Insight: Making influencer initiatives purposeful and more beneficial through Twitter’s influencer sponsorship model

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Influencers have the ability to reach, inspire, and compel their audiences to listen and follow their recommendations. Unlike advertisements, a word from influencers is not a hard sell, and they have gained the trust of their followers through steady interaction and subtle and engaging content.

In the same vein, Twitter believes in the power of influence created through conversations and connection that amplifies messages. Consumers, influencers, and brands meet on Twitter to spark conversations on new products, topics, and to build an active community of people having the same interests. 

Imagine what happens when influencers and brands collaborate on Twitter; when an influential voice meets the receptive audience that is on the platform. 


Twitter, in partnership with Unilever, takes a dive on the influencer culture on Twitter and how brands can leverage Twitter’s influencer sponsorship model to drive more results for their campaigns.

All eyes on the influencers

In the Philippines, influencers are at the forefront of conversations. Whether it’s about food, beauty, or hair care, it’s the influencers that propel people to discuss and spread the word as their form of support. One role of the influencers is to empower people by informing them about the products and services. They are effective in capturing the attention on Twitter, with people having +48% increase in consumption around influencers’ videos during COVID-19 crisis.

As influencers command attention, it’s no surprise that people look to them for advice, suggestions, and other helpful tips. In fact, 49% of people seek influencer posts for recommendations while 39% seek brand Tweets, these are way higher than TV ads (36%) and Online Ads (35%)

This was proven true by Unilever when they saw 6x more brand conversations (directly related to campaign influencers) during the month of launch vs. the previous month for CLEAR Philippines (@clearPH). Their Influencer campaign with Filipino gamers also performed 171.22% better than non-influencer campaigns in terms of engagement rate

Meanwhile, Sunsilk Philippines’ (@SunsilkPH) influencer campaign performed 221% better than non-influencer campaign in terms of engagement rate and 66.67% cheaper in terms of CPE featuring #BT21xSUNSILK with Janina Vela (@janinavela) and Christine Samson (@ChrisSamson_).

Influencers show up differently on Twitter

Influencers take their content up a notch by being creative and thoughtful in their posts. Aesthetics are great but showing their most authentic self is better — and they do so by being real and unfiltered on Twitter. Influencers use Twitter not just to inform but to express their personal thoughts and experiences. 

More importantly, influencers get in touch with their communities on Twitter by having two-way conversations. Unilever allows influencers to be themselves in their campaigns. Allowing influencers to create and execute content, in their own way, gives the brand communication a more personal approach. Influencers lend credibility in a space where they are the experts in and provide a platform to share their discoveries with a community that they know how to engage,” said Macce Samarista, Country Media Manager, Unilever.

“We know that influencers usually curate their feed—but not on Twitter. In a way, influencers wear their hearts upon their sleeves on Twitter, sharing personal experiences and unfiltered thoughts,” said Carl Cheng, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, SEA and Greater China. “The influencers, along with Twitter’s Influencer Sponsorship Model, enable brands to leverage influencing power more efficiently. Through this model, brands can maximize their budget as 100% of their investment goes into Media Spend on Twitter to promote the influencer branded content with no content cost and still be powerful enough to build brand affinity through influencers and their content.”

“Today, consumers are more likely to respond to campaigns that spark unexpected and provocative conversations, especially when it’s shared by influential people they trust. We believe that Twitter is one of the best platforms to engage with influencers as it drives honest and unfiltered responses, allowing its community to openly share their thoughts; making them feel that they are genuinely part of the conversation,further added Macce Samarista.

Purposeful influence 

There’s more to doing influencer marketing on Twitter than promoting a product or service. As interests and passions are what drives conversations on Twitter, brands and influencers also ensure to craft relevant campaigns by incorporating purpose into the messaging.

For example, Dove’s (@Dove) brand purpose is to help the next generation grow up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look. To amplify this further, they tapped Ty Alexander (@lovetyalexander), founder of Self Care IRL wellness community to inspire others to love themselves.

Where to begin?

With literally a handful of strategies or approaches brands can do, is there a great way to leverage influencers and the active community on Twitter? Cultural relevance is the key. When your content resonates with the Filipino audience, it’s easier to initiate conversations that touch on the issues and topics that matter to them.

Here are some tips and successful examples brands and influencers can emulate:

  • Harness the power of celebrity fanbases to boost awareness about your brand
  • Get influencers to Retweet or Quote Tweet your brand Tweet and share it with their followers.

Unilever shares some of the formats that worked for them: a combination of image / video + poll as well as image/video ads. “While poll ads generally deliver better engagement rates, we intend to include more conversation ads & tweet to unlock ads in the future to help scale up conversations and brand share of voice,” they shared.

  • Give tips and advice. Get influencers to share their real experience and review.

All of these tips worked successfully for Cornetto Philippines (@SelectaCornetto) for their influencer campaigns with youngsters João Constancia (@imjoaoconz) and Kyle Echarri (@kyle_echarri). Overall, the Cornetto Philippines achieved up to +88% higher than benchmarks (CPG, Food Category, Philippines) across all objectives leveraged during the campaign period and 45x more brand conversations (directly related to campaign influencers) during the month of launch vs. previous month.

Influencer model that delivers

If the idea or messaging has been laid out, what’s next to seal the deal is to find the right influencers that can execute and a sponsorship model that delivers. Twitter’s Sponsorship Model can be an effective way for brands to benefit more such as the following:

  • Drives ROI faster for the advertiser – 100% investment goes into Media Spend on Twitter to promote content to their target audience
  • No content cost – Production & talent costs are included as part of an investment
  • Borrow influencer equity – Build brand affinity and association with influencer and their content

Unilever attests to this model as they have seen and felt its benefits. “One of the advantages of landing Influencer Marketing campaigns in Twitter is the real-time conversation that both parties can discover and learn in the process. It’s a space where influencers can get feedback about the campaign and help the brand build a meaningful relationship with their community,” Macce Samarista concluded.

In an online interview with adobo Magazine, Twitter and Unilever further elaborates the benefits of their partnership:

As a platform, what makes Twitter stand out when it comes to implementing influencer campaigns?

Twitter’s most unique quality has always been the power of personalized real-time conversations. When influencers’ interact with their followers, they make them feel that they are being listened to, valued, and esteemed by popular personalities.

How will Unilever PH maximize the sponsorship model with Twitter?

Through these pilots, we have seen that engagement heightens when brand conversations are partnered with influencers. We will further maximize this model by experimenting with different consumer segments, different campaign approaches, and different influencers to help us determine the right mix for our brands.

How will this sponsorship model involve and maximize influencers?

This pilot will help us further navigate the right influencer and conversation approach relevant to each of our brand communication briefs – whether it’s purpose, product, or utility.

With purpose, future, and growth at the heart of Unilever PH’s values, what kind of content can your audiences or customers expect with these campaigns?

Unilever believes that brands with purpose grow; so our consumers can expect that this will always be an integral part of our communication plans. The fun part is how we land this message and who to partner with because there really is no single right way nowadays – and this makes our work exciting!

How will this sponsorship model measure their campaign’s impact/effectiveness?

By now, Influencer Marketing metrics should have moved past the usual consideration or engagement KPIs. The effectiveness of influencers should translate to business impact.

Be on top of #WhatsHappening on Twitter and create the next campaign that resonates with the largest group of active influencers: the Twitter community.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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