Helpfluencers — Social Media for Good Causes

Today we wanted to highlight “helpfluencers,” influencers who work to support charitable causes as well as other businesses, rather than merely focusing on personal gain and profit. One excellent example is the Family of 5 (F05) Travel Blog. Last month, F05 offered support to the many small businesses impacted by the pandemic. While acknowledging that they lack the advertising reach of huge media or Instagram accounts, the travel bloggers sought to help however possible and created a special page on their blog to promote small businesses in Switzerland as well as some throughout Europe. The #F05support web page features numerous businesses organized in eight different categories.

Kingfluencers interviewed Family of 5 blog creators Jean and Camilla to learn more about this initiative as well as their influencer journey.

Positive Responses to the F05Support Campaign

Camilla explained, “The participating businesses have been very happy and grateful, and each has shared with their own followers. While it’s hard to quantify how effective the campaign is, my sister is an illustrator for example and recently got a commission from a new client in Switzerland, a sale she attributes to this campaign.”

What the couple has found most surprising is the diversity.

A wide range of businesses have been interested including services, people selling things from home, and shops on the street.

The Family of 5 has been receiving one new submission every two to three days. When asked if they’ve had to reject any applicants, Jean was surprised to reflect that they have not yet had to do so.

Unintentional Influencers

Jean and Camilla didn’t intend to become influencers. Camilla remembers, “We went on some hikes, each with a child on our back, and were almost in tears by the time we finished. These hikes weren’t realistic for us, so we started a travel blog writing reviews and specifically sharing places that were easy to walk with children. We also have a disabled son, so our blogs talk about accessibility for those with limited mobility, and we didn’t think too much beyond that. We were surprised when people asked us to visit for free, and then it snowballed.

Over time, the blog grew beyond traveling to also include products and services and has collaborated with Kingfluencers. Now one primary goal for the couple is to remain authentic.

How to Convey Authenticity

When asked the couple how they can demonstrate their authenticity, Camilla replied, “it’s uncomfortable for us to be in such a position and our gratitude is really heartfelt. We’ve toured Switzerland and most stays were paid for. People can see us taking expensive train trips, and we know it’s not accessible to many of our followers.

We’re delighted, we pinch ourselves that we’re so lucky and we convey to our followers that we don’t take this for granted. We know it’s not normal for most — it’s not even normal for us. That’s all we can do to make sure people know, and also give something back when we can. We’ve also asked for tickets to offer to our followers.

Jean added, “Authenticity is something that has been important to us since the early days. We don’t do it for money. I work in a private bank, and Camilla has a small business. We can criticize if we want, and if someone doesn’t want to work with us afterward, no problem. We have the choice, and we decline a lot of offers.”

Travelers Adjusting to Lockdown & Promoting Charities

Jean stated, “With the COVID-19 pandemic we are stuck at home and not traveling, and we didn’t want to bombard our account with pics from 2018. We wondered what we could do except encourage people to stay home.”

Camilla continued, “But we also have a part on our page which is dedicated to charities, including our own charity for our son’s condition, the Children’s Vestibular Disorder Association. Advertising related charities is another way to shine a light on people.

We’ve also built a good relationship with an association in Switzerland called Planète Enfants Malade that helps provide joyful experiences to children. We met when we happened to be sitting next to their director in a restaurant. Promoting the charity on Instagram helps, so the budget goes to things more worthwhile rather than marketing since that’s not the best use of donations.” [As marketers, we worked to transcend the knee-jerk reaction to balk at the implication that marketing is not a “worthwhile” expenditure, because, yes, Camilla is correct here!]

Advice for Instagrammers?

Jean replied,

Be yourselves. You can’t build an account pretending to be someone else. There will be limits to that. Be authentic, and people will read your story. Your life will change! (Only joking) And don’t do it to become popular.

“For example, the hashtag #Switzerland is all too perfect. You might be inclined to accept a lot of collaborations just to show that you have them, but I don’t think you’ll go far with this attitude. Instead, find your own angle. Bring something to the table. Offer little tips that can be useful. Don’t repeat what others have said. What’s different for you?

“There are many family bloggers out there, but we had a different vision for Family of 5. It’s given us more humility as well as encouraged us to try and approach the topics differently.”

Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers

Turning social media into a force for good — A shared responsibility of all?

