Three women sat on a bench

How do I choose a social media agency?

If your business has grown or changed and you’re looking to outsource your social media marketing, it can be a daunting time. There are so many “experts” out there, and the cold calling and spam emailing from digital agencies is at an all-time high. So where do you start?

Choosing the right agency is just as important as choosing the right employee – they will become a part of your business, so they need to be the right fit. You want an agency that can focus on long term strategies and help you take your business to the next level. Avoid the sweeping statements, buzzwords and larger than life promises – follow our top tips and you’ll be well on your way to hiring the perfect agency.

  1. Test the chemistry

If you’ve checked out an agency’s website and socials and like the look of what they do, pick up the phone. Appearances can be deceiving so it’s always best to actually speak to someone at the agency to get an idea of who you’ll be working with. Remember, if you do choose to work with them, that agency will become an extension of your business, so you want to make sure you click! See what kind of conversation you have with them – are they actively listening, are they suggesting ideas, are they asking the right questions? You should get a good gut feel from an initial chat that you can’t always get from an email.

  1. Ask questions

Even if you think you know what you want – ie some Facebook advertising – always ask the opinion of the agency and see what they recommend. It’s at this point they can really showcase their knowledge and perhaps come up with other ideas and longer-term strategies to help solve your problem. This kind of open conversation is always a good sign the agency is invested in the success of their work. From their responses, you’ll also be able to gauge if they really understand your business and your objectives, which is key to success!

  1. Outline what you need and expect

Be open and honest about what you want and why you want it. Don’t just say you want to outsource your social media; explain what challenges you’re having and what you want to achieve. That may be lack of strategy, lack of time, no content marketing plan, needing a social selling strategy etc. The more information you can give, the better the agency should be able to tailor a solution that will really fit. This kind of chat may also uncover things that the agency can’t do, and a good agency should tell you that at this stage.

  1. Find out what they can deliver

As about deliverables. How often do the agency report, what KPIs do they normally work to, how often can you expect to hear from them etc. Getting an understanding of what you can expect from them is always a good place to start. They should be honest about what they can and can’t achieve – so if you have a limited budget, the agency should be managing your expectations about what’s a realistic outcome.

  1. Location

Whilst digital marketing can pretty much be done from anywhere, and especially in these COVID times, using a local agency isn’t always essential. However, if you prefer the hands-on approach, chatting through ideas over a coffee and having face to face monthly meetings, you might prefer to use a local agency. Check out where the team are located and ask about their willingness to catch up in person once you start working together.

  1. Case studies

Ask to take a look at some case studies from some of their previous work. An agency should be able to give you examples of their past work, demonstrating experience in either your industry or a comparable campaign. You want your agency to have solid technical experience and if possible, experience in your industry.

  1. Testimonials

If you’re feeling ready to go ahead with your agency, ask if you could speak to a couple of past clients or associates they’ve previously worked with. An agency worth their salt should have a few people that would be willing to chat about their past experiences. This is your chance to find out how the agency is to work with, did the get back to enquiries quickly, were they adaptive and helpful etc.

Once you’ve done the above, you should feel more confident about hiring an agency to work alongside your business. Now the fun can begin!

If you’re looking to work with an agency to amplify your social media presence, create a solid social media and content marketing strategy, or overhaul your copywriting, get in touch today. We’re more than happy to do all of the above and love getting to know our new potential clients!

Three women sat outside a cafe smiling at the camera

Top 10 FREE tools for business owners and digital marketers

We’ve compiled our very favourite apps and tools to help manage your digital marketing and create new content. These amazing extensions, apps and hacks will help keep you organised and save you time and best of all, they’re all totally free!

1.      Canva

Canva is a wonderful tool for those who can’t afford a graphic designer, or just need some basic designs like social media templates creating fast. It’s free and super-easy to use. Even if you’re not that creative, they have heaps of templates that help you create something professional looking and engaging! It’s not just for social media and poster designs, you can also find infographic templates and even powerpoint templates to take your reporting or presentation up a notch!

2.      Facebook Ads Library

This nifty tool is an amazing way to find out what your competitors are up to in the world of social media advertising. Simply pop in their page name, and you’ll get a list of all the ads they’re currently running. This is great to get an idea of what your competitors are doing, and get inspiration from those brands you love.

