Throwback Thursday: Old School Influencer Marketing #tbt

Although Influencer Marketing has been a hot, new thing in recent years and is especially picking up momentum here in 2015, it's been around as long as there have been communities of people and friendships. Let's do flashbacks from recent decades though! 

I think back to the early days at St. Pius X/St. Leo Grade School and remember "Friendship Pins" and "Ribbon Barrettes." I'm unsure how the first girls found out about the trends, but it started with a few and turned into almost all of the girls making pins and barrettes.  I also remember when "Hello Kitty" became a thing. Same scenario: A couple of girls would have Hello Kitty stickers, pencils and erasers and eventually this turned into regular walks to the Hello Kitty store at Westroads Mall so I could get stickers too with my babysitting money.

The cool guys in grade school listened to U2 and R.E.M so sure enough I had to listen too and bought the cassettes (yes cassettes).

Perhaps the biggest example in grade school I remember is all of the popular girls wearing Forenza sweaters outside of school, even at Church. There was one occasion where they were all sitting in the same row at Church, and all of them were wearing the sweater. Not that they were mean girls at all, but it was just like Mean Girls when they all wore pink on Wednesdays! I never got a name-brand Forenza sweater, but boy did I want one and would talk about it all of the time!

When it came to celebrities when I was younger, I wanted Olivia Newton John's haircut so got it... Madonna's rubber bracelets were amazing so bought some of those... I saw "Less Than Zero" and thought Jamie Gertz looked so chic in black so it was around that time I started wearing more black too (my parents hated this!).

The point is: Influencer Marketing is when you see a celebrity, someone popular, or someone you admire using or talking about a product so you want it too. This is a marketing technique that can be used in any decade!

Here is what the cycle looks like:

The Cycle of Influencer Marketing

Six Steps to the Cycle:

1) A celebrity, popular person or person you admire uses and talks about a product.

2) Your brain is triggered: "I want that too."

3) You buy product, or think about buying it.

4) Whether you buy product, or think about buying it, you talk about product.

5) You trigger other people's brains too, "I want that!" 

6) Word about the product spreads like wildfire.

Influencer Marketing is timeless. Even before the days of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat it was in full force, just via different channels. So as long as you keep this basic 101 foundation in mind, you can implement an Influencer Marketing campaign anytime, anywhere.

Influencer Marketing is timeless.

If you'd like more information, please reach out to me on Twitter @DanaDyksterhuis or email, 

How To Host a Twitter Chat

A great way to connect with the community you want to reach is to host, or have an influencer host a Twitter Chat! This may seem like an intimidating project to tackle, but once you get the basics down it's quite fun! 

With Fanzo, I worked with Adam of @OldTraffordReds to hold chats for us. They were great for raising our brand awareness and driving installs. Here are seven pieces of advice I'd like to pass along for you when utilizing influencers to hold chats on your behalf.

1) Hire an influencer who loves your topic: You want someone who will be passionate about the chat, not burdened.

2) Choose an influencer who is consistently active with their community: Engagement, engagement, engagement! If you choose the wrong influencer you'll waste time and money.

3) Create a fun hashtag: Our chats were focused on Manchester United fans so we created #FanzoMUFC. 

4) Hold weekly chats: For maximum impact, hold chats regularly as it takes time for them to gain momentum! A one-off just won't do.

5) Map out your plan in advance: Developing the questions to ask your community is not something that should be done on the fly. Develop your questions in advance. If you're working with an influencer and they're an expert in your topic, they can help you as well!

6) Measure the impact: Brand awareness is great, but even better is if you can measure the impact. Create a unique link to be utilized in the chat that you can track. You must know in advance what it is you want to achieve and where you want the link to take people to (website, app store, etc.).

7) Images are everything: Create images to promote your Twitter Chat leading up to the designated time. 

Manchester United Twitter Chat

Someone else who is incredible at Twitter Chats when it comes to marketing, social media and technology is Brian Fanzo (believe it or not, he's not affiliated with the Fanzo App!). You can follow Brian on Twitter here: @iSocialFanz

Last night I asked Brian what his favorite chats were and he directed me to his Blog where he has an entire page devoted to the topic here.... How impressive!  There is even a calendar that shows the chats he's engaging in, which is a great way for you to check out one or two, join in and see how it's done.

Personally, a couple of chats I'm looking forward to getting more involved in are #FoodieChat, #PinChat, #ExpediaChat, #MediaChat and #LinkedInChat.

LinkedIn Chat

If you're interested in hosting a Twitter Chat, or having an influencer host a chat for you but need more help, please reach out! You can find me on Twitter @DanaDyksterhuis or email me at

5 Necessities When Crafting Your Influencer Marketing Messaging

In a sea of content and short attention spans, it can be difficult to break through the noise in order to tell the story of your brand and acquire customers. The good news is you can achieve optimal impact and make a difference with a few simple tricks. I know this, because I've done all of this grunt work for you already and have optimized Influencer Marketing campaigns to as low as 2-cents a click! 

Here are 5 necessities when crafting your messaging for Influencer Marketing campaigns that will help you break through and stand out:

1) Messages Should Look Like Experiences Not Ads

When you're scrolling through social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook do you prefer to see posts about experiences or ads? The answer is obvious. When you're creating the messaging for your Influencer Marketing campaigns keep this in mind. For example, which message below is more appealing for a new cocktail bar opening?

Message A: "Grand Opening of Chez Lounge ABC this weekend! Stop by for a free cocktail!" 

Message B: "Our saucy Mixologist Heather picked up some market fresh raspberries for her signature Raspberry Martini. Come say hello at our Grand Opening and enjoy one on us!"

"Crave-worthy tidbits" is what I like to call this.... Offer them and you're off to a good start.

It’s all about those crave-worthy tidbits!

