Narrow your efforts — The key to finding the right influencer on Instagram is not to cast the net too wide. When you start your search, have a very defined set of goals and metrics to help identify the right people quickest. We use econometric modelling to optimise the return you can get on your influencer investment with the right number of effective influencers.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Tsai. Jenny is the CEO and Founder of Wearisma, an AI influencer marketing platform that helps brands foster trusted and successful relationships with the right influencers across the globe. Tsai has been pivotal in driving the renaissance of trust and transparency between consumer and influencer across social media platforms. Recently listed in Talking Influence’s Industry Leaders of 2018, Tsai continues to shape social media and influencer strategies for the biggest brands in the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
A pleasure! I have always been driven by innovation. Having completed an engineering degree at Princeton University, and a development master’s degree at Cambridge, I embarked on a career path within the digital media industries. Before launching Wearisma, I fronted international digital strategy for magazine publisher Hearst, and was the company’s then youngest Digital Media Director, for which I grew and monetised audiences for magazines including Elle and Cosmopolitan in over 50 countries.
As my career developed, I noticed that global brands could do so much better in leveraging social media influencers on platforms like Instagram. Speaking 6 languages, I knew that local influencers were under-utilised by brands looking to expand globally, while remaining locally relevant. So, I founded Wearisma.
My vision was to develop intuitive technology to tackle these issues within influencer marketing. What I love about Wearisma’s platform is that is uses technology to really drive home the importance of human intuition and human creativity.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
Wearisma was created with the specific intent of helping brands to leverage use social media influencers to achieve their commercial and brand goals. We work with the biggest luxury, fast fashion and beauty brands in the world to help them shape their influencer strategies.
In particular, our AI technology offers key insights to match brands with their most suitable influencers across the full spectrum of social media platforms.
We evaluate many different metrics including followers, engagement, suspicious activity and relevancy to understand who will truly amplify a brand’s message on social media.
What’s more, following some close scrutiny within the influencer marketplace, our work has helped rebuild trust and transparency across all social media platforms by empowering the brands we work with to carry out adequate due diligence.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
We were working with a national institution in the UK, helping them source influencers for their different good causes.
We used our AI matching process to identify influencers most relevant to their social presence as a representation of their brand identity. We ranked the top influencers who matched this representation most closely and created a visual mood board.
It was really interesting to see the emotional reaction that the mood board evoked despite it being an accurate representation of their social content… “That’s not us!”, “We are much more socially focused than that”.
This contrast ultimately triggered an internal brand review on what they stand for and how to communicate — with the end new set of influencer matches being in line with their future strategy rather than their current image.
This example shows that the best outcomes from influencer strategies are when data is used not to dictate the actions, but to inform one’s intuition. Wearisma is built on a solution that combines the best of data insights and human judgement.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It was a couple of years ago in the run up to a large presentation that I had at the British Embassy in Tokyo. I went climbing a day or two before my flight and broke my leg! There was no way I could fly to Tokyo, let alone present! I could not believe it.
I asked one of my team members to be my substitute and they did an absolutely excellent job — not that I expected anything less! The lesson I learned is that a great company should never be about a single person. The best companies are about trust, teamwork and brilliant people.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
Instagram is of course a real focus for most brands. However in reality, each social media platform offers its own unique capabilities and opportunities to unlock depending on different business goals. And each platform varies by region.
For instance, our platform offers a unique partnership with Weibo — China’s largest social media platform. For brands with Chinese presence looking to crack the Chinese market (and most are) Weibo is a crucial tool. Considering that there are over 1 million influencers on Weibo with 10k followers are more, the Chinese marketplace is rife with opportunities for brands to increase business revenues.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
Instagram is certainly the centerpiece of the influencer marketplace and is, therefore, an incredibly powerful tool to master. Marketers and businesses using influencers should try and stick to these key piece of advice on instagram:
- Focus on trust and transparency — Consumers are very aware, and sometimes sceptical of paid posts. The real power of using the right influencers on instagram is boosting transparency and maintaining the trust that is sometimes lacking within advertising. Wearisma can detect suspicious activity in reach and engagement for brands to investigate fully before working with an influencer.
- Find your perfect currency — Make sure you know your ideal metric to measure success. This will allow you to optimise your time and measure results more accurately. If brand buzz is your goal, then ‘followers’ is a great metric to use. However if you are ultimately aiming to build an authentic network of conversations around your brand, then an Influencer’s ‘relevancy’ and ‘engagement’ are key areas to look into.
- Mitigate your risks upfront — Identify those influencers that are truly ‘on-brand’ and don’t be tempted just to go for those with the most followers and engagement. These metrics alone will not define the success of the partnership.
- Use local intelligence — Like any other social media platform, behaviour patterns on Instagram vary from region-to-region. Use local influencers for local areas. They know the market better than anyone — even online. We have local analysts in every market we operate in to get the latest on the ground insights and human verification of relevant influencers to constantly enable our Machine Learning System.
- Maximise the potential of micro influencers — Similar to local influencers, do not discount ‘micro’ influencers. Although they may have a smaller reach, they have a VERY loyal base. This means that they hold a greater capacity for relatability and authenticity, which is crucial in propelling a brand’s narrative.
- Establish long-term relationships — Long-term relationships with influencers are great for cultivating trust and transparency with your audience. If a brand uses a lot of different influencers often, it does not always translate well. Find someone who suits the brand and stick with them.
- Narrow your efforts — The key to finding the right influencer on Instagram is not to cast the net too wide. When you start your search, have a very defined set of goals and metrics to help identify the right people quickest. We use econometric modelling at Wearisma to optimise the return you can get on your influencer investment with the right number of effective influencers.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I am really passionate about making the internet more open, a good example of this can be found in the solid movement (https://solid.mit.edu/). They advocate for radically changing the way web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership for those who create content as well as improved privacy.
It is something I think about a lot as CEO of Wearisma and my background in digital media. I strongly believe that an open internet should mean truly open, and data ownership should belong to those who create it.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them
If I had to pick just one, I would have to say Tim Berners-Lee. He literally invented the internet, and is there anyone in alive today who can say they are created something as revolutionary as this? As someone who has worked in the digital world my whole life, none of it would have been possible without the World Wide Web.
On a purely practical level, I would also love to pick his brains on making the internet a more open space.