3.      Trello

This is another great free tool that we use to plan out our social media content. It’s a productivity app, so you can assign tasks, leave notes for people and drop in files and images. But we use it as an online content calendar for those clients who like to approve their content. You can use the calendar view and then drag and drop your content cards to fit. It’s really easy to use and helps keep you organised!

4.      Asana

Asana is the tool we use to manage workloads and assign tasks. This is a great way to stay organised and on top of deadlines. You can email tasks straight from Outlook and then assign tasks by client, theme or employee within Asana. Once again, it’s totally free!

5.      Facebook Ads Manager

We run social media campaigns for most of our clients, so we all use Facebook Ads Manager regularly. Isabelle, our Ads Guru is in there on a daily basis checking and optimising our campaigns to get the very best results. Facebook Ads Manager can be a little confusing at first glance, but once you get your head around it, it’s a really amazing tool FULL of analytics.

6.      Loom

This free screen recording app is great if you need to train or brief people on a task done on a computer. You can record your screen as you do a task, then save and send a link. This is great for those who respond best to visual training, and it is also a good way to build up your induction documents for new starters without having to write a manual.

7.      Pexels

We love this royalty-free image library – it’s full of not-cheesy imagery that you can use for your social media posts, blogs or any other marketing.

8.      Grammarly

This is spell checker for the online environment. If you’re drafting copy straight into Facebook or your website, this will spellcheck your work as you go.  Just like in Microsoft Word, but for all sites.

9.      Dropbox

We use Dropbox to easily store all of our documents, presentations and client content. This is cloud based and we all have a login so we can access up to date copies of everything we need. I also love the phone app so you can easily upload images and videos from your Dropbox to Instagram Stories natively.

10. Answer the public

This is an awesome site that often helps us with ideas for blog posts and copywriting. You can enter a keyword, and it will throw up questions people have asked on search engines and social media. For example, if you pop in cupcakes, you get the following information. Great to spark off ideas for blog topics, Instagram Stories, IGTV’s, podcasts or social media posts!

 

Our best podcast recommendations

Podcasts are a great way to consume content. In these weird Coronavirus times, they’ve become even more valuable and offer another way to keep us feeling connected. Whether you listen to escape, learn or be entertained, we’ve rounded up our favourite podcasts!

From true crime to business news and comedy, there’s something to appeal to everyone! Happy listening!

Amy

I know I should listen to business podcasts, but I feel like I do so much reading and researching online at work, that when I’m listening to a podcast, I just want to be entertained. I gravitate towards UK comedy podcasts, or podcasts presented by comedians. I miss UK humour and think I just like listening to voices from home! I’m loving the Ed Gamble and Matthew Crosby radio X podcast. Fun and irreverent and always makes me actually laugh out loud. Ed Gamble also teams up with James Acaster on Off Menu, where guests are asked to create their dream 3-course meal. Listen to the latest one with Joe Thomas from the Inbetweeners, he’s a hoot.

There are other podcasts I dip in and out of depending on my mood and general mental health. I lost my brother when I was 22, and this is something I still deal with / struggle with daily. If I’m feeling particularly stuck in a bad thought pattern or feeling really down, I often pick a random episode of Griefcast. Cariad Lloyd interviews comedians about their own loss and grief, and it’s strangely comforting and uplifting.

Adam Buxton is my OG podcaster. I love his voice, his humour and his style of interviewing. He always has interesting and entertaining guests and I just love his style.

Isabelle

I am a podcast addict and consumer so many! I love RadioLab as they break down so many different topics in interesting ways. How I Built This with Guy Raz gives a cool peek behind the curtain and explains how some of the largest businesses came to be. I’m an American living in Perth, so I like to listen to The Daily by the New York Times to keep abreast of the news back home.

Perpetual Traffic is another really interesting podcast by the team at Digital Marketer. I always learn something new and get inspiration for my Facebook Ads campaigns! And to relax and be entertained, I’m whizzing through Mogul, which shares stories from the world of hip hop.

