petfluencers? Here are the best pets to follow on Instagram!

Top Five #Fluff-fluencers of the Internet

In January 2016, a lavish wedding ceremony took place at The High Line Hotel in New York City. The bride walked down the aisle in a custom-made Marchesa gown and a $139,000 platinum-and-diamond necklace from London Jewellers; the groom wore a tuxedo and top hat. Various publications, such as Newsweek, People, and Town & Country, wrote about the wedding, calling it the Wedding of the Year. There was nothing out of the ordinary, except for the fact that the newlyweds were dogs called Toast and Finn Hearst. Their marriage was a charity fundraiser and promotional stunt for Zola, a wedding registry website. At the time, the pair had amassed over 350,000 Instagram followers between them.

Animal influencers, or petfluencers, are undeniably on the rise. Many have amassed large followings on social media and collaborate with international brands. Pet influencers can do everything that human influencers do, making millions for their owners. One of the biggest advantages of utilising animal influencer marketing is that people don’t notice they are being advertised to – or don’t care – because they see a cuddly, adorable creature. Furthermore, animals can outperform human influencers in terms of engagement and sentiment, connecting with people of all ages and genders. It’s believed that pet bloggers with a few hundred thousand followers are making more than $3,000 to $5,000 per post, while those with millions of followers can earn up to $15,000 for just one post. Forget Grumpy Cat; here are our top five favourite pooches and felines on Instagram.

 

1. @Smoothiethecat

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Dubbed ‘the prettiest feline on Instagram’, Smoothie rose to fame in 2016. This super cute British Longhair resides in the Netherlands with her owner Arvid and kitty brother Milkshake. One of the world’s most photogenic cats, she has garnered over 1.4 million loyal Instagram followers. Apart from being featured in a plethora of publications and releasing  her own merchandise collections, she also has her own iOS app, which gives fans exclusive access to all things Smoothie’. Smoothie’s Instagram bio denotes that she is the Queen of Fluff and it’s hard not to agree that she is literally purr-fect.

 

2. @Jiffpom

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JiffPom is the Pomeranian who, with nearly 9 million followers, topped Instagram’s list of most-followed pets in 2017. From Los Angeles, California, he has partnered with the likes of Amazon and The Sims, and starred in the video for Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. This talented dog also has his own website, where his cuteness-obsessed fans can purchase branded T-shirts and phone cases. By the way, JiffPom can boast about being a three-time Guinness World Record holder: as well as the record for being the most-followed pet on Instagram, he’s also the fastest dog on two paws and practises running on his front and hind legs daily!

 
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Since being abandoned at a farmer’s market near San Diego, California, Tuna has  become one of the most famous dogs on Instagram, with over 1.9 million followers. Tuna, a Chihuahua-Dachshund crossbreed, has a prominent overbite with tiny teeth sticking out at all angles and wrinkly skin. He has been described by some as the world's ugliest dog. He’s partnered with brands like The Body Shop and Bissell, and his celebrity fans include Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Georgia May Jagger. Tuna might not be conventionally beautiful, but it’s difficult not to give in to his charm.

 
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Born with genetic anomalies – including dwarfism, a jaw deformity and a tongue that always hangs outside her month –  Lil Bub is considered a perma-kitten, meaning she will stay the size of a kitten for her whole life. From Bloomington, Indiana, this feline is an internet sensation havings amassed over 1.8 million followers on Instagram. A published author, a movie star and a philanthropist, Lil Bub has raised more than $500,000 for animal charities. She used to host her own web talk show, Lil Bub’s Big Show, where she purred and chatted to her guests who appeared on a tiny TV screen as if summoned by magic; among these were Whoopi Goldberg, Michelle Obama and 2012 Air Guitar World Champion Justin ‘Nordic Thunder’ Howard.

 
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Bodhi the Shiba Inu has  fame most  Influencers dream of and the lifestyle of a diva. He’s always impeccably dressed – sporting $7,000 suits and $3,000 sport coats – and he’s known as the world’s most stylish dog. He’s appeared in ad campaigns for the likes of Casper, Article and Subaru and has been featured in a wide range of magazines and newspapers -- including a full-page spread in The New York Times. Dressing up the pooch was an idea born out of boredom by his owners, New York-based Yena Kim and David Fung, but today Bodhi reportedly makes more than $15,000 per month.

