Tata Tea’s recent influencer outreach initiative, #FruskiLeak, brings us back to the debate – can mere product tweets help brands reap the benefits of influencer marketing to its optimum level? Social Samosa takes a look at influencer marketing lessons that brands can learn.

It all began when earlier this month, Tata Tea announced the launch of Fruski, a line of fruit and green tea based beverages. On May 09 and May 10, the brand initiated an Influencer Initiative on Twitter, with influencers such as Biswa Kalyan Rath, Richa (a finance and tech blogger according to her bio), Mohammad Faisal (a Mumbai Indian fan from South Mumbai in his words) and many others tweeting about #FruskiLeak.

According to Hashtracking, #FruskiLeak generated 1500 tweets, out of which 88.2 per cent were original tweets, 8.1 per cent message tweets and 3.7 per cent re-tweets. The hashtag garnered nearly 20 million impressions and a reach much less than 5 lakhs.

Influencer Marketing Mistakes

Most of the tweets spoke about Fruski being particularly refreshing, while a few spoke about the green tea base and the different flavours.

A voluminous activity overall, managed to become a classic example of how not to execute an influencer marketing campaign. While the campaign achieved numbers, it lacked quality engagement, and couldn’t incite excitement around the upcoming product.

We take a look at 5 burning lessons about influencer marketing campaign, that #FruskiLeak managed to teach us.

Let the influencers speak their language

#FruskiLeak is a collection of all tweets that speaks about the product being refreshing, in orange and mango flavours, herbal ingredients, and calorie count. The tweets weren’t engaging and came across as scripted. Giving out stringent language parameters or giving the copy of the tweet could lead to disasters on the lines of those created by Reliance Jio and Infibeam.

Brands get it right when they let influencers talk in their own lingo. Audiences follow influencers because of who they are, what they have to say, and how they say it. Brands will benefit most when they let influencers talk like they are actual passionate consumers of the products they are endorsing.

Influencer marketing isn’t product endorsement

Influencer marketing belongs more to the family of native advertising and needs to be treated that way. Placing the product in a direct tweet beats the whole purpose of influencer marketing.

For instance, Biswa is a stand-up comedian and a certain segment of audience loves his flavour of humour. So, the campaign should have been done keeping in mind the audience which endorses Biswa and with relative content strategy to amplify it.

The right influencer mix

Influencers aren’t those with maximum number of followers. Influencers are those who have managed to gain trust with authentic and relevant content. Instead of finding influencers with all these qualities, brands and agencies need to take a reverse approach. Brands need to study their audience – their likes, dislikes, needs, challenges and basis that select influencers this audience would engage with.

Relevant hashtag

#FruskiLeak creates a perception that the audience will be given a behind the scenes look, with juicy reviews and promising content. The hashtag was instead a mass of tweets that appeared to stating the arrival of a green tea based product in monotonous tweets. The ‘leak’ bit didn’t come across in the activity. Hashtags need to be crisp, self-explanatory and engaging in the least.

Tata Tea invested great deal of time and money is this activity. With the right mix of influencers and relevant content strategy, #FruskiLeak could have gone a long way. For instance, the brand could have co-created funny content with Biswa or gotten food bloggers to upload videos of them trying Fruski and share reviews on the same.

A follow up activity, or a contest by the influencers themselves, would loop in the final consumers in the chain of communication that Tata Tea was trying to build. The one dimensional #FruskiLeak could have gone a long way.

With inputs from Subrat Bisht and Pranay Swarup.


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