Danica

I love anything true crime, so my favourite podcast is an American one called Sword and Scale. Each episode outlines a new true crime, retelling the events and what happened, with the real police calls, recordings, witness statements, and sometimes even the victim’s family and friends being interviewed.

Sam

I love sport and comedy podcasts. I catch every episode of The Grade Cricketer,  a weekly show featuring news, views and interviews with major names from across the cricket scene. For laughs, I love Tiny Meat Gang with Cody Ko and Noel Miller. Wrong, but so right.

I also really like Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend because he has such a funny interview style and some great guests. As a massive Eagles fan, I also never miss the AFL Fantasy Podcast with Roy, Calvin and Warnie.

What are you listening to right now? We’d love to know! If you fancy listening to our MD, Amy in action, head over to Osprey Creative’s podcast and You Tube channel for her recent interview about all things digital and tourism!

HOW TO OPTIMISE VIDEO FOR MOBILE

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that video is where it’s at for social media marketing.

Not only is video the most engaging medium, but it’s also how people love to digest information on their mobiles. People already spend more time on mobile devices than they do watching TV and Facebook predicts that this year, 79% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

You may have experience in creating video for TV but creating content for social is a different beast. You’re basically creating content specifically for mobile use – so the length, style and creative of the video is very different to that of a TVC.

person looking at you tube on moble

Here are our top 7 tips to optimise your video for mobile.

  1. Engage your audience quickly. Use the first three seconds of your video to entice your viewers with the most compelling, thumb-stopping visual.

 

  1. Don’t wait to show your product – get your brand or product in front of the view immediately so the viewer knows what to expect.

 

  1. Keep content short, snappy and visually exciting.

 

  1. A large percentage of people watch video without sound, so make sure you communicate your story visually so it’s effective with or without sound.

 

  1. If you do have a script, or a more complicated message, add captions or subtitles.

 

  1. To the dismay of videographers everywhere, video should be shot vertically for social. This aspect takes up the most real estate in people’s feeds and looks the most impressive.

 

  1. If you don’t have budget for video, try to create your own animated content using effects, graphics, panning, zooming and slideshows to add an element of movement.

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2020 planner and pen

2020 Special dates for Australian social media and content marketing

The new decade has begun, and we can guarantee a lot of people have vowed this is the year they get their social media strategy in order. The first place to start is with a measurable and concise strategy. Always start with what you want to achieve and who you’re wanting to reach, then get cracking with the creative and exciting implementations.

When it comes to strategic planning, it’s always a good idea to have a content planner which takes into account seasonal trends, key dates, special occasions, product launches and all of your current marketing activities.

To help, we’ve created a list of the key dates that are great to inspire your social media strategy in 2020. From the AFL Grand Final and Easter, to National Tree Day and Black Friday, you’ll find all the important dates you need, which can be overlaid onto your annual planner. They might spark some ideas for your content marketing, or they may prompt you to run a promotion to coincide.

You can download the PDF by clicking on the link below. Happy planning everyone!

2020 Key Dates for Social Media

2020 ket

If you’re still looking for help with your social media strategy or implementation, get in touch. Our team has helped so many brands create strategic and successful content marketing strategies, that achieve real results.

We can help with your planning, run training sessions with your team, or take over management of your content production and social media posting if you’re short on time and want to outsource. You can find a list of the clients we’ve worked with here and get in touch with our friendly team here.

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A day in the life of Danica

We’re continuing with our Day in the Life feature, profiling a typical day for everyone here in the Wanderlust team. This week, it’s our lovely account executive, Danica!

7am – This is usually wake up time, however, some days I’ll snooze and laze around in bed until 7:30ish. I wouldn’t say I’m a morning person, so straight away it involves a coffee and something to eat, which this morning was fruit toast. My mornings are quiet as my partner Josh leaves early for work, so the house is mine from 6am each day, yay! I’ll eat brekky and drink my coffee on the couch while flicking channels on TV or scrolling on my phone.

7:45am – Time to hop in the shower, get changed and get my bags ready (and lunch – which is almost a lie because it’s that rare I bring lunch to the office!) Maybe my morning routine should start to include MAKING something for lunch? We’ll see… probably won’t happen…

8:25am – I’ve just moved to a house in Attadale, so I leave home now to make it to the office in Guildford in time. I’ve never minded driving, as I’ve always had jobs that need me to drive a bit, so I settle in with the radio and off I go.

