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What are KOLs in Marketing? (And How to Work With Them)

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Unless you’re a plucky time-traveler from the 1800s, you probably already know what an influencer is. (If you do fall into that first category, welcome to 2022! Wait ‘till you hear about BeReal.) Influencing as a career has made a significant impact on social marketing, and on the media industry as a whole.

But not all influencers are equal, and there’s a new community of prominent folks using ring lights to make a difference. These industry leaders are called KOLs, and they’re a valuable part of any modern social media marketing strategy.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through all the ins and outs of KOLs: what they are, why they’re great for marketing and how to find the right KOL for your brand. Scroll for more (time traveler: not that kind of scroll).

Bonus: Get the influencer marketing strategy template to easily plan your next campaign and choose the best social media influencer to work with.

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What are KOLs?

KOL stands for key opinion leader. A KOL is similar to an influencer in that they have influence: a KOL has a significant following made up of people who care about their values, and often, those people are willing to commit their own money towards things that the individual deems worthy.

The main difference between influencers and KOLs is that KOLs have a more niche audience, and are generally valued as experts within that niche. Also, influencers are a specifically online phenomenon, and KOLs don’t need to have an online presence (but, since we’re talking about social marketing in this blog post, we’ll just be focusing on the ones that do).

For example, fashion-forward canine influencer @jiffpom has over 9 million loyal followers, but he wouldn’t be considered a key opinion leader in a specific niche (sorry, Jiff—good thing you can’t read).

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Also in the animal category is Dr. Lauren Thielen. She’s a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals, and she’s regarded as a KOL: folks rely on her to share insight within her specific niche, and she’s considered a knowledgeable expert.

4 reasons to work with KOLs

So, why contact a KOL for a social marketing partnership? Let us count the ways:

1. Reach a wider (and more engaged) audience

Collaborating with other creators will always result in your brand showing up on more feeds—your business is shared with both your followers and the creator’s followers. That’s why influencer marketing is so popular.

So a wider audience is a given. But because KOLs have a more niche audience, their followers are generally more engaged: they’re more likely to like, comment on and share posts. That’s better for business.

Followers aren’t all about quantity (and besides, there’s a lot of follower bots on Instagram, and they’re not going to financially support you)—having a smaller community of quality followers is more important than hitting a certain number.

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2. Make more sales

That’s the end goal of any marketing campaign, right?

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Because of the factors mentioned above (reaching more, better-engaged social media users) it’s easier to convert your presence on social into sales when you partner with a KOL. They’re leaders in their field, so their endorsement of any product is likely to result in more sales.

In addition to monetary support, there’s a certain authentication that comes with a relationship with a KOL—but more on that in the next section.

3. Gain support from experts

It’s not just about money. Having public support from a respected expert in an industry related to your brand is invaluable in terms of your audience’s trust in your product.

In short: support from a KOL makes you seem more legit.

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This helps with sales, but can also help grow your community and make you more appealing to potential future collaborators. That influencer you’ve been DMing with might be more likely to partner with you if you’ve got support from a KOL. Same with that company you want to do a giveaway with.

Expert support can differentiate good social marketing from great social marketing. It proves you’re not just talking the talk.

4. Naturally expand beyond social marketing

Here’s where a key difference between KOLs and influencers comes in handy: KOLs don’t need to have a social media presence. Stay with us.

KOLs usually don’t build their following through social media. They’re experts in their field, so they might gain their following through successful businesses, professional conferences, or even word of mouth. Generally, the social media following will come after already building this audience.

We mentioned earlier that we’re only focusing on KOLs who do have a social media following, and that’s true. But partnering with a KOL might lead to an audience beyond social media, as well.

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For example, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, writer, podcaster and respected key opinion leader in the medical field. He has a social presence (245k followers on Instagram, 2.5 million on Twitter) but he also has folks who follow his research, watch him on TV, listen to his podcast and read his work.

Having someone like Dr. Gupta publicly support your brand is good for business, beyond social. He’s not just on the ‘gram—he’s on television, doing interviews with Big Bird and podcasting.

How to find the right KOLs for your brand

If you’re just getting started with KOL marketing, finding the right leaders can be challenging. Here’s a few tips for nailing those perfect partnerships.

Look for KOLs in an industry that is related to your brand

Just because you admire a key opinion leader doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for partnerships. Make sure the KOLs you look to collaborate with are working in a field that is related to your own.

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Thoroughly research a KOL before reaching out to them

We’ll touch on this more in the next section, but the quick and dirty truth is that you don’t want to align yourself with anyone who might give your brand a bad rep. Make sure you dive deep into their social media (and any other info you can get your hands on!) to ensure you aren’t accidentally partnering with a PR nightmare.

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Look to other successful brands for guidance

The badass businesses you look up to likely have done KOL partnerships in the past. Take some inspo from them and reach out to similar leaders.

Only reach out to KOLs with experience in social media

As mentioned before, key opinion leaders don’t need a social presence in order to be considered KOLs—but since you’re collaborating with the end goal of growing your business via the internet, you’ll want to make sure that any KOL you partner with is social media-savvy.

Look for KOLs who have partnered with brands in the past

Many key opinion leaders will have already collaborated with a business, and experience is always good. A KOL who has a media kit or other collab-related info on their website likely has at least some basic knowledge of how a brand partnership works.

Put out a public call

This isn’t a particularly specific strategy, but it’s low-investment and potentially high-reward. Putting out a call on social (asking for key opinion leaders on a given subject) doesn’t take long, and it gives your audience the opportunity to recommend experts. It’s not a foolproof game plan, but you never know what a public call might yield.

4 tips for getting the most out of KOL marketing

Alright, now you know everything you need to know about key opinion leaders. Here’s how to make sure you’re using this marketing strategy to its fullest potential.

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1. Do your research

You wouldn’t hire a new employee without an interview and reference check, right? While a partnership with a key opinion leader isn’t the same as them working for you, some of the same principles apply: the KOL is now an extension of your brand, and everything they do or say may impact your company. The last thing you want is to align yourself with someone who is #cancelled.

So, do your research. Don’t just check that the KOL has an engaged audience and effective social presence—you’ll also want to be sure that their values and ethics match up with your brand (and with fans of your brand).

There’s always risk involved when extending your brand to other people, but you can limit some of this risk by scouring the internet beforehand (“Is [KOL name here] racist” is a good Google search to start with, IMHO).

See also  How Brands Can Support Indigenous Communities on Social—the Right Way

2. Know your goals — and communicate them well

Before reaching out to a KOL for a potential collab, make sure you know what you want out of the relationship. If you don’t communicate your needs clearly (or worse, if you don’t know what your needs are) it’s likely that the KOL won’t be able to deliver a successful result.

Being explicit about what your goals are is the best way to make sure they’re reached. A goal might look like hitting a certain follower count, getting a certain number of affiliate link uses or simply getting a certain number of likes or shares on the KOL’s content. Whatever your goal is, make it crystal clear.

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Trust their advice

They’re called leaders for a reason. KOLs are the experts: they know what they’re talking about, and if they offer you insight or guidance, seriously consider it.

You’re not seeking out a partnership with a KOL just because of their social following. You (and your potential customers) genuinely value their opinions, so you should respect them—even if they’re contrary to your original plan. Collaborations should be, well, collaborative, and it’s important that the KOL you’re working with feels that their input is being valued—which brings us to our next point:

4. Invest time, effort and money into the partnership

Equality is important in any partnership, and the KOLs you collaborate with need to feel that sense of equality in your relationship. A key opinion leader (or any human, for that matter) doesn’t want to feel used.

So yes, listen to their advice, but also invest all the resources you’re able to in the partnership. Make sure you reply to their emails in a prompt manner, be friendly and welcoming, and compensate them well. Ideally, you’ll form a positive relationship with a KOL that can last for a long time and potentially lead to other partnerships in the future.

Not investing adequate resources into a collab like this can result in the KOL feeling uncomfortable, which is bad in general (we want everyone to have a good time) and very bad for business (when things get hairy, you want the experts on your side). This isn’t a last-minute, off-the-side-of-your-desk commitment. You’ll get out of it what you put into it.

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And with that, we officially deem you ready to embark on your first KOL partnership. Go! Go! Go!

Make KOL marketing easier with Hootsuite. Schedule posts, research and engage with KOLs in your industry, and measure the success of your campaigns. Try it free today.

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How Brands Can Support Indigenous Communities on Social—the Right Way

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There is a growing interest among businesses, large and small, to add their voices to the nationwide acknowledgment of the trauma inflicted upon Indigenous children at Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.

This was amplified in 2021 with the location of nearly a thousand unmarked graves at sites of the now-shuttered institutions—and we know thousands more have yet to be discovered.

On National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it’s important for Indigenous people (and, frankly, for non-Indigenous people) to see businesses and brands honour those who lost their lives through the 165-year program of assimilation.

It’s also important for us as Indigenous people to see them pay tribute to those who survived their years at the notorious schools.

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But deploying the hashtag #TruthAndReconciliation or #EveryChildMatters can be a risky undertaking. There are many ways to make a well-meaning blunder that will prompt eye rolls throughout Indigenous Canada or, worse, to accidentally post something that’s outright offensive.

That’s why I wrote this blog post. I’m a Métis woman and lawyer who has been the CEO of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), the largest organization representing Indigenous women in Canada, since 2017.

I, and other Indigenous women who follow social media, brace ourselves as September 30 rolls around, waiting for the inevitable ham-fisted attempt by non-Indigenous actors to be part of the commemoration.

Please don’t misunderstand. We want you to be there with us as we grieve and as we remember and as we honour. We just want you to do so respectfully. So here are some guidelines.

What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation? How is it different from Orange Shirt Day? And what should we call it on social media?

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was declared by the Canadian government in 2021, after the graves were found at Indian Residential Schools.

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(Please note: “Indian Residential Schools” is the official name for the schools and a construct of the colonial mindset of 19th Century Canada. In any other context, the word Indian is extremely offensive when used to refer to the Indigenous people of Turtle Island.)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for honouring the victims and celebrating the survivors of the schools. And it’s a federal statutory holiday, so it applies to all federally regulated workplaces. But it’s been left to provinces and territories to choose whether it is marked within their own jurisdictions.

We note that it took Canada’s federal Liberal government (which came to power in 2015 promising to act on all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) nearly seven years to meet the relatively simple Call Number 80. It urged the creation of the holiday “to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

There is no doubt that the discovery of the graves—which the Truth and Reconciliation report said would be found if an effort was made to look for them—bolstered public support for such a day.

September 30 should be thought of as our Remembrance Day, and it should be referred to by its official name: the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Any other name fails to communicate the sombreness of the occasion, just as it minimizes Remembrance Day to call it Poppy Day.

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September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, reminding us of the day in 1973 when six-year-old Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation arrived at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, just outside Williams Lake, B.C.

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She was wearing a vibrant orange shirt her grandmother bought her to match her excitement for her first day of school. But the shirt was immediately taken from her by school authorities and never returned—an event that marked the beginning of the year of atrocities and torment she experienced at the institution.

We wear orange shirts on September 30 as a reminder of the traumas inflicted by residential schools. If you’re specifically referring to Phyllis’ story on social media, then it is appropriate to call it Orange Shirt Day.

But the holiday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and should be referred to as such.

What terms should you use when you refer to Indigenous people? (Terminology 101)

Speaking of terminology, when is it appropriate to refer to someone as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, and when is it appropriate to refer to someone as Indigenous?

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First up, here’s what those different terms actually mean:

  • First Nations: The largest Indigenous group in Canada, these are members of the 634 First Nations spread across the country
  • Métis: A distinct group of people who have an ancestral connection to a group of French Canadian traders and Indigenous women who settled in the Red River Valley of Manitoba and the Prairies
  • Inuit: The Indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions
  • Indigenous: The First Peoples of North America whose ancestors were here before the arrival of the Europeans

Next, where to use them: It’s always best to be as specific as you possibly can when describing us on social media.

Here’s a quick reference on the best way to refer to Indigenous individuals:

  1. Reference the person’s specific first nation and its location
  2. Reference the person’s nation and ethno-cultural group
  3. Reference their ethno-cultural group
  4. Refer to them as First Nations, Mètis, or Inuit
  5. Refer to the person as Indigenous

So, if someone is a Cree from the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, say that. Second best would be to call them a Waswanipi Cree. Third best would be to call them a Cree. Fourth best would be to call them a First Nations member.

And fifth best would be to call them Indigenous, which is a catch-all phrase that includes all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. But it also includes all Indigenous people around the world. The Māori of New Zealand are Indigenous.

Saying someone is Indigenous is like calling a Chinese person Asian. It’s true. But it misses a lot of detail.

If you don’t know how best to describe someone, ask us. Preferences vary from individual to individual.

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But please, despite the fact that my organization is called the Native Women’s Association of Canada, which is a holdover from a much earlier time (NWAC was formed in 1974), please do not call Indigenous people ‘native.’

What role should brands play on social media on September 30?

At NWAC, our hashtag for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is #RememberHonourAct. We think those are good guidelines for everyone—individuals and businesses alike—on September 30 and, indeed, year-round.

Remember the survivors of the residential schools, honour them, and act to strengthen the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

If yours is a local business, pay tribute to the Indigenous people in your area. Acknowledge their traditional territory. Recognize that your operations are taking place on the land that they have shared with you, and that you and your employees are benefitting from that.

If you are a national brand, turn the spotlight back on the First Nations communities. Highlight the achievements and the contributions that First Nations people have made to Canadian prosperity.

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Yes, September 30 is a sombre day of remembrance. But we don’t want pity. We want acknowledgments of past wrongs and promises that they will not be repeated, but we also want to embrace the promise of a better future in which Indigenous people can enjoy prosperous and happy lives free of historical trauma.

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Are there other notable days for brands to keep in mind for Indigenous people?

Yes.

There are other sombre days.

Less than a week after the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous women across Canada will gather at Sisters in Spirit Vigils to honour the women, girls, and gender-diverse people who have lost their lives in the ongoing genocide that targets us for violence. This is an annual event created to give support and comfort to the families and friends who have been left to mourn their loved ones.

On February 14, Valentine’s Day, annual Women’s Memorial Marches are held in cities and towns across Canada and the United States. They too are meant to honour Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or who have gone missing.

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And on May 5, we mark Red Dress Day, a day on which red dresses are hung in windows and in public spaces around Canada, again to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

But there are also joyous occasions.

Although there is not a specific date set aside, summer is the time for gathering. It is powwow season. Fall is the time that we traditionally rejoice in the bounty of the hunt.

On June 21, the Summer Solstice, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for rejoicing in our heritage, our diverse cultures, and the contributions that Indigenous people are making to the complex fabric of Canadian life.

What social media mistakes do brands make on September 30?

The most egregious examples of brand behaviour around the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are attempts to monetize our pain for financial gain.

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If you own a clothing company, please don’t print a batch of orange shirts and sell them for profit. And don’t promote the sales of your shirts on social media. This happens every year and it is offensive in the extreme.

On the other hand, printing and selling orange shirts and then turning the profits over to Indigenous causes is a wonderful gesture of support.

And it’s not just the small brands that are doing this. Walmart, for instance, promises to donate 100% of the profits from its Every Child Matters t-shirts, which have been designed by an Indigenous artist, to the Orange Shirt Society.

screenshot of a post about Orange Shirt Day from Walmart Canada

Be the brand that does something like that.

In all of your social media posts, be mindful that this is our history. Every Indigenous person in Canada has been touched by the residential school experience, whether or not we or our ancestors attended one of the institutions. Be mindful of the traumas that can be brought to the fore with a thoughtless twist of words.

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And again, Indigenous people are at a place where we don’t need or want pity. We need people to celebrate our accomplishments. We need to feel part of a society that is eager to include us.

What opportunities are there for intersections between Indigenous people and other social movements?

In a simple word: lots.

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If there is a social justice issue being championed—whether that is Pride in the gender-diverse community, or climate justice, or prisoners’ rights, or racial equality—you’ll find Indigenous people at the forefront.

My organization is an example of that. We have whole units of staff working on all of those things.

Reach out to us, or other national Indigenous organizations (we list a few later on), to ask about ways you can get involved, projects you can promote, and causes you can stand behind.

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This is a prime opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous creators who are passionate about the larger social issue at hand.

How can brands work with Indigenous content creators?

Find them and ask them. There are plenty out there. Any search engine will quickly turn up hundreds of names of Indigenous content creators and influencers, and many will be eager to collaborate with you.

Here are some examples of places to look:

What Indigenous organizations can brands support or partner with?

Most of the National Indigenous Organizations are looking for partners. We, at NWAC, have terrific partnerships with brands like Sephora, Hootsuite, and TikTok.

@tiktokcanada

Applications for the TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators are now open! Indigenous creators, apply by September 15 💫

♬ original sound – TikTok Canada

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But there are also smaller groups out there who would be delighted to hear from you.

One example that immediately springs to mind is Project Forest in Alberta which is working in partnership with Indigenous communities to restore sacred lands so that medicinal plants and native species will thrive again in First Nations communities.

There is also a range of organizations that are working tirelessly to improve the lives of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

I would point to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Susan Aglukark’s Arctic Rose Foundation, The Martin Family Initiative, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Those are just a few. And of course, there is NWAC—we work tirelessly for the well-being of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people.

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What are some examples of brands that are supporting and/or highlighting Indigenous communities the right way?

Many brands are doing things right. I will again mention beauty company Sephora partnered with the NWAC to run a roundtable on Indigenous beauty to find out where they could improve. And they’ve acted on their learnings.

TikTok, likewise, has taken the time to reach out to us to ask for guidance on how to get engaged with Indigenous people and communities. And, over the past few years, we have worked closely with Hootsuite, providing advice and information.

But others are also making great strides.

I would point to the National Hockey League which has been unreservedly vocal in denouncing the racism directed at Indigenous hockey players. The Calgary Flames opened their season with a land acknowledgement.

Ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the #Flames wore orange jerseys for the morning skate and the day will be recognized prior to puck drop tonight 🧡 pic.twitter.com/appz0sN7c9

— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 29, 2021

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This would not have happened 10, or maybe even five, years ago. But society is changing, corporate behaviour is changing, the world is changing. And social media has had, and will have, much to do with that.

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How To Win at TikTok (According to TikTok)

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That’s how Khartoon Weiss, TikTok’s Global Head of Agency & Accounts, described the world’s most downloaded app at The Gathering, an annual business and marketing summit held in Banff, Canada.

What’s the distinction?

People don’t “check” Tiktok. They watch it. And, Weiss says, “that small pivot in behavior is everything.”

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Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

So what does it mean for marketers?

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In this post, we’ll share key takeaways from Weiss’s on-stage presentation. But that’s not all!

Weiss shared more detailed insights at one of The Gathering’s intimate “inner sanctums”. And we’ve got the scoop for you below.

Embrace the shift from Me to We

TikTok is not a platform for YOLO, FOMO, and selfies. Instead, it’s familial and inclusive.

You see into everyone else’s living room. And they see into yours.

It’s a collaborative space that rewards optimism. “Microcommunities” crystalize around hashtags like #crafttok, #planttok, and #DIYtok.

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The experts within these communities share “complex information boiled down so usefully”. This in turn creates even more experts and more knowledge to share.

@housetohomediy

#learnontiktok #diytiktok #diytok #painterstape #oddlysatisfying #painting

♬ Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man

As a brand, this means you need to focus on providing entertainment or edutainment.

Find your place in these existing communities and contribute value that’s uniquely yours. Turn your assets into multiple TikToks and learn as you go what works for your brand.

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And leave the comments on your content open – the community will tell you what they think. Use their insights to guide your ongoing TikTok strategy.

Be real, not retouched

You know who’s not big on TIkTok? The Kardashians. “We keep it real on TikTok,” Weiss said. “They are not accepted at the scale of a Jessia.”

So who’s Jessia? A Vancouver-based singer who went from this:

@jessiamusic

TikTok is too beautiful 😂 #Welcome2021 #RareAesthetic #belly #🍑 #pretty #fun #fyp #neverseentwoprettybestfriends #wtf #bop #trash #newyear #new

♬ original sound – JESSIA

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To this:

@jessiamusic

Tour with @OneRepublic was a dream 💙 #nexttime #onerepublic #tour #pov #tour #tourlife #fyp

♬ Next Time by Jessia – JESSIA

After her song caught fire as a body positivity anthem that spawned countless TikTok duets.

