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Honest Tea?s influencer-driven sweepstakes uncaps 15.6pc uptick in social followers

The Coca-Cola Company?s Honest Tea brand recently captured a 15.6 percent increase in followers across its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels after rolling out a summer sweepstakes that leveraged the popularity of several social influencers and bloggers.

The beverage marketer, which introduced the #RefreshinglyHonest sweepstakes this past June, tapped several social influencers, such as former Bachelorette star Trista Sutter, to spread the word about the two-month promotion. The HelloWorld-powered contest invited individuals to share authentic moments about their perfectly imperfect selves for a chance to win a complimentary trip to Hawaii, ultimately garnering a significant jump in followers for Honest Tea?s social channels.

?Social influencers were a major pillar of this campaign,? said Ami Mathur, general manager of brand marketing at Coca-Cola. ?The participation of Honest Tea ambassadors, including former Bachelorette Trista Sutter and mom and lifestyle bloggers Ilana Wiles, Jessica Shyba and Joy Cho in the #RefreshinglyHonest sweepstakes definitely encouraged audiences to get involved as well.

?Followers saw honest truths and moments posted by the ambassadors and were encouraged to share their own moments. By tapping into the loyal following of social influencers who authentically showed interest in the campaign, we were able to reach a wider base of fans that were more likely to engage.?

Stirring up social engagement
Honest Tea?s first social sweepstakes, which ran from June 19 through August 19, leveraged the popularity of several bloggers and influencers with significant followings.

Each Honest Tea ambassador was commissioned to upload posts detailing stories, truths and moments about her perfectly imperfect self, as well as encourage followers to do the same via the #RefreshinglyHonest hashtag.

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were rife with user-generated content centering on this topic, proving the potency of brand partnerships with social influencers. Social influencers have the ability to make many campaigns seem more organic, in turn driving participation rates higher.

A Schick executive at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York affirmed that tapping social media influencers catapults the effectiveness and reach of mobile video advertising, provided that the influencers are allowed creativity to expand on the brand?s message (see story).

Individuals who uploaded their sweepstakes entries onto social media were rewarded with the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid vacation to Honolulu, HI, which was selected as one of the United States? most honest cities by Honest Tea's The National Honesty Index.

?The #RefreshinglyHonest sweepstakes was designed to increase Honest Tea?s social following across major social networks Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,? said Michael Puffer, senior director of mobile solutions and strategy at HelloWorld. ?At the core of the sweepstakes is the hashtag, which makes this campaign innately social.

?When we imagined consumers interacting with the #RefreshinglyHonest sweepstakes, we realized that most of the engagement would occur on mobile devices, where they could ideally capture and post their honest moments quite literally ?in the moment? and on the go,? he said.

?Social sweepstakes like this one can also give brands a view into an individual consumer's sentiment and influence on social channels that can provide a whole new depth of marketing insights for brands like Honest Tea.?

Getting sweet results
Honest Tea?s results from the first social iteration nearly tripled its expectations of participation rates. The sweepstakes garnered a 15.6 percent uptick in social following across Honest Tea?s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Leveraging the influence of popular bloggers is quickly becoming a must-have mobile marketing strategy.

Coca-Cola recently joined the slew of marketers leveraging the excitement surrounding the summer Olympics by tapping global influencers to upload social media content defining their own meaningful successes and encouraging fans to join in the fun via the #ThatsGold hashtag (see story).

Following the successful results of the #RefreshinglyHonest campaign, Honest Tea plans to roll out similar iterations in the future.

?While #RefreshinglyHonest was the first social sweepstakes from Honest Tea, this year?s great results reflect that it?s probably not the last,? Coca-Cola?s Ms. Mathur said. ?Through the use of social influencers, followers of Honest Tea were met with a surplus of exciting, branded content.

?This was heightened all the more by posts from everyday consumers utilizing the #RefreshinglyHonest hashtag,? she said. ?To ensure Honest Tea continues to retain its new followers, we will continue to upload memorable content that fans can relate to and encourage them to keep sharing their own refreshing experiences with Honest Tea.

?Consumer relationships are important to us and we strive to keep the conversation going while honing in the social elements that worked best during #RefreshinglyHonest to continue delighting our audience.?