Edit 06.04.2021: Following the ongoing social media bans even after former President Trump’s term has ended, Trump has launched his own website, where he plans to update his fans with news from his wife, Melania Trump, and himself. According to The Guardian, the former US president will soon launch his own social media platform. “And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does. But it will be his own platform,” claimed Jason Miller Senior Adviser to Donald Trump.

President Trump’s notorious Twitter account was suspended permanently on January 8th 2021. (Source: TechCrunch)

As it is known worldwide, current United States president, Donald J. Trump’s Twitter account has been suspended just two days after his supporters stormed the US Capitol last week. He is also banned from using other social media platforms such as Facebook, InstagramSnapchatYouTube, etc. at least until the end of his term. This has prompted an overall discussion about the impact of social media and how to act responsibly.

About social media responsibility

Since long time there has been a common understanding that all users are responsible for their own content and have to follow the platforms’ rules. Generally, it is prohibited to post anything that is disruptive, hateful, offensive, discriminatory, threatening, harassing, or defamatory. For a long time therefore social media companies have left most of the responsibility for the content that is published with the users and interfered almost exclusively in the case of very clear infringements such as sexually explicit or clearly violence-inciting posts.

The most newsworthy example of a public figure whose social media actions have caused nationwide as well as worldwide unrest is the current US president, Donald J. Trump. With 88 million Twitter followers and an account that was the 6th most followed on the platform before the ban, it is clear that his message has a wide reach, whether you agree with President Trump’s policies and beliefs or not. Furthermore, in 2020 he was the #1 most tweeted about person worldwide, according to Twitter. But for many, he is also the clearest example of how social influence can be misused. His actions, and those of others in his sphere, have sharpened the debate on what the rules or guidelines for responsible behavior on social media should be, particularly for politicians, and which role platform providers should play in enforcing these rules and hold users accountable. A good solution could be to increase awareness among social media users through constant education efforts. At the same time, there is a call by a large part of the population that more fact-checking, moderation, and monitoring by the social media platforms would be a good step forward, albeit without dictating too much how one is able to use his or her profile and which information a person can share — as long as no harm is being done.

The dangers of misinformation

One of the biggest potential dangers of social media is without a doubt the possible spread of misinformation, especially in areas where this can cause significant harm. When creating or sharing content on social media, integrity is always key. Not everyone has the best of intentions however and some even go as far to use social media and their influence to advance their own agenda, no matter the consequences.

A blatant example — COVID-19 and President Trump

Yes, Trump again. But here is why… From his 36 daily tweets, many of his devotees have taken every word as an official government statement, including his factually wrong tweets about the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to openly refusing to wear a mask (despite US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear masks since March 2020), these actions have caused nationwide protests against government policies to fight against the pandemic. After three months of refusing to wear a mask and his staff pleading him to set an example, President Trump has finally posted a picture of himself wearing a mask for the first time in public in July 2020. He also tweeted:

“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”

President Trump first wore a mask in public on July 11th 2020. (Source: France24)

But was it too little, too late? There is little doubt that the misinformation campaign has tremendously worsened the outcome of the pandemic so far. After the nationwide divide that President Trump’s tweets about COVID-19 have caused, Twitter took action and started monitoring his account. The social media platform started adding fact-checks on Trump’s tweets about the virus in May 2020.

The positive impacts of social media

Dispite the misusage of some people, we cannot forget that social media has had many positive effects on society and need to recognise its enormous potential for good. Certain movements have brought society together to strive for positive change. Social media gives people with good intentions and ideas a platform to unite and collaborate in order to try build a better society together. Influencers, people with a significant audience base, can thereby become powerful catalysts to advance the noble causes they embrace, no matter how big or small the cause is. Here are some examples:

#BlackLivesMatter

One incredible example is the #BlackLivesMatter movement which was started by George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chaivin who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Since then, the world has come together on social media platforms to fight against Floyd’s injustice. In the year 2020, the second most popular hashtag was #BlackLivesMatter and George Floyd was the third most tweeted-about person in the world. Numerous influencers, including celebrities, around the world, have also come together and shared their support digitally and on their cities’ streets, protesting against the injustice. Even our Swiss influencers have taken action to bring awareness to the movement.

