Visual Marketing

[Interview] Truffle Social And Models Own Get A Thumbs Up On Instagram

By May 17, 2016 No Comments

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In August 2015, Truffle Social pitched the idea of #1234ThumbWar to their client Models Own, a British based beauty brand to celebrate nail art. This campaign positioned the brand as an innovative force on their social media channels, spearheaded mainly on Instagram as the brand’s flagship channel, with support across the brand’s other social feeds. To execute the campaign, Truffle Social used Audiense to not only find the key bloggers and influencers who would encourage users to paint their nails in all kinds of quirky ways, but also send out teaser messages to get Models Own’s audience excited and proactively engaged.
We spoke to Truffle Social’s CEO Ellie Hernaman and Head of Strategy, Kat Scoble to get an idea of how they planned the campaign and tapped into the huge nail art fan base on Twitter and Instagram. In a previous interview with them, we also found out some tips and tricks about Direct Messaging campaigns on Twitter, and how Truffle Social use the Audiense platform’s tools for their own end.
Audiense: What was the overview of the Models Own campaign?
Ellie: Models Own is known for their nail polishes, and before we came on board, they’d post the same kind of picture on Instagram – a ‘swatch’ image – people’s fingernails holding a bottle of nail polish, and it got a bit repetitive. As marketers we know that brands need to be embracing a lifestyle that people can buy into and they should stay away from just trying to sell a product because people see through that. So we put together creative ways and reasons for why people should follow the brand. The whole essence of nail polish is about beauty and creativity, and there’s a massive community of nail art fans on Instagram – and we wanted to take advantage of that.
Knowing that Instagram users have two ways of using it – where people broadcast their own pictures, or where people browse through it almost like a magazine. And that is essentially a big compilation of beautiful images – which sums up what the brand is about. So with Models Own, we wanted to encourage people to not just like the picture if it came up in their news feed, but we also wanted to inspire people into making a proactive decision to keep checking the brand’s page, and reinforce this as a habit.
We decided to take advantage of the massive love for nail art, and own that space. We wanted to come up with an idea for a campaign whereby we’d broach three influential nail art bloggers, and get them on board with our nail art campaign – which we named 1234 Thumb War – and i’m very proud of the title – it’s reflective of a number of things.
A thumb war is:
a) competitive
b) about your fingers
c) the numbers make up the time of the day – 12:34!


Aud: How did you execute the campaign?
E: Through data analysis that we extrapolated using the Audiense platform we found out that Wednesdays at 12:34 was a popular time for our audience to be using the platform. We posted teaser content in advance across different platforms to let people know that at 12.34 on this day, we were going to be releasing a picture which people could take inspiration from and go be creative. This was aimed at getting them involved to mirror it on their nails. We posted this, and we had a massive spike in the number of people who had set their alarms because of all the teaser posts. We had a video with the hashtag #1234ThumbWar and posts by the three influential nail art bloggers who also posted their picture at the same time as the reveal.
We wanted people to use the hashtag, and all of a sudden we had 100s of people overnight posting some really incredible, creative nail art that was inspired by the image that we had posted. These posts included the brand handle as well as the hashtag. For us, it was incredible because we posted that user-generated content and interspersed it with the general posts that we were posting whilst encouraging other people to get involved.
Every week, we put together a quick stop motion animation of some of the week’s best entries, so that we could show to people that we’re on the lookout to see all the things we’re posting and grateful for them. And we had always said what the prize was – a huge sackful of nail polishes.

Aud: What elements of Audiense did you use for this campaign?
E: We used Audiense to find the nail art bloggers and influencers. As Models Own has a stronger presence on Instagram because of the visual aspect, we used Twitter to find a crossover. We’d breakdown the existing audience of the brand on Twitter – a lot of those individuals would cross over on platforms. And we’d go okay, let’s find the most influential followers that we have – we filtered it using the word ‘nail’ in their bio, active in the last two weeks, and who we’re following who are super engaged and influential. And then we had a hit list of 20 people we wanted to reach out, we liaised with the client, researched their Twitter and Instagram feed. We wanted for our first collaborators to be different, we didn’t want them to submit potentially similar images so we used Audiense to filter things in the first place, and then did our own research. That was on the blogger side of things.

We sent Direct Messages (DM) campaigns beforehand, as part of the teaser strategy to tell people to check it out at the given time, and targeted people on Twitter with an advert asking them to go over to Instagram and see what’s gone on live now. It was massively strategic and lots of fun.
Aud: What was the size of the team working on the campaign?
E: There were 3 of us, overall. We all had different roles, but just for the manual uploading, we had a few more. We had a team of six people to post these images, at the same time, exactly at 12.34.
In terms of strategy, Kat and I worked together, and once it was all rolled out, we’d check the entries every morning, send them to the client, and then narrow down the ones we wanted to share.
Another challenge was that people would see another person’s entry, and copy that, and we didn’t want to post the same thing. On an experiential level, and online transcending to offline. People would be walking around everyday with these crazy nails, and I’m sure their friends would ask what they’d done with their nails so the story backs to reinforce the mention of the brand, giving the campaign a 360 degree approach.

Aud: Were there any challenges with the campaign?

E: I think for us it was about not posting similar images. People would see another person’s entry, and copy that. We wanted to be sure that we didn’t post the same thing. But this was a great campaign to see the online transcending to the offline. People would be walking everyday with these crazy nails, and I’m sure their friends would say what have you done with your nails, and the story backs to reinforcing the mention of that brand. It sort of positions the campaign in a 360 degree.
Kat: In the future, we want to be more specific about who we target. We understand how important utilising data is and we’ve had a few meetings with brands about that. We’re going to start try to run cross-collab campaigns with partner brands. For example, if we have a beauty product that is one of the high street pharmacies. We’d work with the pharmacy’s team and use the data to upload the source into Audiense. We’d be able to get results and insights, and be able to build tailored audiences to run Twitter ads – by doing that, we’ll be able to reinforce the message and brand in different ways.
If you enjoyed reading this interview, check out our other social media interviews with the likes of HaveYouHeard, Porche and Accor Hotels.

See it in action - Audiense