In previous posts, we name brand ambassadors key to boosting social media engagement. Illustrating our point, Estée Lauder witnessed a 300,000+ spike in new Instagram followers after posting the first photo of brand ambassador Kendall Jenner. Similarly, Dolce & Gabbana’s Instagram followers increased by more than 2 million after the celebrity walked on the brand runway. And puma is likely to see a boost after signing Kylie Jenner as the face of the brand. But besides making deals with high-profile celebrities with large social media followings, what can brands do to increase social engagement? Here are a few lower-budget examples for brands to follow:
Create spaces for people to interact and engage with the brand. Athleisure brands are particularly good at creating events to prolong the time consumers spend in a brand store. Athleta’s Flatiron location, for example, has converted its lower level to a workout studio for a wide range of free and paid classes (CheerFit, YogaVida, Work Train Fight, and Zumba). Hamptons-based Bandier took a similar approach when opening up a store in New York City in January. Called Studio B, the space holds classes from rising star instructors. And Nike, one of the first brands to market product as a lifestyle experience, frequently hosts running groups in various cities. More consumer engagement leads to visibility online. For example, #nikerunclub has been mentioned more than 46,000 times on Instagram.
Use brand ambassadors online and offline. Not all brand ambassadors have the ginormous reach (though they should all have a sizable following), but how brands decide to utilize and amplify an influencer’s voice can impact a campaign’s success. For example, New York Color appointed Demi Lovato as its brand ambassador, and maximized the impact with offline elements. For example, instead of relying on only her social following, New York Color placed the star’s name on the “Lovatics by Demi” partnership line to reach a broader base. And when the star did post about New York Color, she went further than most celebrities by telling the consumers where to find the product (@walmart).
Find under-the-radar, trustworthy ambassadors. These ambassadors have smaller reach, but are considered authority figures in areas like cooking, fitness, or beauty. One of the best examples of such partnerships is Ulta Beauty’s partnership with celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles. Though Stiles is not a household name, she is the artist of choice for a long list of celebrities including Jessica Alba, Eva Mendez, Heidi Klum, and Jessica Chastain. Her work and her frequent press appearances lend her credibility in a cosmetics partnership.