Many Swiss influencers, including Xenia (see above), have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by posting completely black posts on June 2nd 2020 with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday (Source: Instagram)

#SupportSmallBusiness

Another movement that has started since the global pandemic was the Support Small Business movement. With currently over 26 million Instagram posts under the hashtag #SupportSmallBusiness, influencers have shared awareness of the negative impacts of the pandemic and government regulations on small businesses, especially in the gastronomy field. An ideal example is the Family of 5 (FO5) Travel Blog, who started a #FO5Support initiative that supports small businesses in Switzerland through social media exposure. To learn more about the initiative, click here.

The Family of 5 Travel Blog shows support for Swiss small businesses in these tough times (Source: Instagram)

#StayHome

An additional movement that has started since the global pandemic is the #StayHome movement. Since the first lockdown in spring 2020, many of our Swiss influencers came together to encourage the importance of social distancing and staying at home by setting an example.

Zurich native Adriana Pokus de Leonhart took part in the #ZüriBliibtDihei campaign in March 2020 (translation from Swiss German: Zurich Stay Home), encouraging others to stay home in order to enjoy the summer ahead. (Source: Instagram)

Kingfluencers founder Fabian Plüss showed here how one’s home office can still be a productive and attractive workplace (Source: Instagram)

#Mask

Furthermore, numerous Swiss fashion influencers have promoted the wearing of masks by showcasing how stylish masks can be, like Luisa Rossi.

Stylist Luisa Rossi showed how stylish masks can be, especially when combined with chains. (Source: Instagram)

Responsible behavior tips

There are many creative ways to show social media responsibility and still have a voice and stand up for what one believes in. It is important to always maintain the highest level of integrity no matter how big or small one‘s audience is. All stakeholders have a role to play in this matter and users with significant influence need to set a leading example. Companies like Kingfluencers are also picking up the torch in the debate with an active effort to provide guidance to influencers and other players in the eco-system, in order to help realise the true potential of social media and social influence for people and brands alike. To learn more about how, stay tuned for some very exciting updates coming soon …

Author: Sherriene Redha, Marketing and Social Media Officer at Kingfluencers

Build Trust & Humanize Your Brand with Personal Branding

By elevating their personal brand, CEOs and other senior business leaders can become powerful brand advocates and make a valuable impact on the organization they work for. In this article, we’ll cover what businesses need to think about to effectively leverage personal branding at the executive level and further build trust with their target audiences by ‘humanizing‘ the brand.

Engage in Conversations to Drive Results

While social media can enable you to take control of your narrative, the digital landscape is full of noise, with millions of brands — and even more individuals — competing for attention. Some of the keys to successfully connect to your audiences and outpace those who compete for their attention are relevance, timing (right content at the right moment), message clarity, and ease of message absorption. However, none of these keys will open any doors without the most important one needed to captivate people and drive results: trust. Simply having a company profile and posting quotes or other content won’t effectively build trust. Instead, it’s important to differentiate your brand and build relationships with stakeholders in the market. One effective way companies can do so is by leveraging people to humanize their brands. Especially when these people have extensive reach and relevance, their impact can be very significant.

People connect with people, not logos.

Social media isn’t just about making noise yourself, but also engaging in conversations and dialogues with your audience. You have to be in the weeds to build trust and connect to people. People are craving authentic and real content as well as advice and even guidance in multiple areas, and look for people and brands they believe in to provide this. Cultivate genuine relationships and build trust so that if your audience is ever in need of a solution, you’ll be top of mind. Once you have the trusting ear of your peers, partners, clients, and people in general, it becomes so much easier to get any message across, making your communication much more effective, achieving your goals more easily.

Making A Brand Human

Marvin Sangines, CEO & Co-Founder of notus and personal branding advisor at Kingfluencers, emphasizes starting withclear goals in place.

It’s easy to get blinded by vanity metrics such as big numbers of views and followers. It’s not about the number of followers you have. What matters is the quality of the connections you make. At the same time, know yourself, your values, and your purpose. Define clear goals and ensure that your communication strategy feeds into those objectives. Once you’ve defined your position in the market and optimized the relevant profiles accordingly, you can start to distribute content across social media and build stronger connections with more engaged followers.”

