Contiki’s social media wizard: ‘Influencers will not solve all your problems’

Brands looking to use social media to increase their audience engagement have few choices. Partner up with YouTube content creators and influencers to tap into loyal fanbases – or handle it alone. With over 3 billion active social media users and an average of 500 million tweets posted a day in total, the opportunity for using social media influencers is huge.

For travel brands, using influencers should be a no-brainer, as travellers look at social media posts and online holiday reviews for inspiration all the time.

While partnering with marketers might make sense, it also means relinquishing control; a feat not always easy to overcome. According to Contiki’s social media wizard and influencer manager, Natalie Siagian, there are obvious benefits, but brands need to be clear on what they want to achieve out of the relationship.

Speaking to The Drum, in the second instalment of a four-part video series with Falcon.io exploring social media strategies, she said: “You must have an objective. Why do you want to work with these YouTube content creators? Once you have these objectives in place, it’s important to develop a relationship with these YouTubers. To do it in an organic way, you need to ensure that you believe in your product,” she explained.

Another common challenge for brands is being able to stand out in the social media crowd. Siagian spoke about how some brands start relying too heavily on influencers and posting “lazy” or uncreative content.

She added: “If you are looking at influencers to solve all your problems, that’s not going to happen. But if you are looking at influencers to communicate a message to reach a new audience, you must make sure you’re being smart about it.”

A common point of contention in the industry is whether follower count is more important than audience engagement. Siagian is an avid believer in the latter because it’s the only way she can tell how her audience is reacting to the content being created.

“In terms of brand engagement, it’s a much more important metric for us,” she explained. “We can understand how we are creating these relationships with our audience and essentially building brand awareness as well. If no one is engaging with our content, it’s virtually meaningless for us. So, we look at engagement in terms of shares, comments, likes and reactions.”

For more insights, watch the full interview above. Catch up on the last episode here, to hear Panasonic’s head of digital give his predictions for influencer marketing.

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