Unintentional Influencers & Brand Authenticity

Niraj Sharma |
 09/23/19 |
5 min read

Unintentional Influencers and Brand Authenticity

Brands love the idea of influencer marketing, but have trouble executing it well. Unintentional influencers to the rescue! These folks can boost brand authenticity and certainly offer exceptional bang for a brand’s marketing buck. But how does one find them, and are they really worth it? And . . . what are they? Let’s find out.

Influencer culture word cloud

Finding Unintentional Influencer Unicorns

With Next Generation AI-powered social analytics, you can find most anything, really – including unintentional influencers. And you can find them any number of ways.

Summary metrics, showing spikes in topic mentions:

Summary metrics, showing spikes in topic mentions

So you can further explore who is causing these fluctuations:

fluctuation summary expanding timeline spikes

Sources, to see where conversations are happening about your brand or category:

Sources, to see where conversations are happening about your brand or category

Popular Posts, like this one from an unintentional fashion influencer, who created an hilarious video, simulating the runway:

Popular Posts, like this one from an unintentional fashion influencer

Trending hashtags, to show what’s being talked about the most:

Trending hashtags, to show what’s being talked about the most by influencers and others

And Sentiment drivers to reveal the feelings driving top content. It’s super important to have context behind words:

Sentiment drivers to reveal the feelings driving top content

Real-time Content streams capturing relevant conversation as it happens:

Real-time Content streams capturing relevant conversation as it happens

The Author widget, which shows you whose voice is resonating in a given topic area:

Author widget, which shows you whose voice is resonating in a given topic area

And so much more.

And you’ll want to connect with them before they become superstars – before they hit a level of mentions that have them registering as a top category influencer. Why care about that?

  • Competitors may connect with them first
  • They may accept lots of offers to promote things and ruin their credibility (you can help guide them with that – and with your influencer contract, when you find them first)

So here are six unintentional influencers to give you an idea of what’s out there – and how quickly their success can skyrocket.

Lyn Slater, the Accidental Icon

Lyn was discovered a few years back during Fashion Week. She’s so fashionable a photographer thought she was part of the event and snapped some pics.

Since then, her fashion/lifestyle blog has experienced a distinct uptick and she’s invited to fashion events for her own genuine (and, now discovered) sense of style. She’s influential, alright. Don’t call her a granfluencer though, she doesn’t like that:

Unexpected influencer Lyn Slater

Even though she’s in good company – and the older segments are certainly ones to pay close attention to. They offer high click through rates, but sales can experience less of a conversion rate. They know what they want, and what they’re willing to spend though, so where’s the disconnect? Giving them a relatable influencer can guarantee a sales funnel.

Imagine if your brand had found and connected with baddiewinkle before she shot to fame?

unexpected influencer and granfluencer Baddiewinkle

It all depends on what’s relevant to your brand and your audience. Baddiewinkle may not be the best granfluencer for your purposes. But maybe Mastanamma Karre would have been!

106 year old Granny, Mastanamma Karre

Karre’s great-grandson, Laxman K, started filming her cooking traditional foods for fun and to retain the amazing knowledge she had around these old-fashioned ways. But then it took off and “Country Foods” became an online sensation.

unexpected influencer 106 year old Granny, Mastanamma Karre

She never spoke in the videos, just demonstrated how the cooking was done. It was set to calming music and people loved it. It doesn’t take much to be a viral sensation, but authenticity is key – and she was extremely authentic.

Continuing on since her passing, her grandson now films a team of cooks demonstrating traditional methods outdoors. They still maintain a consistently solid following. There are other nanas out there with viral potential though.

Very British Problems, Rob Temple

Rob Temple had a bad haircut and an equally bad day at work, so created a Twitter and sent this tweet from his new account: “Walking back into the office after having a slightly shorter haircut than normal.” He then started using it as a diary of his day, sharing dry humor and witty observations.

His top three favorite tweets give you a sense of why the account is so popular. And why he racked up 100,000 followers in a month and has landed multiple book deals, a TV series and a board game. All from being himself online.

Top tweets from unexpected influencer account Very British Problems

Brands finding a humorous influencer in their category could be looking at the next viral sensation, as online loves to laugh. Almost as much as it loves all things sustainable . . .

Little Food Garden, Declan McGovern

Declan McGovern would grow and share posts about his organic produce on his Little Food Garden Instagram account. And used it as a way to teach people about farming too.

He isn’t your typical Instagram influencer either. “His honest approach to social media is somewhat refreshing. ‘The way I speak and talk…my grammar isn’t great’ says McGovern. ‘I’ll write my posts as if I’m saying it. I think people started to enjoy that side of it. It’s just me being me.’”

Unexpected influencer for Little Food Garden, Declan McGovern

“My photos aren’t all polished. Some are crappy. If something is shit, I’ll say it.”

And he was able to parlay his expertise into at least one collaboration with Samsung. Whoever found him was certainly listening on social to do so.

Andras Arato, the man who became a viral meme

Andras Arato has a TEDx Talk where he shares the story of how he became a world-known meme “Hide The Pain Harold.” To sum it up – the Hungarian electrical engineer took some stock photographs and didn’t think much of it. Someone stumbled across the photo and felt Harold’s smile was less than heartfelt, and the “hide the pain, Harold” meme (and its many variations) were born.

unexpected influencer Andras Arato, the man who became a viral meme

Initially, he was embarrassed, but once he embraced it and revealed his identity as the meme, a world of opportunities opened up for him. Brands can – and do – successfully employ memes in their marketing. Someone could’ve snapped up Harold. They still could!

Jesper Black, the 6 millionth tourist

This one couldn’t have been captured ahead of time with social listening – but it offers an idea for brands wanting to create a truly incredible – and viral – marketing campaign, assuming they have a budget the size of the Republic of Georgia.

Jesper Black thought he was visiting a friend and had no idea he was selected for a “VIP experience that included dinner with the prime minister” for being the six millionth visitor to the locale.

unexpected influencer Jesper Black, the 6 millionth tourist

It went very well, with tons of publicity for the small nation. Jesper even lived there for a while.

He has a YouTube channel where he was sharing his travels, beyond just Georgia. It became pretty popular, but hasn’t been updated in about a year now. Maybe he could be the 10,000 whatever for your brand? Lightning striking twice is interesting, hmm?

Or your brand could find someone else to lavish love on. An unintentional influencer oozing credibility and authenticity would be a good idea.

Just remember – people love to hate influencers . . . until they are one.

People Love to Hate Influencers

But they all want to be one. It’s part of why these “unintentional influencers” are so attractive to consumers – and to brands. Consumers can’t look away, even though they claim to want to. And they love it when an every day person wins in the influence game, as it makes them think they could be next. So, be sure to find your own success story to offer.

people love to hate influencers until they become an unexpected influencer themselves

When your brand is ready to search for its own unintentional influencer unicorns, be sure to reach out for a demo!

We can walk you through some scenarios that will help you understand what attributes to watch for, what to stay away from and how to fully vet potential candidates as you go.

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