The 4 Content Pillars

Marvin outlined his proprietary “Content Archetype” framework which Kingfluencers applies when working with personal branding clients. He categorizes content as follows:

  1. Tactical: Actionable, implementable advice, relevant to your target audience
  2. Aspirational: Results, case studies showcasing the transformations your customers went through with your company // Stories of growth and hyper-specific outcomes.
  3. Insightful: Analyzing industry trends and extracting insights from your expert perspective
  4. PersonalDiscussing personal anecdotes and stories

When building executive profiles, the human element is very important. It’s up to each person or company to decide how personal they want to make their brand and find the right mix. Additional best practices for CEO profiles include:

  • Engage with other employees
  • Don’t just repost links — give your two cents and contextualize what you’re sharing
  • Communicate company purpose — what’s your purpose?
  • Share behind-the-scenes content
  • Collaborate with other professionals

Before posting content, define brand guidelines and dos and don’ts, for example, you might decide that emojis are a no go. Once guidelines have been defined, it’s important to make sure people move within those guidelines. Marvin recommends, “If you have a slip-up, be fully transparent. Communicate proactively and own your mistakes.”

Growth of Personal Branding Services

Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer, Kingfluencers, stated, “Kingfluencers has partnered with specialist Marvin Sangines as part of our efforts to bring personal branding services here to Switzerland. Switzerland is also home to many regional and international organizations and senior business decision makers who have a lot to gain from developing their personal brand following our program. We’ve seen how personal branding can make a significant difference, particularly as part of coordinated branding, positioning, and social selling efforts. As the leading social influence marketing firm, we aim to be the absolute point of reference for personal branding services in the region.”

Impersonating the CEO?

It’s often difficult for CEOs to find time to engage on social media every day, but you need to avoid a sporadic and inconsistent approach. Marvin explains, “People will realize if you make a half-assed effort. You should have quality standards and be strategic about what you post.

“When working with ghost-writers, it’s important to first consider how to capture the executive’s authentic voice. Our process involves interviewing clients to get to know them and how they speak, as well as their answers on relevant subjects and trends. We use this insight to fuel the content engine, while making sure we capture their tone.

It’s normal for traditional communications, such as press releases and conference presentations, to go through a dozen hands for approval, and it’s still the CEO’s view. This also applies to social media. Think of social media posts as a short form of press releases on behalf of the CEO or senior executives.

So What’s in it for the Brand?

“Investing in one’s personal brand creates all the obvious benefits, from increased visibility to growing one‘s network and boosting perceived expertise and relevance. But the benefits for the company should not be underestimated, when done properly,” says Yoeri. “A first example is clearly the additional attention the company will receive thanks to the initiatives of its senior staff investing in personal branding and proactive public communications. Moreover, as it makes the brand more human and emphasizes the organization’s purpose and values, it is an effective way to get people to connect more to the organization and improve the perception of the brand. Think of the classic example of Apple and Steve Jobs!”

Targeting Prospective Employees and Building Trust

Personal branding can also help organizations in the battle to recruit top talent. Gen Z, in particular isn’t consuming traditional news, but rather using social media to engage with companies.

“Forward-thinking companies are gradually adopting this human-centric approach to marketing. They leverage employees and executives as important distribution channels to attract top talent. When employees share content on their personal profiles, it reveals company culture, enabling the audience to see behind the scenes of large corporations. This human touch can give prospective employees an idea what it’s like to work for the company and what the company stands for in a real way, which is what younger generations are really interested in,” stated Marvin.

Interested in finding out how personal branding can help elevate your brand?
Get in touch!
Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers

Tomorrow’s Winners are Being Created Now, What Are You Up to?

Lockdown in Switzerland

Effective Monday, January 19 through the end of February, Switzerland has tightened restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The measures taken include closing shops selling non-essential supplies and extending the closure of restaurants, and cultural and sport sites.

While the government also eased rules for pandemic-hit businesses to apply for state aid, many businesses will still be struggling to stay afloat, retail in particular. Now is the time for B2C brands to rethink go-to-market plans to ensure they can survive in the short term and thrive in the future.

Promote Other Income Sources

Ongoing lockdowns mean many businesses are still struggling for survival and must seek to compensate for the resulting losses in revenue. Fortunately, the pandemic hasn’t entirely stopped business, but rather shifted how it’s done, and marketers need to shift with it.

Promoting alternative sources of income such as e-commerce is a crucial lifeline. Some sectors that particularly stand to gain from better promoting their online business are retail, telco, electronics, e-supermarkets, and digital entertainment.

