After meeting a brand on Instagram through a mutual friend, I gave it my credit card number.
My thumb lingered over the post. The phrase, “Maybe You Literally Can Even,” was plastered on a social media influencer’s white tank top. She looked strong and confident, physically and mentally. The post resonated with me. It was clever, relevant and true. As I do not usually do with sponsored posts, I chose to read the caption of the branded photo posted by Rachel Lindsay, former ABC Bachelorette star.
The caption gave a high-level overview of the company, SheLift. Essentially, SheLifts is about empowering girls to be self-confident and to be body-positive. The organization also uses its resources to help normalize differences while challenging girls’ physical and emotional abilities.
First, I liked the brand’s look. Then, I liked its personality. I was starting to form an emotional connection with a brand that I had not known existed 90 seconds earlier.
As much as I wanted the shirt and to support the brand, I left my credit card tucked inside my wallet. It wasn’t a good time for me. I knew I had expenses coming up very soon and didn’t want to wear my credit card out too much.
I forgot about the brand entirely until I had a reason to remember the feeling I felt when I first felt the connection to the brand.
It was my mom’s birthday. As I was wishing my mom a very happy birthday, I could not help but thank her for all the support she has given me over the years. I could not help but feel enormous gratitude that she was my mom and was having another birthday. She has always supported me and encouraged me to be to self-confident and body-positive, among many other things.
As I was thinking about my number one supporter since my own day of birth, I vaguely remembered a brand that supports women as part of their everyday business.
I wanted that that shirt; I wanted to support that brand. Except, I could not remember the brand name. All I could remember was the feeling of positive connection and the platform I had first met it on: Rachel Lindsay’s Instagram post.
Because SheLift sold me an emotion, not a product, I remembered the perception of their brand even though I could not remember their name. And because I could easily remember where to find them, I could become their customer. If the shirt had been posted on their own branded social page, the story would have ended at the faint memory of a forgone positive brand relationship because I would not have known where to go.
Just because a social media influencer introduces a brand to their followers does not mean that all of their followers will buy something that very day. However, it is a good introduction in a familiar place. And when the customer is ready, they might just remember the post and know exactly how to find the brand again.
Think about social media influencer branding as a courtship; as a way to start new customer relationships.
Featured Image by Aidan Jones