5 Social Media Lessons from an Influencer Event with Reebok + Les Mills + Nina Dobrev…

I spent Thursday of last week with Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) in celebration of her partnership with Les Millsand Reebok. It was a day of fashion, fitness, and some epic proof of what social media can do for a brand if you put the right systems in place.

Before I share 5 key takeaways that can help you expand your exposure using social media, let me paint you a picture of the day.

Reebok hosted the #UltimateStaycation and invited social media influencers who aligned with their brand to attend. They gifted us all with their new Reebok X Les Mills collection (which is awesome) and then gave us a kick butt yoga class at 9am.

Next, they fed us a delicious brunch while Nina shared her favorite ways to wear their new line.

Following brunch, we were taken to a barge in the middle of the Hudson and given a HIIT workout of a lifetime while we sailed by the Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline. #ItWasEpic

Finally, we were taken to Reebok’s penthouse suite at a trendy hotel in Brooklyn where they shared more of their new line over healthy snacks, matcha ice cream, and mani-pedis.

Fun, right?


Now let me break down the genius behind this strategy and share 5 takeaways you can implement into your own marketing (even if you don’t have Reebok’s budget):

Tip 1: Don’t share with just anybody…

Did you notice the part where I said they invited major social media influencers who align with their brand to their exclusive party?

Here’s what that means: Reebok decided a few years ago that they wanted to be known for creating functional andfashionable fitness wear. Not just functional wear. 

When this decision was made, they asked themselves this question: Who is our target buyer following on social media?

Their target buyer cares about being fit, fashionable, and healthy. So, naturally, they are following accounts that talk about fashion, fitness, healthy eating, and self care.

Answering this question for themselves made it possible for them to grow a network of accounts that spoke to the same audience without selling the same thing.

The result?

A network of influencers who are invited to all of their launch parties so they can post the crap out of their new products on social media, expanding Reebok’s reach to the appropriate target audience as a result.

And that’s exactly what happened last week.

Their hashtag started to trend, and they had a ton of exposure to their new line just in time for them to launch it.

Reebok does this really well, but every major brand in the world right now does a form of influencer marketing. 

Why? Because word of mouth is a powerful, powerful tool, people! And social media is the PERFECT tool to leverage it.

So now let’s look at YOUR business. How can YOU get the right people talking about your business?

Some ideas to get the juices flowing:

a) Got a product? Figure out who your target buyer is following on social media and make a long list of potential ambassadors. Next, reach out to them asking if they’d like a sample of your product. If they like your product, find out if they’d be open to posting about it on social media / writing a blog about it / sharing a testimonial about their experience / etc. The objective is to get it out there to as many people as possible — that align with your brand instead of compete with it — so they can rave about your product for you.

b) Do you offer a service? Consider forming social media partnerships. This essentially means that you have a network of brand ambassadors who agree to share your blogs and free offerings in exchange that you do the same for them. The key here is that their service / blogs / free offerings have to be useful to your audience in the same way that your service / blogs / free offerings have to be useful to theirs. 

I walk you through the specifics in this recent blog.

Tip 2: Use an engage-tag. 

The key is always reach. So, if you don’t have a budget, an engaging hashtag can be super useful to you.

For Reebok, the hashtag we used was #UltimateStaycation which meant everyone who attended added #UltimateStaycation to their posts.

The algorithm noticed that many of the big accounts that engaged a lot with fashion, fitness, or health were using the hashtag #UltimateStaycation. As a result, these tagged posts were appearing in the “explore” section on Instagram for users that expressed an interest in fashion, fitness, and health.

This made it easy for the target buyers who have an interest in fashion and fitness to stumble upon these photos, learn about their new collection, and check it out.

You following me so far? 🙂

But again, how can you populate a hashtag if you don’t have the budget to throw an event?

You can use, what I call, an engage-tag.

An engage tag is a hashtag that is not just the name of your business, but is something that speaks to the experience of your product.

I’ll give you an example.