9am – Arrive at the office. Set up my desk and open my emails to see if I’ve missed anything overnight or if there is anything urgent to reply to or action. Nothing this morning! Time to open my daily checklists, fill up water bottle and get cracking.

9:30am – I start each morning by doing monitoring for each client. Facebook, Instagram, on desktop, in app, everywhere! That way I know where each client is at for the start of the day and if there’s anything there to deal with or report to the client about. Today, one post for a large tourism client has gone viral over the last 24 hours, so I’ve emailed the client to let them know it’s doing so well, replied to all the comments and also forwarded onto the state and national tourism organisations to flag in case they’d like to share on their channels. This is a great way to promote our client’s region to a larger audience.

10:30am – Today is a scheduling day, as the end of last week was content creation where we draft and create 2 weeks’ worth for each client. All the posts have now been approved, so I’ll spend the next few hours scheduling these using Hootsuite and Sprout Social, so that we are ahead with all of our content.

12:30pm – Time for lunch, which means nipping to the local café, supermarket, or shopping centre to grab something quick to eat, and run any quick errands. Today no errands, so just some sushi for me!

1:00pm – Back to the office and settle back in. Now is when I’ll start to empty my inbox, action anything clients have asked for, or any random ad hoc tasks. Today is collating some new content from a client, reorganising some images, not too many tasks to tick off!

2:30pm – Amy has asked me to create an organic social media monitoring and engagement manual/best practice guide, so that if/when new people start at Wanderlust, they can have a read through and understand how we do things, the procedures we follow, sites we use, and general ways of doing things for social media monitoring. I’ll do this as a step by step guide.

3:30pm – Taking a break from the manual for now and helping Isabelle to create a hashtag spreadsheet for her clients. I have one for myself, which is split up into tables for each client, with all the relevant and important hashtags needed for Instagram. This makes life SO much easier when scheduling content, as you don’t have to think of them on the spot each time.

4:30pm – Finishing a task close to 5pm means I can spend some time inviting to like on Facebook, or trawling hashtags and geolocations for some outstanding user generated content for our clients. For our destination marketing client, 90% of our posts are UGC, which includes a great deal of searching to find some gems!

5:00pm – Pack up and leave the office and make my way home. Usually, if we need stuff for dinner I’ll stop past the shops on my way, but tonight I’m heading out for a friend’s birthday dinner and a drink at General Public in Scarborough.

5:45pm – Arrive home just as Josh is leaving out the door for work. He is on night shift this week, meaning our schedules are backwards. This doesn’t happen very often, and usually, he’s home from 2:30pm each day.

6:10pm – Leave home and head to Scarborough to meet friends for dinner. A Monday night dinner sure does throw the week out – as we RARELY eat out on a Monday, usually try save this as an end of week treat!

8:45pm – Get home from dinner and I have the house to myself. This works perfectly tonight as all I want to do is lay on the couch with a glass of wine! What’s even better is I have 2 new episodes of Real Housewives to watch. My love for trashy telly really shows when Josh isn’t home, as he’ll never sit and watch it with me, so now’s my time!! Real Housewives has become a TV addiction as of late…don’t even ask me why because I can’t tell you. It’s so bad but so good!

11pm – A quick shower then off to bed. For someone who loves sleep as much as I do, I don’t know why I continue to go to bed so late! Maybe another thing I can try to implement into my routine? Hmmm…

When I’m not heading out for a friend’s birthday dinner, my normal night consists of us cooking an early dinner and lazing around on the couch. If there’s anything to do around the house, I’ll usually get this done as I get home from work so we can relax for the rest of the night, as Josh is off to bed at 9pm for work. I’m trying to get back into Pilates, so this is slowly becoming part of my week again too!

One thing I love about my job is the flexibility. I work from the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday most weeks and from home on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some weeks this schedule will change around, but it’s usually pretty standard. So, on my home days, my schedule is a little different to the above, but not far off it (with a slightly longer sleep in!)

