As a fledgling startup, Lokai's focus in 2015 was on increasing brand awareness and spreading the Lokai message of balance, hope, and humility.
Given that the themes of adventure and visual storytelling are inherently associated with both Lokai and Instagram (we tell our Lokai family: "we provide the elements, you provide the story"), Instagram quickly became essential to driving our initiatives.
With an emphasis on community engagement, attracting great user generated content, and strategic influencer targeting, Lokai saw tremendous growth on Instagram in 2015.
About Lokai: The Lokai bracelet (referred to simply as a "Lokai") was created as a reminder to strive for a balanced life, no matter the highs or lows one may experience. Containing mud from the Dead Sea, and water from Mt. Everest, the message of each Lokai is simple: Sometimes you hit a low – stay hopeful. Sometimes you're on top of the world – stay humble.
Community Management and UGC
We pride ourselves on engaging with each and every Lokai supporter in the Instagram community. Whether it's responding to all direct messages, post comments, or #livelokai mentions, we show appreciation for our supporters through constant communication. Being completely tapped into our Instagram audience allows us to tailor content and build lasting relationships with our supporters.
Providing compelling content was also fundamental to our Instagram success in 2015, and this was made possible in large part because of our highly engaged audience. Our official hashtag, #livelokai, was used over 150,000 times on Instagram alone in 2015, providing us with a wealth of inspirational and imaginative photos, and the opportunity to make our customers the focal point of the Lokai story. In addition to customer UGC, we collaborated with a handful of talented Instagrammers passionate about Lokai for campaign-specific imagery, allowing us to maintain high quality content throughout the year.
Influencer Targeting and Charity Campaigns
Essential to the spread of Lokai's message of balance is our partnership with various charitable organizations. Lokai gives 10 percent of its net profit to a variety of charitable alliances. Throughout 2015, Lokai released limited-edition bracelets to honor a specific charity or cause. In efforts to raise awareness for the charity at hand, we crafted campaigns that thematically tied back into the efforts of that charity. An example is our campaign for the pink Lokai, which benefitted Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each Pink Lokai order was packaged with a special insert card prompting the customer to fill-in the name of a personal hero, snap a photo with the card, and share it on Instagram (tagging their hero in the process) using #lokaihero. The participation rate was high (over 5,000 participants) and reception was overwhelmingly positive, resulting in fan posts that contained both heartbreaking and inspirational accounts of breast cancer survivors and victims.
The power of brand ambassadors also proved to be an effective tool, and in 2015 Lokai was fortunate enough to collaborate with a large number of influencers and celebrities to spread our message. Lokai strategically targeted influencers who embodied Lokai ideals, and who could serve as catalysts for positively impacting the charity and campaign at hand. Among some of the ambassadors who supported Lokai were Arian Foster, Cam Newton, members of the Kardashian/Jenner family, and Helen Owen, to name a few.
In 2015, Lokai's Instagram account grew by more than 900,000 followers (a 225% increase from 2014). Our audience engagement also remained consistently high, and our average likes per post increased from 25,000 to 75,000 plus, a 200 percent increase.
Our October "Pink" campaign, in support of breast cancer awareness, featured posts from more than 90 celebrities and influencers, and boosted our Instagram following by 100,000 in one week. During this same period, our campaign-specific hashtag, #lokaihero, was used by more than 5,000 people on Instagram.
In June, our #lokaipuzzle campaign was also a huge hit. We asked our followers to find six pieces of a puzzle scattered on the Lokai website and our various social platforms, and regram them in the correct order to unveil the theme of our next product release. This resulted in 7,500 instances of #lokaipuzzle in 24 hours, and generated significant buzz for the launch of our "wild" Lokai, in support of World Wildlife Fund.