Successful brands are those that are able to connect with consumers and create a relationship. Leveraging social influencer marketing to tell stories and create more emotional connections drives a stronger, more appealing social media presence. According to the Swiss Influencer Marketing Report 2020, about half of the marketing managers surveyed estimate the return on investment of their influencer campaigns to date to be higher than with alternative forms of advertising. Influencer- and user-generated content are among eMarkterer’s transformative developments that ought to be on your radar in 2021.

Brands should invest in promotions now to take advantage of upcoming holidays, including Valentine’s Day. Reach out to our experts and the Kingfluencers team can provide you with a clear strategy to connect with your target audience.

Prepare for What Comes Next

While the timing and phases of the end of lockdowns remain unknown, the fact remains that businesses need to prepare. Brands that take steps now to strengthen their brand perception will be best positioned to capture their share of consumers eager to travel, shop, and enjoy leisure activity.

As the rollout of vaccinations continues, the return of many previously risky activities is expected within a matter of months. The time to prepare is now. Taking steps now to fortify your brand will position you to come out stronger once the lockdown is over. For example, a leading Swiss insurance provider decided to run an end-of-year influencer marketing campaign to generate additional new leads and customers. The company provides health, property, and liability insurance, and serves over 261,000 private customers with over 1 Bn. in premium volume. Kingfluencers managed the entire project, which took 5 weeks from ideation to finish. 21 influencers across multiple social media platforms made posts consisting mostly of videos. The campaign achieved an engagement rate of 3.4%, exceeded the goal for reach by 145%, and generated 3,025 qualified leads.

Build Now for a Stronger Tomorrow

Well-structured marketing plans can help you win over customers online during lockdown and then shift to also win new customers IRL once life goes back to normal. Social influence marketing can help your brand get even closer to consumers and win them over and retain them.

With a holistic approach in the industry and the help of in-house AI-based technology, Kingfluencers can run influencer marketing campaigns that not only provide impressive reach but also drive conversions. Contact us to discuss tactics for building brand equity to get ahead of your competitors. Our dedicated and creative team will take care of your marketing journey every step of the way.

Say It with Influencers and Boosting Emotional Appeal

Often, brands don’t adequately convey their true value and unique selling propositions, which leads to lost opportunities in sales and customer loyalty, and unrealized brand equity and value. The “Brand Indicator Switzerland” (BIS) study classified brands into 4 groups, including “Rational Brands:” those with low scores on emotionality but high scores on relevance.

Such brands could gain by boosting their emotional appeal by engaging in more people-driven, creative, storytelling and advertising that unlocks emotion.

Now that physical distance is a given, it’s crucial to get closer to your audiences digitally. Physical distance doesn’t need to become emotional distance and detachment, but brands must act to prevent the loss of brand equity. Unfortunately, as everyone increases their digital outreach efforts, noise increases, and true connection becomes more difficult. Smart choices are vital to stand out from the crowds, and the best path to effective connection is with emotion, empathy, storytelling, and authenticity.

Singular asked marketing leaders for their free-form input on the future of marketing, then consolidated the responses and found empathy as a “supertrend” for 2021. “The goal: better marketing, sure. Consistent marketing, absolutely. But ultimately: strong and lasting customer relationships.”

Social influence marketing is an ideal tool to achieve these goals.

Influencer marketing can make people feel closer to your brand and develop a strong preference for it.

Influence marketing provides an agile, real-time communication channel with consumers. Social influence marketing is also quick and agile. Such a campaign can be developed and launched in a matter of weeks to drive revenue promptly.

Social influence marketing delivers reach and real impact on consumer decisions fast and efficiently. Give your brand a face people can relate to, elevate your advertising spending by adding credibility and authenticity to your message. Social media channels also enable you to reach audiences that aren’t easily reached via traditional marketing.

Contact Kingfluencers to discuss how you can humanize your brand. Kingfluencers provides worry-free execution along with best-in-class outcomes.

Continue Your Investment in Social Influence Marketing

It certainly feels as though life will never go back to normal. (When do we start shaking hands again?) But much of what we miss, from concerts to sporting events, will indeed return. When that time comes, brands must continue their investments in connecting with consumers. Tomorrow’s winners are being created now, so what are you up to? Let’s talk.

Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers