The Down Low on Social Brand Collabs

Ok let’s be real – social can feel a little bit like the cool kid’s club.   There’s that handful of brands that everyone talks and posts about – they are effortlessly cool, their engagement rate seems effortlessly high, and you’re probably dying to be them. 

As a freelance social manager, I have been asked the age-old question of how do I boost my engagement rate, and seem cool, and talk about my brand all at once.  While I have a lot of answers to that question (and we can totally chat shop them over coffee) one of the easiest places to start is with some killer brand collaborations.

So where do you start? 

Well, easy figure out your strategy for collaborations. When I say strategy I don’t mean that you need to build a deck about it.  I just mean figure out why you’re going to implement brand collaborations:  it might be to build a perception of your brand, to increase engagement or to increase your social following.  

Let me break down a few tips and tricks for collaborations, depending on your goals.

Build Perception of Your Brand

A great way to help her trust you is to associate yourself with brands she already trusts.

To start, think about what products and brands she likely already uses. For example, you’re a kick -ass natural beauty brand –– so she probably also cares about eating healthy and dressing sustainably – easy grab some Reformation digs and a Pressed Juice or two and take some lifestyle pictures.

When you go to post these pictures on social be sure to tag the other brands.  It might seem like free advertising – but you’ll be surprised what associating yourself with some of the already trusted cool kids will do for your brand perception (and often your engagement).  

Increase Engagement & Build Following

On a ton of my current projects we find that giveaways are a great way to boost engagement – and subsequently beat the algorithm (since it prioritizes accounts that you currently have meaningful interactions with).  

Creating giveaways to increase engagement starts a lot like thinking through a collaboration to build the perception of your brand.  You have to make the prize enticing enough for her to enter and tag all of her friends – so make sure you start out by thinking about what is already in her basket.  In my personal experience things that are perceived to have a higher value (ie. Clothing, Jewelry and Beauty products) tend to have higher engagement rates.  

On the other hand, if you’re building a giveaway to build your following – you’ll want to find a brand that already has a following larger than your own, that is likely comprised of people that would love your content and brand.  Beware: if you partner with brands that aren’t relevant to your brand you will see an immediate lift in following that will cause you to lose growth later and will decrease your engagement rate.  So pick brands that fit right into your vibe and purpose.

Once you’ve figured out what kinds of brands you want to include build out a thematic plan – one that will make it easy to onboard other brands and build content around it.  It doesn’t have to be very specific but something like “Summer Essentials” will help brands begin to understand if and how it could fit into their current content plans.

Send out a recruitment email that contains the following:

·      Date of Giveaway (Try to give a flexible but concrete date range)

·      Organizing Brand and Contact Information

·      Content Plan (How do all of these brands tie together in a way that makes sense to a consumer? How will this fit into a content calendar?)

·      Brief Summary of Requirements (Where do you want them to post, When? How Many Times? Who will provide creative assets? By when?)

·      What are the entry requirements (Follow and Tag a Friend? Email Collection?). 

And finally, be really flexible.  If you’re reaching out to brands with a bigger following – offer them the option of posting in their story or just contributing to prizing.   At the end of the day, anything will help!!!!

And Two Final Tips

Once you have brands bought in, make sure that you have someone on point to project manage the giveaway properly.  There is literally nothing worse than a brand that initiates a giveaway and then forgets to follow through on the creative assets they’ve promised.

If you are creating assets for the giveaway make sure that it is OBVIOUS from the image that you are giving something away.  Go too subtle and you risk your users missing the opportunity to win and engage. 

Happy Prizing!  ;)

Kennedy Roberts