A day in the life of our MD, Amy

Ever wondered what we get up to each day? Fancy working in digital marketing but unsure what that actually entails? Over the coming weeks, we’re going to give you a peek behind the curtain. We will share a Day in the Life of each of our team, giving you an insight into who we are and what we do!

First up, it’s Amy, our MD and founder of Wanderlust Communications

6am – 7am           I’m woken up anytime between 6am and 7am by one of my boys. If it’s Noah, 5, he will come crawl into bed for a snuggle. If it’s Louis, 2, I’ll hear him shouting for us over the monitor. I think I’ve only set my alarm three times in the last 5 years! They are my wake-up call! I’m not a morning person, so I’ll normal have a cuddle on the couch with the kids whilst my husband, Jonny, makes coffee. Then it’s time to hop in the shower before he leaves at 7.30am.

7.30am                 I’ll make the kids their breakfast and pack up Noah’s lunch for Kindy. If I remember / have time, I’ll also try and sort something for my lunch too… but far too often I forget and just buy something from the IGA at lunchtime. I’ll grab the boy’s clothes and pack up their daycare / kindy bags, plus my handbag and laptop. Then it’s time to wrangle them into clothes and brush teeth.

8am                       If the boys are playing nicely, I’ll whip round quickly and do some jobs. This morning these were reloading the dishwasher, putting a load of washing on, paying for Noah’s school incursion and checking my emails so I know what’s waiting for me at the office!

8.30am                 We pile in the car and drop Louis at daycare. He’s just moved into the toddler room, so there are a few tears and I have my first bout of mum guilt for the day!

8.50am                 Whiz around the corner to drop Noah at Kindy. He seems to be following Louis’ lead and is also a bit teary, unusual for him. He’s also a bit mad as I forgot his 50c for the book raffle. Soz, bud!

9am                       Arrive at the office and open up my emails, Asana job lists and timesheets. Go make coffee.

9.10am                 Read and prioritise emails, add to my job list, check my calendar and plan for the week ahead.

10am                     Time for our weekly meeting. I have two staff members, Danica and Isabelle, and we start each week with a quick update on where we’re at with projects, what’s going well for clients, what needs work and what our priorities are for the week. We also have monthly meetings where we strategise for each client, and monthly staff performance reviews. But today, it’s just our weekly meeting.

11am                     Write a blog posts for a health and wellbeing client.

12pm                     Dash to the local cafe and grab lunch (whilst promising to be more organised tomorrow. even though I know I won’t be)

12.30pm               Proofread social media captions from Danica and Isabelle and approve a new social media advertising funnel for a client.

1.30pm                 Work on new campaign strategy for a destination marketing client. We’re creating a digital strategy to encourage visitation in the shoulder season, including organic social, paid strategy, shooting some new content and a media partnership.

3pm                       On Tuesday’s I finish at 3pm to get Noah from Kindy. It’s been a challenge adapting to a couple of shorter days a week, so we’re thinking about ways to get some after school help in the new year.

3.30pm                 Swimming lessons, then back to pick up my baby from daycare.

5pm                       Dinner and chat with the boys about their days. Jonny gets home about 5.30pm and on Tuesdays I go to Pilates. I currently only fit this in once a week. I would love it to be more, but right now that’s all I can commit to.

6pm                       Pilates followed by a quick whip round Coles for supplies.

7pm                       Dinner, a glass of wine and Netflix. If we’re feeling good, we will sit outside and have a glass of wine, but tonight we’re both tired and just want to veg on the couch.

10pm                     (At the latest!) Bed! I love my sleep so try and get to bed at a decent time so I don’t feel crappy the next day.

So that was my day in a nutshell! I love the variety in both my work and home life. It can be stressful juggling lots of different things, but to be honest, I get bored easily and love doing lots of different things.

I have every other Wednesday off and don’t work Fridays so I can have time with the boys, so my “day in a life” would look pretty different on those days – zoo / park / nappies / food prep / tantrums / The Wiggles / coffee / playdate etc!

I know I could be more productive and am trialling turning off my emails whilst I’m working on something specific as I get distracted too easily. I don’t have a commute (benefit of choosing where your office is!) and daycare and school are just around the corner, so I love that my time is maximised at work. When I have meetings I currently listen to music or comedy podcasts, but I’d like to try and listen to more business podcasts when I have that travel time.

