The Social Evolution
The Social Evolution

We had a couple of great panels at Advertising week — NYC this month, and I want to share a few of the key themes and thoughts from the panel I did on ‘The Social Evolution’. We covered lots of different areas but Social Creativity was a prominent discussion point that ran throughout the panel. This ranged from new features that clients need to consider and of course the very public debate on influencer fraud on social platforms and how brands should be incorporating influencer marketing into their plans.

The social platform that felt like it had the most resonance with the panel and the audience was how Instagram had become a creative tool, especially in the minds of marketers trying to hit the young audience and get involved with influencer marketing. Don’t get me wrong we still have Facebook as the 800-pound gorilla in the room. They are massive and still serve a very diverse audience, but it has lost its shine with all the recent scandals. However, each platform serves its own purpose, but Instagram is the one killing it, it will be interesting to see what Zuckerburg does next now the original founders have left.

Creativity is always crucial to the success of an influencer campaign, I think brands need to be brave and provide influencers with the control for the best results; you need to let the influencer translate how they see your brand to their audience. No one knows the influencer’s audience better than they do. If a brand tries to force an influencer to do something that doesn’t fit with them, it won’t look authentic, and the audience won’t like it. We have done many workshops with brands and influencers, and the influencers always say that when they work with a brand that doesn’t fit them, they hear it from their audience and as a result, they lose followers which is a cardinal sin for an influencer.

Different social platforms are all launching new creative features to help marketers engage with their audiences. The most exciting of these have recently come on Instagram. For me personally and what our clients are demanding — is Stories. They are a great way to deliver an authentic message and works really well when combined with the more polished Instagram static image posts. We recently worked with a beauty brand who were re-launching a skincare brand in the UK and wanted to work with over 70 influencers creating both static posts and Stories. They used the Stories as a way to show the results of using the product which gave a much more real and authentic impression. Using Stories also allowed them to use swipe up’s to send free samples which had over 3% conversion — great to see it impacted the wider business.

As influencer marketing continues to mature coupled with the rapid growth of Instagram, the causes of influencer fraud was heavily discussed. Amongst the panel, it was agreed that more needed to be done to tackle this issue but also that it is still a maturing market, so these are merely the growing pains of an immature industry. We delved deeper into what clients can do about influencer fraud. Firstly the industry needs the help of the platforms to share more information so we can become much more transparent. Like with any industry you need to work with great influencers and platforms and services. At TAKUMI we have a stringent vetting process where only 7% of influencer applicants are accepted. Our process involves data from HypeAuditor, manual sampling of followers, human insight and insight analytics from influencer accounts gathered from running thousands of campaigns.

Currently, the industry is still very focused on reach, this is something that will have to die over time as the channel matures but also as clients demand more transparency. TAKUMI announced at Advertising Week that we want to be at the forefront of this drive, and to combat influencer fraud we are launching campaigns sold on guaranteed impressions, not follower count. Firstly, this means that brands can pay for exactly what they have bought, and can understand the ratio between follower count and impressions — delivering the best performing campaigns. This is a big step in the right direction in the fight against influencer fraud.

This space is evolving so quickly, and so it’s super exciting to see how it changes over the next year!