A strong social media presence is essential for successful consumer brands in the fast-paced, digital environment in which we now operate. There are several strategies for growing your online community and increasing engagement with your brands social media. One strategy, often employed by consumer brands, is mutually beneficial co-branded marketing. On social media platforms this can be in the form of brand collaborations, marketing the content and propositions of both brands across both social media accounts. These strategic partnerships, if managed well, can use the success of each brand to help the other. Introducing their products to new audiences and growing their brand awareness and social following.

Types of social media collaboration

There are a number of ways you can implement social media collaborations in your digital marketing strategy. Some of the most successful are:

Photo competitions: collaborating either with an influencer or a brand and celebrating by having a photo competition that aligns with the two brand messages is one of the easiest ways to launch a social media collaboration. Telling your consumers who you’ve paired up with and why is a sure way to get them excited about the collaboration and make them feel like they’re a part of it too.

This type of social media collaboration is perfect for brands who are also looking to create user generated content (UGC). UGC is when consumers engage with your brand by creating content that the brand can share on their social platforms.

Pick a theme that aligns with both brand messages and promote the photo competition on each account using a either the brands existing hashtags or a specific joint hashtag. Users would typically post a photo or video on their account and the brands can then repost them.

Takeover: a social media takeover is a classic and successful collaboration method. By teaming up with an influencer who takes over your social channels for a period of time. They will post content on your account and tag themselves in it. This works especially well if the influencer is at an event representing your brand, or has just received a new product from you.

Prize giveaway: prize giveaways are some of the most common forms of social media collaborations. By teaming up with a number of different brands you can create a ‘loop giveaway’ where you each give product away and prompt people to enter by liking the post on your channel and clicking through to each other brand, follow them, like their post and so on until you reach the original post you started at.

Platforms for social media collaboration

Where you promote your collaboration is equally as important as who you collaborate with. If your brand is highly engaged on Instagram and theirs on Facebook, you can work together to get both of your presence on the other platform recognized and a chance to further build your following. The most popular and successful platforms for social media collaborations are:

Facebook: with 1.86 billion users every month worldwide, Facebook is a great platform for your social media collaboration. If you’ve just written an article or produced a video, sharing it on Facebook with a brief description of the collaboration is a great way to market. Sharing on both your pages reaches a new audience and hopefully new customers for both brands.

Twitter: the nature of Twitter is to share brief, quick updates – the 140 character limit makes it the perfect platform to pique the interest of your audience and prompt them to click on the link you’ve provided. Twitter content is also probably the content that gets shared the most as a lot of people don’t want their feeds to just their own tweets, the community spirit of Twitter encourages re-tweeting.

Instagram: the most image-centric social media platform, Instagram is great for visually appealing content that you want your users to see straight away. Instagram stories  and Instagram’s new feature that lets you post multiple pictures to the one post is great for sharing more content with your followers without spamming them.

Snapchat: released in 2011 Snapchat was originally designed to allow users to send short-lived self-deleting content to selected Snapchat contacts. As the app has developed they have added story functions, and memory functions to allow users to share and save snaps. Snapchat is ideal for brands to collaborate with influencers and create short videos and images for them to share with their followers.

Things to remember

As with any social media make sure to give photo credit, tag the relevant people, and use their hashtags in your posts.

Choose a brand or influencer who complements your brand and is aligned with your brand messaging. For advice on how to choose a social media collaboration partner see our story on how to make your brand collaboration work.