What’s your day look like and what changes are you looking to make in 2020?

Woman on a beach with two children, sunset in the background

Amy with her boys, Noah and Louis, on a recent holiday to Broome

Top tips for staying creative

Lightbulb

I was watching my two boys playing yesterday and it struck me how creative they were. My 4-year-old was making up different scenarios and games with his train set, whilst my 18-month-old was pretending to eat the play food in his little kitchen. ❤️

It made me think about creativity as an adult, and how it’s so easy to get into a rut doing the same things for too long.

It’s so important to try and keep things fresh and new, especially when you’re working with clients who expect a lot from their agency. I’ve been thinking about ways to increase my creativity and thought I’d share a few tips with you!

🚶‍♀️ – Get moving. If I’m feeling blah or needing to get the creative juices flowing, I try to go for a quick walk. Fresh air (and most of the time a strong coffee) clear my head and help me think about things differently.

📴 – Turn off my phone. I used to start Googling or scrolling Instagram to help get ideas flowing, but I find when I do that, I actually end up either overwhelmed by content or just replicating what’s already been done. By taking a little digital detox I usually get the space to think more clearly about bigger ideas. I normally have a few lightbulb moments on holiday, which I think is due to being away from my work and letting the creative juices flow.

🎧 – Be inspired. I try to listen to a good business podcast or read an article at least once a week. I love Seth Godin for his quick riffs that get you thinking (especially since he’s now back on Insta showcasing them in a nice visual way), or his podcasts to spark ideas.

🍜 – Eat. If me and the team are getting a bit stuck in a rut, I normally suggest going for lunch. To be honest, this only happens once a month, but just having a meal and chatting about clients normally sparks a few good ideas and new things to try.

🖊️ – Start. Most of the time, once I start thinking about ideas and noting things down, lots spill out at once. It’s the actual starting that takes the effort. So I try to clear some time for thinking and ideas each month (it really should be each week, I’m working on that) and just do it!

What do you do to shake things up and stay creative? I’d love to know!

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How to spot a fake influencer and other tips for working with influencers

Two women drinking coffee and looking at a mobile phone

It’s no secret that influencer marketing has quickly become a staple for many brands. Businesses are devoting more and more of their budget to influencer marketing and the market is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 billion worldwide.

However, along with any “hot new marketing technique” comes the fraudsters. Social media is fraught with fakes – fake news, fake likes and fake followers. Hell, influencers recently showed how easy it was to fake a trip to Coachella.

So how and why should you care? How can you try and make influencer marketing work for your brand? If done correctly, influencer marketing can have a huge impact – giving you exposure to a brand-new audience and raising the profile of your brand to your target market. Here are our top tips on working with influencers.

Audience

Before you do anything, think about you it is you’re trying to reach. If you’re a chocolate brand wanting to appeal to busy mums, don’t look to healthy eating vegan influencers. This sounds obvious, but sometimes brands only look at audience numbers and potential exposure, they don’t think about the fit with the person behind the account. Your product needs to genuinely appeal to the influencer and fit with their brand. This way the message will seem authentic and like a real recommendation. Also think outside the box when it comes to audience. A smaller, niche audience of 5,000 of THE RIGHT people is far better than a huge audience of 500,000 people who don’t fit your buyer persona.

Growth

A big following is great, but a good giveaway for someone who’s bought followers is a sudden increase or spike in followers. More followers generally mean more money per post – so influencers are always on the hunt to increase their numbers.

It can cost as little as a few dollars for hundreds of followers. You can easily spot someone who’s purchased likes using the free tool Social Blade. Just enter their handle and you get a great overview of their followers over time. True influencers will have a steady growth, a fake will have noticeable spokes of gains and losses.

Once you’ve looked at their growth, also look randomly at some of their followers. If there are lots of inactive accounts, accounts with no followers etc, it’s likely they’ve paid for some fake followers.

Engagement

After looking at their followers, take a peek at their engagement. Social Blade also offers an overview of engagement on posts. The figure you want to focus on here is the engagement rate, shown as a percentage.

If an account has 100,000 followers and is averaging 2 comments, I’d say something is amiss. Either their content is appallingly bad, and no one is looking, or those followers are fake.