From Intern to Account Manager - A Socially Powerful Story....

socially powerful careers story

Meet the Team: From Intern to Account Manager

At Socially Powerful we look to source and develop the most innovative and creative minds. Situated in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape, we firmly believe fresh and innovative perspectives are key to driving growth and developing as a business. We asked one of our former interns to share their experience of starting in a start-up.

Coralie, one of our first interns, started in July 2017 after graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in Language and Linguistics. Now an Account Manager, Coralie is one of our driving forces in business development and plays a vital role in mentoring our new talent.

What initially attracted you to Socially Powerful?

The week after graduation I received an invitation to come for an interview. I had always wanted to be involved with digital marketing, my friend had previously undertaken an internship with Google and then moved to a smaller agency. She told me that the industry was great and the work environment supportive. I researched the company through their vlog and social media and found it looked like a fun place to work and was drawn to the varied workload. One moment they were off travelling, pitching to new clients and the next minute out managing influencers.

What have you learnt from your time with Socially Powerful and what has been your most valuable lesson?

A hell of a lot. I had never studied any form of marketing at University so had limited knowledge on the industry and especially influencer marketing, it’s such a new space. Skill wise I have learnt how to organise and prioritise. Our workload varies and at times can be quite substantial so these capabilities have been necessary to avoid running out of hours. One of my most valuable lessons would be confidence; if you believe in what you are saying so will others. The way in which you put things across can be so important.

What ways do you think working in a start-up differs from larger companies?

First of all, you get the unique opportunity to see every aspect of the business; be it contract negotiation to pitching to clients. It’s a great platform to build confidence and become an all-rounder. We also have a lot more input when it comes to creatives than  we would in larger companies, it doesn’t matter if you are the director or the intern the best and most inventive idea will win and be put forward to the client. In a start-up you are going to have to work make a difference, but this is what makes it so rewarding.

Any advice for people looking to go into influencer marketing?


Have patience. You need to remember that influencers are just people, some of whom who have other priorities and may make mistakes. Learning to prepare for any issues before they arise is vital. As the main point of contact between the client and influencer, you need to communicate to the client that the influencers are not actors but creators themselves. This authenticity is what makes influencer marketing so great and is what gives the brand a unique platform.

If you were an influencer, what would your name and passion be?

My name would be Cheesy Pits and I would be a food influencer. All I eat in the office is cheese and pitta bread, so it makes sense to dedicate my internet presence to the cause.

If you are interested in kicking off a career with us and feel that you would be a good fit for our team please do not hesitate to get in contact: georgia@sociallypowerfulmedia.com

 

Instagram - the integral part of a fashion brands social media strategy?

instagram fashion strategy influencer marketing

Instagram has quickly become an integral part of the social media strategy utilised by fashion brands. With its simplistic format, eye-catching photography and total creative freedom, it is a tool to showcase the best clothing pieces designers have to offer in an accessible and authentic way. But is its rapid growth and universality shifting the fashion industry from an art form that requires years to master to a free-for-all for all aspiring fashionistas?

Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 800 million monthly users and appears to be growing at a rate that will see it hit 1 billion by the end of the year. Its global reach allows users to present trends in a saturated market without becoming repetitive, and the variation of posts enables individuals to create a brand identity that their followers can recognise. It's become increasingly obvious that for any brand to fully cement themselves as a key player in the world of fashion they require a strong presence on Instagram to drive of sales and overall brand awareness. Emphasis is placed on moments being 'Instagrammable' and brands take huge pride in creating an Instagram feed that not only looks beautiful but persuades the user to purchase their products over a competitors. 

Instagram has become a platform of opportunity with more and more homegrown brands using it as a place to generate attention - and income - from their products. Similarly, established brands are aware that it has a huge influence over consumer sales. Official Instagram figures indicated that 1 in 3 of its users has bought an item of clothing after discovering it on their feed. Using photoshoots and 'easy on the eye' flat lays to generate revenue is a tempting prospect for companies, who, when implementing an effective and strategised posting schedule, can add real value to their brand. Posting regularly, following trends and racking up the likes is a surefire way to convert posts into purchases. 

