I know this is beating an obvious fact into the ground, but social media has firmly planted itself as a key form of communication in today's society. As bloggers have evolved in their savviness around using social media to promote their blogs, so too have brands put time into learning how social media benefits them. Brands have turned a lot of their marketing department's attention (and budget) to social media, and in working with bloggers active on Twitter and such. Brands are essentially paying to cultivate relationships with brand ambassadors. Influential ones, at that; those who aren't just consuming social media, but turning around and sharing it with a sizable audience.
A few years ago, a brand sponsorship often only consisted of a sponsored post. Nowadays every brand is interested in far more than just a blog post or two. There's social media content I'm asked to share across different platforms. At times there's a “real-life” part to the contract which requires event duties – as simple as showing up or as big as a full speaking presentation on fashion and/or blogging. What does this all mean? It means brands are looking at more than just your blog – they're looking at all the different places on the web you have an influential presence.
From my own experience with brand sponsorships, here are some ways in which brands might want to work with you on each of those sites – and what to tend to with each.
Sharing tweets is one of the most common actions brand sponsorships will want you to take on social media. They'll ask you to promote any blog posts you write. They will often include tweets crafted by the brand for you to send out through your Twitter handle, with specific hashtags related to this specific brand campaign. The tip here? Pay attention to your hashtags and use them every time! Hashtags are essential in keeping track of how well a Twitter campaign spread.
The other most common social media ‘ask' from a brand is Facebook sharing. Usually brands keep it pretty simple, requiring you to promote your sponsored blog posts to your FB page fans. Brands might also ask you to contribute to a Facebook live chat they host, or that you share some prepared status updates to your FB page. Make sure your blog's Facebook page is fairly active, and make sure to appropriately tag them too! (How to tag pages on Facebook.)
I've observed countless bloggers make some serious dough from Instagram campaigns alone. Brands will often ask bloggers for an Instagram photo/video set during a campaign they're working together on. In it, the blogger captures anywhere from 10-15 Instagrams of various shots. Tag and hashtag correctly here, too, and do your best to create visually-appealing, evocative photos. Filters are your friend!
Sometimes brands will ask you to create and pin several images to Pinterest board on a specific topic, trend, or campaign keyword. I've also had brands request I embed one of their Pinterest boards into my sponsored posts. In either case, it's a great way for brands to engage bloggers' audiences and easily lead them back to their website.
Brands might also request video content in your brand sponsorship, where you're required to take footage of or share pre-recorded footage on your blog and other social media profiles. The bloggers who can bring some serious spunk and personality to their YouTube presence are often booked for brand campaign event host duties or other speaking presentations. You never know where that beauty haul video could take you!
What other unique ways might bloggers and brands work together on social media sponsorships?
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