The average Instagram engagement rate is between 1% and 5%. So, if someone has 2,000 followers, you’d expect to see about 100 likes per post.

Comments

How many times do you look at a post on an account you follow and see the following?

  • Great!
  • 100!
  • Awesome!
  • Love it!
  • 😊
  • 💯

These generic comments are usually a giveaway of fake accounts. The tech is good on these robot profiles! Some of them don’t just follow, they comment too! Clever, eh! And a minefield for brands looking to use influencers. Take a good look at the comments and see if people are actually asking questions, tagging friends and having genuine interactions.

Also look out for the same people commenting all the time. Some influencers form pods and agree to all comment and like each other’s posts to increase their engagement figures. If it’s the same 5 people all the time, you may want to rethink this partnership.

Followers to Following ratio

A genuine influencer will have spent time building their audience. To do so organically, they will have liked and followed lots of other accounts. So, their follower to following ratio should be pretty similar (unless you’re a Hollywood celeb, then you don’t need to follow, daahling”. If these numbers are radically different, alarm bells should start ringing.

Strategic thinking

If you find the right influencer and want to go ahead, always take it back to what do you want to achieve. Who do you want to reach and what do you want them to do? Are you better to offer a discount to your influencer which their followers can use? Do you need photography, if so, put a contract in place so you can have access to the images once posted.  This may cost more but can be a valuable asset for your business longer term.

Ask your influencer for some stats before going ahead. If they’re worth their salt. They will use some kind of Analytics programme to track their success, or at the very least, regularly check their Instagram Insights. Ask them to send you some reports on their reach and engagement rates too. It’s always worth getting this information first.

Finally, check out who they’ve worked with before and ask how it went! If you see a competitor brand has worked with this influencer, give them a call and see what kind of return on investment they got, how the working relationship was etc. This will not only give you a good insight into your influencer but will also help you build up your business networks.

In short, an influencer has to influence people, have their respect and encourage them to take action. If an “influencer” can’t do that, then they are unworthy of the title. 

If you need help with your digital marketing strategy or want to know more about working with influencers, give us a call – we’d love to help!

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Lush bath bomb

Lush UK exits social media (kind of)

The UK arm of cosmetics company Lush has just announced a drastic change to its social media strategy, basically exiting Facebook and Instagram in their traditional forms.

Lush famously do not pay to advertise their products online or offline. They focus on word of mouth, PR, events and partnerships to promote their brand – along with the amazingly strong scent that wafts up all the way up the high street from their stores.

Their media release said:

“Over the years we have created, published and cross-promoted organic content and conversations with the Lush community across multiple platforms and accounts. However, it has become more and more apparent that these genuine conversations with the Lush Community cannot grow without us paying for the reach and engagement. We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change. An audit of our social content and strategy demonstrated that on average, only 6% of our followers are serviced with our content in their newsfeed because we don’t pay to play. So in an effort to make Lush better educated as both technologists and consumers, we’re making the bold step to evolve our social media strategy.

Going forward the UK strategy is to primarily focus and invest more heavily in our owned platforms, where we have seen stronger engagement, rather than rely so heavily on third parties.”

This shift from social media to owned platforms is a bold and interesting one.  Lush will now be directing people to their website, their Lush Player (home to stories and interviews) and the Lush Lab website and app.

Lush will still be playing in the social space, but via staff profiles, partners, individual shop account and influencers.

I love this new approach and the stand they’re taking against the big boys. Driving people to your owned channels can only be a good thing.

If, as a brand, you don’t pay to advertise and rely on organic content, you’re basically talking to 10% of your audience on social media – so why not look for new ways to engage and inspire?

My biggest concern (if I was their social media manager) would be giving the power to the individual stores and staff members. I would imagine Lush are investing in some heavy-weight brand training for store managers to ensure a consistent tone of voice, content theme and visual look and feel for their social media. Creating a cohesive brand across so many subpages is a serious challenge, but if they manage it, these store pages are going to be able to tailor their content for local audiences, drive direct footfall and sales and build genuine relationships with their neighbours.

Stay tuned guys, this is going to be very, very interesting!