On TikTok, it’s all about “the language of the next generation and the new digital media behaviors.”

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“It’s challenging if you want it to be great, but the community doesn’t have a problem with accepting whatever it is you want to put out there,” Weiss said.

And that community acceptance is critical. TikTok’s algorithm focuses on a content graph, not a social graph. That means what you see in your feed is what the community brings to the surface, rather than who you follow.

On this front, #smallbusinesstiktok is leading the way. How? You guessed it: by telling real behind-the-scenes and product-creation stories.

“Small businesses have taken their creativity and turned it into content and now it’s automatically commerce,” Weiss said.

@frolic_creations

Guess what scent they will be? 😋 #smallbusiness #ZFlipClackdown #halloween #spooktember #spookyseason #slimemonster #cute #newproductalert #cutesoaps #foryou #froliccreations

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♬ original sound – Meg ✌

Real, genuine stories create that visibility in the content graph. And the best people to tell those genuine stories about your brand may not (yet) work for or with you.

Understand the power of creators

“We’ve redefined what celebrity means,” Weiss said. “And we’re the driving force behind the migration from the attention economy to the creator economy.”

A key example? Just like Jessia, 7 of the 10 nominees for Best New Artist at the 2022 Grammys gained at least some of their momentum from TikTok.

Creators fuel discovery. And discovery creates demand.

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“We consume things, and we convert on product, because it embodies the communities and the people we want to emulate,” Weiss said.

For marketers, this means empowering and learning from creators who understand the platform.

@andrea.animates

#ad made a new level on @candycrushsaga 🍬

♬ original sound – Andrea Love

Unlearn everything you’ve learned,” Weiss said in her inner sanctum. “It’s not how the next generation speaks. You’ve always had agencies consult you – why wouldn’t you let creators? Creators will help you unpack your brand and think about ways to connect with your audience.”

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View discovery as lower funnel (aka #tiktokmademebuyit)

“When every touchpoint becomes an opportunity to buy, every strategy becomes a commerce strategy,” Weiss said. “It’s a brave new world where media and entertainment have found their way to content, creator, and commerce.”

Rather than social commerce, TikTok likes to think of this as “community commerce.”

“Thousands of creators are jumping in, and they are delivering product efficacy and product advocacy,” Weiss said.

Witness the case of 54-year-old Trinidad Sandoval:

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She created a nearly 3-minute TikTok showing her go-to eye cream in action. Trinidad thought only her 70 followers would see it. Nope.

She went viral and led the 10-year-old product to sell out virtually everywhere within a week.

@trinidad1967

♬ original sound – user3761092853451

This wasn’t a paid partnership – it was brand loyalty and advocacy in action.

This all adds up to one important lesson for brands: TikTok is not like other platforms, and it’s impossible to fake your way to success.

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Above all: Be real and put the community first. Create a great product. Build that loyalty. And the community will fuel the discovery of your brand.

Want to learn more about how to get the most from TikTok? Check out the resources below!

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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Grow on TikTok faster with Hootsuite

Schedule posts, learn from analytics, and respond to comments all in one place.

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Meta for Business: How To Get the Best Results From Each Platform

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meta-for-business:-how-to-get-the-best-results-from-each-platform

During the second quarter of 2022, 3.65 billion people were using at least one Meta product each month. That’s nearly half of the world’s population. Arguably, no other brand has a larger reach, which makes using Meta for business an absolute must.

Part of the reason why Meta changed its name from Facebook was to better represent the multiple products under its umbrella. Meta has several core products including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

While there’s a large audience, not every platform will have the same impact on your business. Each social network or app requires different marketing tools and strategies to get noticed by customers. Let’s dive into how to get the best results for each!

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Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

Meta for Business

The various Meta platforms have an incredibly large and diverse audience for businesses to reach. Just take a look at the number of people on each platform:

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  • Facebook: 2.9 billion
  • Messenger: 988 million
  • Instagram: 1.4 billion
  • WhatsApp: 2 billion

Let’s review each app in the Meta business suite, who uses it, and what you need to succeed on it.

Facebook for business

Creating a Facebook business page is the first step to connecting with an audience on Facebook.

A business page lets you post updates, share contact information, and promote events or products.