A friend of mine has an incredible argan oil product called DROP. In selling her product, she learned that her customers were using it in all sorts of ways;  to apply their makeup, stay moisturized, protect against the sun, heal rashes, combat rosacea, etc.

So, I suggested she start a campaign where users posted an image or video of how they like to use Drop with the hashtag #HowDoYouDrop?

This gave customers an easy way to interact with the brand and to share about their positive experience.

Another example that I always like using is Zico Coconut’s engage-tag.

A few summers ago, they started an adventure campaign where they encouraged customers to take their coconut water on an adventure with them and to post using the tag, #CrackLifeOpen.

As a result, they had some really cool images to repost on their feeds, as well as an interactive campaign that was so fun to take part in that a TON of people did. 

That leads me to my next tip… 

Tip 3: Get other people to make material for you.

In the case of Reebok, they had a few photographers covering their event and taking tons of pictures of us wearing their products. This meant that our #UltimateStaycation images are being used as promotional material (like any smart brand would do!) on their social media feeds and website. 

Again, you probably don’t have the budget to hire three photographers for an event so let’s just skip ahead to what you can do instead.

The beauty of having a hashtag is that you can easily find the content being posted about your product!

So, in whatever way you decide to share your products (see tip #1) with your brand ambassadors, make sure you share a hashtag with them, too. That way, you can easily find their images so you can share them on your feeds, also!

Here’s a way to make this fun and easy:

What if you’re a health coach and you want to spread the word about your new cookbook?

Encourage people to post an image with your new cookbook and to share their favorite recipe in the caption for a chance to win ______ . Now just remind them to use whatever your hashtag is and away you go! People will get posting and you’ll get RE-posting.

Now you’ve got new material for your feeds, plus you’re getting the word out there. For free…

Tip 4: Lead with value.

Nothing works in social media without value.

In the case of Reebok, they threw us an INCREDIBLE day and gave us some kick @$$ new threads, too.

As a result, we were so happy to spread the word about them.

So what’s the takeaway?

Never ask yourself, “What can my followers do for me?” You must be asking, “What can I do for my followers?”

The result is brand loyalty and an eagerness to spread the word and be a part of your tribe.

So, if you want someone to post something for you, make sure there is benefit for them. Maybe you give them a promo code in order to give them a cut of your sales. Or maybe you simply offer to do the same for them when they are ready to launch their upcoming program in 6 weeks.

Whatever it is, asking someone to be a brand ambassador isn’t as easy as you might think it is. So make sure you’re leading with service and considering how you can help one another.

Tip 5: You need a kick-@$$ product…first.   

Social media will only be successful for a business if the business is ready to be successful.

If you’re putting all this time into your social media efforts and aren’t happy with your conversion rates, take a look at your product before you decide social media is a waste of time.

In Reebok’s case — their product is just AMAZING.

It’s comfortable, it’s functional, it doesn’t smell bad when you sweat in it, it’s slimming, and it’s sexy. I get a ton of compliments when I wear everything they’ve given me.

In fact, most of the time people say, “No way! That’s Reebok??”

Why? Because a few years ago, Reebok wasn’t the cool brand on the block. It was all about Nike and Adidas when I was growing up.

So, just like so many of us, Reebok took a look at their product and decided to make some changes. It took some time to find that sweet spot, but boy have they found it. And it paid off!

So, what if you don’t have a product but you have a service?

First I’ll say that your service is your product so you DO have a product and yes, quality is still important.

However, I will also say that you learn SO MUCH from actually doing… so please don’t let my whole “quality matters” rant stop you from launching your business because you’re now afraid that maybe you’re not ready to!

Instead, I’d suggest using social media to spread the word about some really awesome, limited time only discounts. Or perhaps some free offerings, depending on how much experience you’ve had.

That way, you give yourself time to iron out the kinks, gain some confidence, and gather some raving testimonials that you can use in your social media and website!

Phew — that was a lot of info! Which tip has informed a new strategy you can start using today? Let me know below xo 

PS: And if you want to see more behind the scenes of our #UltimateStaycation… here was my story from the day + a few pics! 🙂