Using the application, fashion brands are easily able to connect with thousands of influencers who have a significant impact on their own followers' buying choices. Not only can the brand create a direct line between themselves and the consumer, but by paying influencers to promote their products, they're able to further increase their reach. There is concern within the fashion industry that Instagram is facilitating a new age of fashion branding where ever-changing trends are increasingly accessible and brand exposure makes way for cheaply made 'dupes'. It is, however, difficult to deny the opportunities the platform creates for brands to identify trends and meet consumer demands accordingly. 

A huge benefit of Instagram for fashion brands is the means of communication between them and their customers. Having a comments section allows for instant feedback on products, as well as customers being given an opportunity to seek customer service support. Building trust, particularly as a new brand, is vital in retaining customers and generating new sales, so this open line of communication seemingly adds to the customer experience. 

It's undeniable that Instagram has made a big impact on the fashion industry. Instagram brands might not be a sustainable alternative to traditionally marketed fashion labels, but creating your brand from your fingertips has certainly never been easier. 

instagram fashion influencer marketing blog

Love Island and Influencer Marketing, does it work?!

Love Island.jpg

Love Island; the marmite of British Television. Love or hate it, there is no denying its digital and social success. In its fourth consecutive series, and with 3.6 million viewers tuning in for the 2018 opening episode, an increase on the previous year’s 2.1 million, ITV Digital Studios have succeeded in channeling their following into a brand and infiltrating current culture. So what exactly are ITV doing differently to not only recapture the attention of an age who have tuned out but ensure contestants instantaneous social media fame?  

From memes on Facebook, teasers on Twitter and exclusive content on Instagram, ITV incorporates all strands of social media to engage and promote the programme. Their digital team strategically posts content across an array of platforms prior to the evening’s broadcast, which in turn ignites conversation and creates a space where viewers can discuss proceedings in real time.

Another reason Love Island bagged The 2017 Drum’s Best Use of Content on Social Platforms lies in the producers’ ability to depict reality TV as exactly that. Despite the artificial premise of the relationships, ITV succeeds in portraying the contestants vulnerabilities and emotions as authentic. In the same way that brands partner with YouTube stars for their seemed authenticity, the producers seamlessly and carefully integrate brand partnerships to boost subsequent sales. For example, the female contestants regularly style out Missguided looks which viewers can then purchase on their e-commerce platform to achieve the ‘love island look’. The clothing is selected to align with the girls’ style and viewers are not pushed to visit the site.

Brands should learn from the producers ability to integrate brand partnerships naturally into the Love Island narrative when affiliating with contestants once they exit the villa. With viewers cottoning onto the blatant artificiality of contestants’ promotion of that ‘charcoal teeth whitening stuff’ they are going to have to become savvier with how they incorporate influencer marketing into their campaigns. The fashion brand, In The Style, is a good example of a brand evolving their strategy. Over 86,000 people engaged with their recent tweet, where they told followers that Megan would not be getting a discount code. In acknowledging the inauthenticity of brands using love island contestants, In The Style actually increased engagement. However, they have also sparked mixed reactions and were compelled to release an explanatory statement for their tweet promoting the discount code #wehatejosh. Indirectly engaging with the show, poking fun at influencer marketing, the contestants and themselves, In The Style risk leaving themselves open to criticism.

With contestants leaving the villa with thousands of Instagram followers - Dani Dyer already has 1.3 million - and in some cases Chris and Kem from last years series secured a record deal (Little Bit Leave It), it is undeniable that there is an opportunity to profit from partnerships with the contestants. However, brands must be more selective with which contestants promote their products as the public become more aware of the premise of influencer marketing.

Ex-contestant Hayley Hughes has recently received major backlash for staged and inauthentic product promotion. The combination of Hayley’s status as one of the less popular contestants, coupled with an incredibly staged and poorly integrated deployment of content, led to her followers mocking and disregarding her as feed as illegitimate. For example, she received comments such as, ‘You know Hayley didn’t write it when she doesn’t even know how to spell half the words’ and ‘I’m unsubbing ur sooooo annoying’. Whilst the public view these collaborations as indisputably inauthentic, it remains uncertain how much longer brands are going to continue to partner with Love Island contestants.

