True or false: Influencers shouldn’t tag brands in organic posts.
Tagging brands is a very smart way to grab their attention. Contrary to popular belief, tagging brands in non-sponsored content does not set the expectation that you’re willing to work for free. In fact, organically tagging brands is beneficial for a number of reasons:
Tagging brands in your posts builds a relationship based on recognition, which could lead to future paid opportunities. When you tag a brand, Instagram sends them a notification through DM. Your post will also show up on their “tagged” tab on their profile (and possibly on their stories or main feed if they choose to repost your content). Check to see if the brand you’re tagging has specific hashtags and use those too! Pitching yourself for partnerships is going to be a lot easier if you already have a positive rapport with the brand. If you’ve got a management team (shameless plug for #TeamCookIt), make sure to let them know when an organic post with brand tags performs well. They will be able to use those metrics to create reports and pitch to the tagged brands on your behalf.
As an influencer, working with brands that you actually like not only makes your life easier, but it also makes any future paid posts likely to be more accepted by your audience. Case in point: SPAM Brand’s partnership with Jess of Plays Well With Butter. Jess is widely known to be a big fan of SPAM due to her Hawaiian heritage, so when she announced that she would be partnering with them, her followers already knew how much she loved the brand. As a result, they embraced the partnership instead of scrolling through the sponsored content. They were actually excited for her!
If you love a brand, tell them! Brands want to work with influencers who legitimately love their product. Your audience wants to know what products you’re reaching for on a daily basis, not just what products you get paid to promote. HubSpot says if you tag a brand and engage with your audience by responding to comments about the product, “the brand will soon see you’ve proven yourself a suitable sales partner”.
Our advice? Start tagging brands in your non-sponsored posts! Be strategic about it though – don’t tag a million brands in one post, and don’t tag brands that are competitors (especially if you are already working with one of those competitors!). Tag with intent, keep it classy, and keep it consistent.