Sometimes the best things in life are invisible. This is true on Instagram, where invisible users with fewer than 5,000 followers can pack a powerful punch. Such is the case with toddler tonic-turned-hangover cure Pedialyte, which used the platform to transform from children’s medicine into adult must-have.
The idea of Pedialyte as a hangover cure had been floating around on social media for some time before the brand officially decided to target the audience in 2015. But while Pedialyte could have reached out to those already buzzing about it, like Pharrell, the brand chose to think small. By pairing up with Instagrammers boasting less than 1,000 followers, or “advocates” according to Gartner L2’s report on the group, the brand was able to build an army of genuine fans. Armed with the hashtag #PowderPackedSummerTeam, they headed to 144 music festivals and sporting events throughout the US, accompanied by an interactive campaign on Twitter called #SeeTheLyte.
Other brands have experienced the benefits of mini-influencers. Forever 21, for example, tapped an influencer with less than 1,000 followers whose partnered post garnered 96,000 interactions. However, if brands don’t want to go the tiny track, they can opt to weave in user-generated content on their websites or Instagrams to reap similar benefits, unofficially. For Pedialyte, however, the decision to bet on an often overlooked group paid off. Adults now make up at least half of brand sales, up from about a third before the push.