Back in 2015, CoppaFeel! embarked on its first foray into the world of influencers and hasn’t looked back since. As a charity with a focus on 18-34 year-olds, we knew there was no escaping the world of social influencers – and knew that by harnessing these individuals, we could grow our awareness, and in turn – the rise in boob/pec checkers!
In our research, we have steadily seen our audience state that they are hearing about us from ‘a celebrity,’ more so than ‘news articles.’ Last year, over 200 people directly stated they had heard about us from our patron, Giovanna Fletcher – which is phenomenal. Figures show 61% of 18-35 year olds are on Instagram and interacting with influencers daily – and this is why we continue to make a concerted effort to focus on our Boob Ninjas programme. These ‘celebrities’ have broken the mould from traditional A-listers – positioning themselves as approachable and in conversation with their audiences, rather than sitting on this unattainable pedestal.
How to get started with a social influencer partnership journey?
When selecting influencers to work with, it’s important to ensure you have already cultivated your own brand and voice on social media first. For example at CoppaFeel!, we are advocates not only for boob/pec checking, but body positivity, inclusivity and normalising conversations around bodies – and this is clear when you browse our online presence. This clarity is so important as it makes it easier for influencers to know who you are – and in turn, for you to understand which individuals would best represent you! In fact one of our latest ambassadors, Jess Megan, a plus size model and advocate for body positivity approached us wanting to share our message – purely through having seen our work on social media and realising how it fit with her own messages that she wanted to share on social.
View this post on Instagram
YASS @refinery29 used my photo as a front to their article “FYI, Body Positivity is not “Dangerous” or bad for your Health.” when someone accepts their body either passionately or neutrally, it does not mean the owner then becomes dismissive or disinterested in their own health. Body acceptance and positive attitude is a new and healthier way of engaging with your body and its needs. What makes you think that the fitness models/thin people on social media engage in better behaviours than chubbier/ fat people? A lot of those IG influencers don’t engage in “healthy” patterns themselves. We have a warped view of what health and beauty looks like because the standards are always set way beyond our capabilities. That’s why retouching and shit loads of airbrush apps exist. Preserving my mental health and engaging in conversation with my own body on its individual needs is more important to me than googling how much weight I could lose if I don’t eat for a week. Telling people how they should look so you can feel comfortable is a weird and gross use of ones own time. BODY ACCEPTANCE IS THE EPITOME OF HEALTH. THERE IS NOTHING MORE HEALTHY THAN ACCEPTING YOUR BODY RATHER THAN DEPRIVING IT OF ITS NEEDS, STARVING IT, OVERWORKING IT AND TELLING IT IT IS WORTHLESS. Woo. I went in hard for a sec there. @refinery29 #beauty #natural #refinery29 #bodyacceptance #body #selflove #bodyneutrality #bodypositive #bodypositivity #curls #curves #curvy
It’s important also not to forget how valuable your audience are in selecting your ambassadors. CoppaFeel!’s values stem around honesty and authenticity and we pride ourselves on this online; i.e we’re not afraid to ask questions of our followers in order to ensure we’re approaching the right people to represent us. Most recently, we did an Instagram poll asking our followers ‘who inspires you?’ and had over 100 responses, which naturally built us our next target list.
When first setting up the programme, we started with five influencers on board and learnt quite quickly that they all had similar audiences in the wellness space. We knew that in order to grow, we had to reach a diverse range of audiences – and the focus had to be around quality, not quantity of their followers. We would rather prioritise an influencer with a smaller, niche audience who is really engaged with our message and is a brilliant spokesperson for the charity – than someone with millions of followers who’s disengaged. We now have a roster of over 20 ambassadors, including TV doctors, chefs, musicians, YouTubers, authors and more who regularly share our message.
So how did we do it?
When the programme started, we created a blanket list of requirements for all members of our Digital Boob Team to complete. We learnt quickly this just wouldn’t work. What is more important is to get to know your ambassadors, what their passions are and what they have coming up in their calendar that you might be able to fit into! For example, every year we head to festivals across the summer and tied up our calendar with Carly Rowena at BeFit – this resulted in some great content, taking a short time out of her diary to swing by our Boobmobile on site at the festival. Other options for pinpointing influencers would include doing specific hashtag research which relates to your charity’s aims to see who is also sharing posts in these spaces, and additionally, using tools such as BuzzSumo to search influencers on the basis of specific keywords.
Working with influencers is a two-way street, and by spending time nurturing a relationship with an influencer, they in turn will generate lots of content, in mediums that don’t just live online. Celebrating their successes might seem like a small thing – but this can really pay off. An example being Dr Zoe Williams, TV Doctor on shows such as This Morning. Recently, we shared a post about Dr Zoe’s most recent Panorama show, debunking the myths around contraception. This particular issue is very relevant to our audience, showing not only that as an influencer she resonates well with our audience, but also demonstrated how we can incorporate their activity as part of our content. This ended up being our top performing post of that month on Instagram – which is huge considering this is our biggest channel.
It’s not always plain sailing but that’s ok
Working with influencers can of course bring challenges – and we’ve had our fair share! We’ve had a case of an ambassador sharing our campaign earlier than the embargo, resulting in a very stressful few hours! Luckily, we spotted this quickly and said influencer happily removed the content and re-posted at the right time! Also, we’re a small team at CoppaFeel! and keeping ambassadors engaged is a 24/7 job; it’s about keeping a keen eye on their activity, as well as being proactive with opportunities when they arise. Most recently, we had #WorldCancerDay on 4th February – and by being proactive, 10 ambassadors shared our latest boob checking educational film as part of the day.
I found a quote recently which I think sums up why charities should work with influencers – “a compelling charity brand is spontaneous, collaborative and delivered with charm and a warm imperfection that reminds us what it means to be human.” Sadly, there is no one size fits for this activity, but the work does pay off immeasurably when you get it right!
Zoe was one of the speakers at the CharityComms ‘Unlocking the power of social influencers’ seminar and a video of her presentation is available here if you want to know more.