How to use influencers for marketing: Part 2

There are numerous influencers who can have a positive impact on your business, but here in part 2 of our series on using influencers for marketing, we’re taking a look at an often forgotten group of influencers – your employees.

Valio

Employees are your greatest asset. They know your business, be it service or product based, inside out. And they can often be your greatest advocate too. Finland’s largest dairy, Valio, has empowered its staff and farmer-owners to promote the ethos, values, and products of the company on their personal social channels. The content they create is then republished on to Valio’s main website. The farmer-owners are taking pictures and videos of their beautiful cows and farms and posting them on to Instagram, using a specially created hashtag #valiomaitoa. The employees are also encouraged to share specially created content, such as recipe ideas, health & wellbeing tips and latest industry trends from Valio’s intranet, on their social channels using a different hashtag #valiojengi. Even the CEO, Annika Hurme, is sharing content on social too. This pioneering approach has stuck a cord with their customers, who have reacted positively to the business showing its more personal side. Within a year and half of the program in operation Valio has garnered 25 thousand Instagram followers, 220 thousand Facebook fans, and 17 thousand Twitter followers.

Initiative

London’s top media buying agency, Initiative (part of the global group of the same name), has been using its employee-generated content on its main website as a marketing tool for several years. The colleagues are encouraged to share their Instagram images, Tweets and Facebook entries using specially created hashtags. By allowing their team to have freedom within boundaries to post on social, Initiative have been able to demonstrate to their clients how innovative and forward thinking they are. They’ve even attracted new clients as a result.

Pierre et Vacances

The European travel company has used content created on social by its staff for some time. It particularly encourages its resort managers to use their social channels to promote events and things happening in their locations, which it then republishes on content marketing sites such as evasionski.com & evasionmer.fr. The former director of content, Frederic Po said: “We aggregate user content as well as content created by our team. We use photos from our Instagram and YouTube accounts, and we link up to the tourist office content too. Our resort managers use the specially created hashtags #evasionski (which means escape to the ski) and #evasionmer (meaning escape to the beach) to highlight anything happening in their resorts. We carry all that content on our site.” The purpose of using employee generated content has been to boost the company’s SEO efforts and to drive people to Pierre et Vacances’ destination-related content sites, which then have links back to the main Ecommerce site.

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