While Facebook marketing is completely free, you could also opt to create and post Facebook ads.

Facebook user statistics

With almost 3 billion users, your target audience is probably using it. Here’s a brief overview of the Facebook audience:

  • Females aged 35-54 and males aged 25-44 are most likely to say Facebook is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Facebook is 19.6 hours per month for Android users

Facebook business tools

No matter what your business is, Facebook has a business tool to help you grow online. Let’s explore some of the features available on a Facebook business page that you may want to use:

  • Appointments: Have your customers book an appointment directly on Facebook.
  • Events: If you’re playing a concert or launching a new product, the Events tool can promote interest in your audience and remind them of the event.
  • Jobs: Hiring talented employees is tough. But you can reach more potential candidates by posting jobs on Facebook.
  • Shops: Product-based businesses will benefit from enabling the Shops tool. It lets you share your inventory, and customers can buy directly on Facebook.
  • Facebook Groups: Groups can be private or public communities for audiences with shared interests. It’s a more intimate way of connecting with your followers.

Still stuck on how to promote your business on Facebook? Check out our VERY complete guide on Facebook marketing.

Facebook examples

Let’s take a look at real-life examples of how businesses used Facebook to meet their business goals.

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Pink Tag used Facebook Shops and Live Shopping to make over $40,000 in sales in a nearly 5-month period. By displaying products and making them available to purchase all within Facebook, it made it easy to boost their sales.

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Interested in doing the same? Check out our guide on setting up a Facebook shop.

Pink Tag Boutique women's fashion

Tonal created a Facebook group to motivate customers to use its strength training system. It hosted events and community chats to encourage interaction.

This led to 95% of the most active Facebook group members saying they would be very disappointed if they could no longer use Tonal.

Is a Facebook Group the right strategy for you? Read on to learn how Facebook Groups can grow your business.

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Official Tonal Community Facebook group

Instagram for business

Instagram started as a platform to share photos and has grown to incorporate features like Stories, Reels, and Shopping. This makes it a great platform to create an influencer marketing strategy.

Instagram user statistics

With over 1.4 billion users Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform. Let’s explore the Instagram audience:

  • Females aged 16-34 and males aged 16-24 are most likely to say Instagram is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Instagram is 11.2 hours per month for Android users

Instagram business tools

Here are some tools you can consider incorporating into your Instagram strategy:

  • Action Buttons: A call-to-action is an important part of any strategy. Action buttons on your profile make it easier to book an appointment, make a restaurant reservation, or order food delivery.
  • Collab Posts: Instagram features Collab posts on both the brand’s and creator’s Instagram feed. Collab posts can easily boost the effectiveness of influencer and brand partnerships.
  • Shopping: With Instagram Checkout, followers can find a product and purchase it without ever leaving the app.
  • Story Highlights: You can choose your most important Stories and save them in a highlights section. New followers can see more content, and current followers can reference it to follow products, menus, or services.

Instagram examples

Besides static ads in an Instagram feed, consider branching out into video and Stories. Chobani used video ads in Instagram Stories to successfully boost awareness of a product launch.

Need help creating effective Instagram Story ads? We got you covered.

Chobani

e.l.f. Cosmetics is using Story Highlights and a pinning feature to promote specific products.

By putting its in-demand products at the top of its feed and profile, followers are going to have a hard time missing what it is selling.

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Don’t forget to read our post on some of the best tips and tricks on using Instagram Stories.

e.l.f. Cosmetics story highlights and pinning feature on Instagram

Messenger for business

Meta Messenger lets you send texts, photos, videos, and audio. It also includes features such as live group video calls and payments.

It allows you to connect with followers and provide the information they need.

Messenger user statistics

Messenger is a key component of an overall Facebook marketing strategy. A live chat function can answer questions and secure sales.

To capitalize on this, learning about the demographics of people who use Messenger will help your messaging:

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  • The average time spent on Messenger is 3 hours per month for Android users
  • The largest advertising demographic (19%) are males between the ages of 25-34 years
  • 82% of US adults say Messenger is their most regularly used messaging app
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Messenger business tools

Messenger is more than exchanging texts with your audience. It can support the entire customer journey from discovery to purchase.

