Sahail Ashraf posted on 12 October 2016
Nothing on social media is ever easy. And it all takes a ton of work.
These words may be universally accepted by most social media managers on the planet, but every now and then there is an exception to the rule. There’s always an example of a social media campaign that totally floats such concepts, and makes everyone else look like tryhards. And in this instance, it’s the Louise Delage phenomenon on Instagram.
Louise has been a success story, and the story is justifiably held up as an overnight success in the world of Instagram branding. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either genius marketing (our take) or exploitation of Instagram users (what some people are saying about it). Either way, the campaign has recently been discussed at length by any social media commentator who has been watching the platform. And that’s everyone.
Instagram is a killer platform right now. And what’s more, it’s being seen as the Next Big Thing with young people. This kind of explains the Louise effect, but it also means that a brand that can tap into the platform effectively (and has a young user base) will see real returns.
She’s an incredibly exciting young French person. Someone who has a party lifestyle and spends most of her time on Instagram showing the world what it’s like to live in a constant, neverending rock and roll world.
Except she’s not.
Louise Delage, on the surface at least, appears to be an ordinary woman who just happens to be rich. She’s known for posting photos of herself on yachts and at parties. She’s young and attractive and looks like someone who knows how to have a good time. And she always, always has an alcoholic drink in her hand. That’s every image she posts. A drink.
The drink is significant. It’s no coincidence that there is always a drink. In fact, the agency (that’s right) behind the campaign (again, that’s right) for Louise Delage wants anyone who sees the photos notice that she always has a drink. That’s because the campaign the account belongs to is a campaign that has been created to build awareness of addictions in young people’s lives. Addictions such as alcoholism.
The lady first showed up on Instagram on August 1st this year. She was holding a drink and a smile. A socialite for all intents and purposes, she soon saw a massive upswing in her popularity on the platform. In fact, it was phenomenal. The end result was a general perception of Louise as being one of these hip young Instagram stars that gain traction quickly and develop a huge following. So far, so Instagram.
But if you dig a little deeper, you realise she doesn’t actually exist. The girl is a model, and the entire thing is a campaign. A very clever one, and for a good cause.
An agency based in Paris called BETC created the campaign against addiction in the young, and the campaign held a further clue in that it was called ‘Like my Addiction’. The ‘like’ thing was a big giveaway, a campaign designed to point out the dangers in both youth addictions and the prevalence of social media and the subsequent damage behind it.
So it’s a great example of a social media awareness campaign done right. But how did it work, and what can brands learn from it?
We’ve talked about hashtags before, and there is a ton of information online about how to best go about using them. But the BETC campaign highlighted something peculiar. There is actually no need, anymore, to be afraid of over-tagging. In fact, the campaign illustrates how to overtag with style.
BETC simply took the best hashtags possible and went to town, ensuring that any hashtag that could possibly work was included, among many.
Each post on Instagram with ‘Louise’ certainly hit the hashtag headlines. Taking a look at them, it’s easy to see that volume mattered. The posts all contain around 20-30 hashtags, all of them connected to parties and the lifestyle that Louise promoted. The subsequent result is a major Instagram sensation.
Okay, we know that there was a real and worthy awareness campaign behind this, but the cleverness and the astute nature of what BETC did here cannot be ignored. By choosing the right hashtags and setting off a virtual snowstorm of tags with each post, the campaign gained huge traction, quickly.
A bot was set up and used to follow people who would be interested in Louise’s decadent, fashionable lifestyle. Obviously, these would be mainly young women interested in travel and fashion.
It worked. Bots are a new thing (relatively), but they allow for the targeted following needed for a strong campaign.
And when it comes to influencers, BETC knew that targeting a huge number of people who had some clout in the areas of fashion, travel and basically being a Pretty Young Thing would help the campaign. Their strategy involved communicating with and leveraging the influence of thousands of followers who had that special influence sauce.
Well, as a quick win, you should be heartened by the absolute proof that hashtags in their multitudes bring real results on Instagram. This is encouraging stuff, mainly because all it takes is a little research for any company to find relevant hashtags. It may be worth – on your next campaign – actually researching those tags and splashing them about like crazy like the ‘Louise’ campaign did. Within Scientist section of your Locowise account, we list some suggested hashtags that you should try out.
And the other meaty lesson we took from this was all about bots. Bots can be created by anyone these days, and follower bots are legion. Use them to pinpoint your following, so it has a laser focus, and you too can derive this kind of huge benefit.
And the influencer thing? Sure, it’s hard to crack, but if you work at that too, you will see a definite upswing in your fortunes in social media.
We reckon this whole thing is encouraging. Going back to our first few lines, there are no real overnight success stories. You too can go to town on hashtags and use a quality bot.
But we’re forgetting something. And it harks back to old school marketing. Hashtags and bots aside, there is one key principle that truly makes this campaign worthy of its huge (and important success). Each image is perfect, and taps directly into the lifestyle the target audience would respond to (for whatever reason).
And that, friends, is how Instagram really works.
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