Performance-based digital marketing and technology company, Digital Animal, is offering a new ‘micro-affiliate’ concept to help clients market their products using social media platforms. The company adopts a technique it’s calling fandistribution, whereby brands can spread the awareness of their products or services using incentivised social media recommendation from their client base.
Fandistribution is basically a method, which recruits consumers to recommend products or services to friends or peers using social media, essentially becoming micro-affiliates for the company. Consumers who successfully encourage those friends or peers to go on to use or purchase the products being recommended are rewarded. These rewards can take the form of an extension to their existing contract, discounts on service renewals or free gifts.
Digital Animal hopes this marketing concept will go against the grain of a recent YouGov survey, which revealed 44% of the British online population would not feel more positive about a product their friends have followed and/or like. Sanjit Atwal , Managing Director of Digital Animal, argues that liking/following a product is different to recommending it. He says if a friend chats to you about considering a holiday, “then at a later date [you] send them a recommendation from a travel brand you are currently engaged with then the scenario becomes inherently more relevant than a like or a follow.”
Brands will be encouraged by Digital Animal to successfully engage with their target audience through positive brand exposure. It’s likely the company will be advising clients to not adopt the same strategy as Snickers’ recent social campaign. The confectionary brand fell foul of the tweeting public with its celebrity endorsement. Atwal makes a valid point in stating, “social media, unlike any other media, is self-policing. If you don't like the content being pushed from a friend then you have the ability to 'turn them off'.” He goes on to disclose Digital Animal has found that in practice this isn’t normally the case and instead, “people tend to share into networks (or circles) of friends that will be receptive to the content and will find the brand highly relevant.”