 

How to measure sentiment in Influencer Marketing?

how to measure sentiment with influencer marketing

In the past few posts we have highlighted the power of influencer marketing in this new social media age and how you can measure its effectiveness. When negotiating with agencies specialised in social, you’ll undoubtedly hear terms such as reach, engagement or sentiment analysis – all three holy grails to qualm nerves and measure branding success (if you’re unfamiliar with these, check out our post below!).

The latter, sentiment analysis, is a buzzword that has taken the online marketing scene by storm. Here we break it down for you by explaining what is meant by sentiment analysis, why it’s important, how it can be measured, and how we at Socially Powerful use it to inform our campaigns.

What is sentiment analysis?

Social media platforms have drastically changed the relationship between producer and consumer. The top-down one-way channel of communication common to traditional media has been torn down by UGC, opening up dynamic spaces for consumers to collectively and individually voice their opinions on brands. This, in turn, has made it far easier to understand how your target audience feel about your product and/or your marketing strategy, whether that be through the like/dislike ratio, influencer story polls or (and this is the most fruitful) the comment section. While engagement is a useful metric to gauge a post’s relative popularity or the amount of interest it peaked, sentiment analysis allows you to further refine and optimise your content strategies to effectively maximise ROI.

So why doesn’t everyone carry out sentiment analysis?

They do. Sentiment analysis is featured as a metric on many social media insight tools used by agencies – hence its buzz on the marketing scene. However, often these metrics are used without fully understanding how they work. Some rely on the like/dislike ratio mentioned above. Other more specialised analyses will examine the language used in the comment section, and here is where the problems arise.

Sentiment and opinions are highly subjective and open to interpretation. As such, the grammatical and syntactical conventions used to express positive or negative emotions are hard to generalise with precision.  To circumvent this, some tools such as LIWC use sentiment lexica, i.e. list of words organised by their bipolar semantic orientation (positive/negative). However, this offers only a crude interpretation of language, which ignores the intensity of a certain sentiment or the contextuality in which words are used – a feature particularly crucial as words often have multiple meanings. Even tools that incorporate valence scores for intensity (e.g. VADER) ignore the lexical features native and ubiquitous in UGC like acronyms, emojis and slang.

Other more recent attempts at sentiment analysis (e.g. Naïve Bayers classifier, Support Vector Machines, etc.) have made use of growing expertise in machine learning and natural language processing to learn and identify sentiment-relevant features of text. However, the issue with such tools and UGC is that they require large sets of validated training data which represents as many of the lexical features as possible. Such data sets of UGC are hard to acquire due to the spare and short nature of text on social media.

How then does Socially Powerful analyse sentiment?

Here at Socially Powerful we understand why sentiment analysis is hard and we, therefore, like to do everything in-house to ensure the highest degree of quality and certainty for our clients. We carry out our own comprehensive sentiment analysis, integrating easily identifiable metrics such as like/dislikes and influencer polls, validated sentiment analysis tools and analyses of multiple samples in comment sections, carried out by different expert analysts. This way ensures we cover the drawbacks of each method. It also means we can be more creative and offer a more fine-grained bespoke analysis for each piece of content.

Why is this important?

Thinking back to last year’s Pepsi-Kendall Jenner advert provides a perfect example of the importance of sentiment analysis. Viewing it on the basis of engagement, the advert was a huge success. However, as everyone knows by now, it drew widespread criticism from around the globe for its insensitive and farcical content.

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In influencer marketing, for example, an influencer may post to Instagram holding the product in hand so that it gains exposure to their followers. Any of the sentiment analysis tools mentioned above will then analyse the language in the comment section to get a rough picture of how it has been received. However, going the extra step allows us to fully understand whether the positive or negative sentiment recorded is actually directed towards the product or just other features of the post (i.e. outifts, quality of photo, background, etc.) – if the latter is the case then it is classified as neutral. In other words, it allows us to fully understand the context in which views are expressed, because ultimately it is that context that shapes our opinions.