2) Use Images

This is incredibly self-explanatory. It's no secret anymore that posts with images way outperform posts without them.  

Here is an article that offers "20 Sites With Free Images For Your Blog or Social Media Posts"  to help!

It’s easy for people to connect with an image... Use them!

3) Create Unique Links

In order to track your metrics and optimize your campaign, create unique links for each of your influencers (and/or each of your messages) so that you can track progress, or lack thereof. If you're working with a lot of influencers and creating a lot of messaging, this is grunt work yes, but it pays off and you have to do it. How else will you know how your campaign is doing? 

I have traditionally used Bitly, however here is an article that provides "9 Alternatives to Bitly."

Unique links let you track your progress or lack thereof and optimize.

4) Include Call to Action

What is the goal of your campaign and how would you like to engage with people? Is it to drive people to your Grand Opening? To capture emails? To drive clicks to your website? Whatever your goal is, make sure you include that call to action. This means it could range anywhere from "Click here for the news" to "Install the iOS App here" to "Mention this post when you stop by for a free cupcake!" The last thing you want is for a potential customer to want more but not know how to get it.  

People can’t take action if they don’t know what to do!

5) Know Your Audience

What would happen if you're a Seattle Seahawks fan and you received an offer for tickets to an upcoming Denver Broncos game? There's a good chance you wouldn't be interested. Same applies to Influencer Marketing. You may have spotted an influencer in Twitter you would absolutely love to use for an upcoming campaign. This influencer has 40k followers and loads of engagement... They're even in your city! But if that person is an influencer due to "Social Selling" and you're wanting to promote your new clothing line, you're way off base. Another scenario is to picture what would happen if you tried to sell steaks to a vegetarian. Their reaction would be, "Um, no thanks" and they would be turned off.   

Save time, money and your reputation... Utilize influencers who speak to your target audience.

Don’t sell steaks to vegetarians.

I'm a huge advocate of Influencer Marketing especially as more and more people want to hear about recommendations from their peers vs. brands. It takes a lot of details to get things going as well as a lot of monitoring but I can assure you, if done the right way, your Influencer Marketing campaigns will be well worth the effort.

Thank you for reading and reach out anytime with questions! Twitter: @DanaDyksterhuis Email:


6 Things You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing

Building a social media street team as brand evangelists can be one of best things you do to help tell your story. The challenge is, unless you have a large marketing budget and are able to hire an Influencer Agency such as Instabrand or have invested in an Enterprise Marketing Cloud tool like Salesforce, Sprinklr or Spredfast, be prepared to build your program from the ground up. The good news is, once you get this down, you'll reap the rewards.

Here are a few of the most important items to keep in mind when pursuing an Influencer Marketing campaign for Twitter and Instagram:

1) Get Ready for Grunt Work

Finding influencers means scouring Twitter and Instagram for relevant people, checking their follower counts and engagement metrics, finding their contact information if it's not obvious, following up with them, offering a proposal, closing the deal, working out payment arrangements, developing the messaging, following up on the promotions and paying them. You can use tools like BuzzSumo, twtrland and Klout to help. If you're in sports, you can download Fanzo to find fan leaderboards for every team as well as watch the hot content busting through and see who the poster is (Disclaimer, I am a Founder of Fanzo). You'll want to build and maintain an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everyone you come across and the potential they could bring. This is tedious work, but unfortunately, it's necessary.

I've already done loads of grunt work to know what goes into this experience and hope this helps you save time!

Grunt work pays off.

2) Large Followings Do Not Equal Influence

Be on the lookout for people with huge followings, but little engagement. If you onboard someone like this, expect zero results or very expensive ones. When you see these accounts, chances are they bought their followers. If you find them on Twitter, you'll want to be sure their feed doesn't look like it's all posts with links. It must include regular engagement, RT's, Replies along with a large number of Favorites. On Instagram, be sure they have thousands of likes plus comments on all of their photos.

Beware of accounts with huge followings, but little engagement.

3) Know the Right Medium For Your Market

You might have to figure this out the hard way, but as an example, Instagram is not the right market for sports but is the right market for food, fashion and working out. Twitter is better for sports. For social selling, you'll want LinkedIn and Twitter. Reality TV = Twitter. If you choose the wrong medium you'll waste time and money.

The wrong medium will cost you time and money.

4) Promos = Relevant Life Experiences and News

If the messages your influencers promote look like an ad, engagement will be low and their followers will be annoyed. Instead, offer valuable and crave-worthy tidbits. For sports, this could be breaking news or player announcements. For celebrities, it could be a hot rumor. If you want to promote almond milk, have influencers do Instagram photos of incredible smoothie recipes using it. A post about a restaurant opening should be about a gorgeous, custom dessert at the restaurant vs just that the restaurant is open.

Offer valuable, crave-worthy tidbits.

5) Define your Business Goals

What is it you want to achieve? Clicks to your website? To the App Store? Email registrations? Redeeming coupons? Event registrations? Whatever that goal is, map out what it is you want to achieve and create a plan with metrics on how to get there. Optimize daily if possible, weekly at most.

Optimize daily if possible, weekly at most.

6) Relationships are Everything

Even though you're not a talent agent, treat your influencers as if you are. The majority of influencers I have worked with want to do well and crank out successful campaigns for you. Guide them, answer their questions, be readily available, and listen to their ideas and feedback for how to make things better. Thank them for their work and maintain the relationship. Be honest with them when strategies change or if news develops they need to know about. If you treat them like team members then you can count on them for whenever you need them.

Treat your influencers like team members because they are.

It may take awhile to feel like you're rocking your Influencer Marketing campaigns, but if you give it time, have patience, and iterate quickly, it will be well worth the effort.  

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to me on Twitter @DanaDyksterhuis for help!