Here are a few of the Messenger business tools you can implement to create a strong marketing campaign:

  • Chatbots: Automate FAQs with chatbots. It provides a 24/7 resource for your followers and can answer questions, provide recommendations, or complete a sales process. If you need the human touch though, a chatbot can connect a person to your live customer support team.
  • Connect with Instagram: Messenger also connects to your Instagram account. When someone sends a direct message to your Instagram profile, Messenger will be there to help them.
  • Customer Feedback: Surveys help you learn about your customers. Messenger has a Customer Feedback tool to make it easy to ask your audience if they are happy with your service.
  • Showcase Products: You can turn your Messenger into a mini-catalog to help your customers find products and purchase them.
  • Accept Payments: Speaking of purchases, you can accept payments by integrating Webview. It will also send a receipt and post-purchase messages.

Messenger examples

BetterHelp uses chatbots to help followers learn how it works, answer questions, and get in touch with customer support if needed.

Not having any response to Messenger is poor etiquette. Learn 9 other tips to interact with your customers on Messenger.

BetterHelp Therapy

Dii Supplements used its ad campaigns to encourage people to send a message on Instagram (which is connected to Messenger). With a specialist on the other side, people were able to learn about the company’s products. Below is an example from one of their clients, Lucky Shrub.

example of a Messenger add from Dii using Meta for Business

WhatsApp for Business

WhatsApp Business helps you stay connected by automating, organizing, and quickly responding to messages.

It is a great place to connect with your customers, provide excellent customer support, and share updates.

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WhatsApp user statistics

WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps on the planet with over 2 billion users. Here is a quick breakdown of who is using WhatsApp:

  • 15.7% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 say WhatsApp is their favorite social media platform
  • Females aged 55-64 and males aged 45-64 are most likely to say WhatsApp is their favorite social media platform
  • The average time spent on Whatsapp is 18.6 hours per month for Android users

WhatsApp business tools

WhatsApp can function similarly to Messenger. Here are a few business tools it includes:

  • Catalog: Create an online storefront with WhatsApp. This tool lets you add your products and services to your profile and allows followers to browse the catalog.
  • Status: Similar to Instagram and Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Status disappears after 24 hours. You can post text, videos, images, or GIFs to stay connected with your audience.
  • Profile: WhatsApp lets business accounts create profiles. It contains a description, address, business hours, website, and social media links. This makes it easier to identify your business on WhatsApp.
  • Automated messages: You can set up messages on WhatsApp to send greetings, away messages, and quick replies. If you’re looking for a fully developed chatbot feature, you’ll need a third-party vendor.
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WhatsApp examples

It’s important to meet customers with the apps they already use. If your audience prefers WhatsApp over Messenger, then create an exceptional WhatsApp experience.

Omay Foods connected its WhatsApp business account to its website, Facebook page, and Instagram profile. This led to a 5x increase in customer inquiries.

Omay Foods

Take a look at our guide to learn more about how to use WhatsApp for Business. You may also want to read our tips on using WhatsApp for customer service.

Facebook Metaverse for business

While the Metaverse is still a work in progress, it’s expected to combine the real world with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Metaverse user statistics

To get an idea of who might use the Metaverse, let’s take a look at the demographics of current virtual universes like Roblox. Here is a look at who uses online gaming currently:

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Metaverse business tools

Creators and businesses will become a huge part of making the Metaverse. Until then, there are ways to currently get involved with AR or digital products. Here are a few business tools to think about:

  • Filters: Augmented reality filters are responsible for turning your face into a dog or trying out new make-up looks.
  • Digital Items: Selling digital merchandise on Fortnite led to $1.8 billion in sales. NFTs are also a popular digital item making the market worth $22 billion.
  • Advertising: AR is available on Facebook advertising. It’s an interactive way for consumers to try out your products or brand.

Metaverse examples

You can already use AR for ads. Take a look at what MADE did. It used ads to encourage people to use AR to see how furniture would look in their homes. The campaign had a 2.5x conversion rate.

MADE.COM

Creating your own Instagram AR filter is another way to encourage followers to share your brand. Disney created a filter to celebrate the launch of the TV series, Loki. The filter adds Loki’s Horned Helmet.

Loki person wearing a crown

(Source)

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