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CharityComms – Unlocking the Power of Social Influencers

From brand awareness to engagement and reach, there’s no denying the potential power and leverage to be gained by reaching out to social influencers and celebrities to help spread the word about your cause.

On January 24th, CharityComms hosted a conference at Amnesty International HQ in Shoreditch, London, that focused on social influencers in charity and non-profit campaigns, their potential and their restrictions and guidance for marketeers looking to recruit the perfect ambassadors for their cause.

The CharityComms conference – ‘Unlocking the Power of Social Influencers’ gathered speakers from emerging and established non-profits to provide valuable insight into the complex and extensive world of social influencers.

With rising cynicism and tightening regulations on advertising transparency, the challenge is greater than ever to strike up impactful and cost effective partnerships that truly share your message.

Quality over quantity

One theme prevailed, which was the emphasis on finding influencers and partnerships that had a genuine connection and motivation for supporting the cause. Whilst a one-off tweet or Instagram post from a superstar with millions of followers would provide an initial flurry of traffic and activity, to truly leverage a long-standing and influencial campaign, those working with you need to believe and subscribe to your cause, to inspire their followers to do the same.

Research as standard

At the risk of gaining square eyes and a skewed sense of reality, marketing managers looking to partner with social influencers need to immerse themselves in their respective social channels and become ‘super-stalkers’.  Everything from audience, tone, style, previous partnerships and values need to be completely aligned with the objectives of your campaign and the cause as a whole.

With such a depth and breadth of social influencers available across every potential channel, interest, niche and audience the task of compiling a ‘shortlist’ is almost impossible. Which is why one speaker cited platforms such as Buzzsumo to help narrow down your list by providing filters and search terms to find those most appropriate to contact.

Overcoming cynicism

Further reinforcing the notion of authenticity and genuinely invested partnerships is the growing cynicism and awareness of false messaging and forced ‘product placement’ style posts. The best way to minimise the impact of this rising cynicism is to avoid supplying prescribed content/copy to your influencers, instead opting to provide guidance and support to place your campaign as seamlessly in their feed as possible.

For their followers to believe and back the campaign, the style and tone of messaging must align with their regular posting to further build trust and a genuine, strong response. With the pressure to be transparent about paid partnerships and #ads on social channels, the material and imagery must be as believable as the influencer’s own alignment and interest in the campaign.

From partner to ambassador

Involving your influencers in the impact of their work not only provides your trustees and stakeholders with reassurance about their investment, but also provides further motivators for your influencers to continue to work hard for your cause. In a profession driven by vanity-metrics and viral impact, sharing the personal influence, case studies and feedback from followers is an inspiring way to add value and encourage a long-term partnership with your brand.

Turning a partner into an ambassador gives them a moral, value-driven stake in your campaign that transcends and exceeds monetary gain, a unique and powerful offering that can only be achieved by a partnership with a charity or non-profit.

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