Life in front of the camera: social media and mental health

In the vast realms of Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms, influencers face an ever-mounting pressure to embody an unattainable standard of perfection. Every flaw, every imperfection is magnified under the microscope gaze of social media. The consequence of falling short of this ideal can be profound, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles.  

There’s no denying that social media can have an immense impact on everyone’s mental health, both for those looking through the lens of the camera at influencers, and the ones behind it. 

In the eyes of your audience, the assumption often prevails that influencers lead flawless lives, effortlessly gliding through a world of filtered beauty and effortless success. Yet, it is crucial to remember that behind the meticulously curated posts and captivating content, influencers are imperfectly human, grappling with their own mental health battles.

Mental health awareness week 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21st May) provides a timely opportunity to break the stigma surrounding mental health and initiate open conversations. This year, the Mental Health Foundation has chosen ‘anxiety’ as the theme, inviting us to delve into the dangers of this pervasive mental disorder when left unchecked. 

Anxiety, with its suffocating grip and constant worry, has become a relentless thief of joy for many young adults and adolescents, particularly when scrolling through social media. The immense burden of portraying a picture when scrolling through social media. The immense burden of portraying a picture-perfect existence online can result in isolation from their audience. The fear of criticism, the pressure to create content that satisfies the ever-changing algorithms, and the relentless pursuit of engagement all contribute to the erosion of an influencer’s authentic self-expression and creativity. 

Ironically, the very essence that propelled influencers to social media stardom - being themselves- often becomes a casualty of the overwhelming question: “What’s next?”. This relentless quest for the next big thing makes it difficult for influencers to cultivate genuine, organic content and stay true to their authentic selves. 

How does social media affect mental health?

The constant exposure to carefully curated and idealised versions of others' lives can lead to some really negative feelings when using social media channels. For example, you might experience feelings of inadequacy, envy, and low self-esteem. The relentless pursuit of validation through likes, comments, and followers can also foster a sense of worthlessness and anxiety - whether you’re an influencer or just a standard user. 

With others' achievements and experiences continually on display on our phones, we can sometimes feel a fear of missing out (FOMO) which can amplify feelings of loneliness and isolation. Additionally, cyberbullying, online harassment, and the spread of harmful content can further deteriorate mental health. It is crucial to recognise the impact of social media and take steps to establish a healthy relationship with these platforms.

Is social media bad for mental health?

There’s no denying that heavy usage of social channels can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. However,  it’s important to remember that it can have a positive impact too - and social media has also raised awareness of mental health and self-care practices.

For example, now more than ever, platform users across the world now have more access to information about mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety - and it’s easier to connect with other people online who are experiencing similar symptoms too, promoting communities of people experiencing poor mental health.

Managing mental health online

Managing mental health issues caused by social media pressures can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it is possible to navigate this digital landscape while prioritising your well-being. Here are some tips to help you manage and cope with mental health issues related to social media pressures: 

1. Recognise your triggers

Pay attention to the specific aspects of your social media that trigger negative emotions or impact your mental health. It could be comparing yourself to others, receiving negative comments, or feeling overwhelmed by the constant need to validation. Identifying these triggers is the first step in managing them effectively.

2. Set boundaries

Establish clear boundaries with social media. Determine how much time you’re comfortable spending on these platforms and stick to it. 

Consider designating specific periods of the day for social media use and avoid mindless scrolling. Setting boundaries can help create a healthier relationship with social media and reduce its negative impact on your mental health. 

3. Curate your feed

Take control of your social media experience by curating your feed to include accounts that inspire, uplift, and provide meaningful content. Unfollow or mute accounts that might trigger negative emotions. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive content can significantly improve your mental well-being

4. Seek support offline

Cultivate meaningful relationships and connections offline. Engage in activities that bring you joy, spend time with loved ones, and participate in hobbies that nourish your well-being. Building a strong support system outside of social media can provide a sense of grounding and perspective. 

5. Take regular detoxes

Schedule regular breaks from social media to recharge and reconnect with yourself. Consider taking time off or dedicated periods of the day to disconnect completely. Use this period to engage in activities that promote mindfulness, self-care and relaxation. Why not listen to a podcast that helps promote positive well-being such as The Anxiety Podcast, Meditation Minis and The Hilarious World of Depression

6. Practise mindfulness and self-reflection

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to develop awareness and manage stress related to social media. Engage in activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling to help calm your mind and gain perspective. Self-reflection can also help you identify your values, strengths, and goals, reducing the impact of external validation on your well-being. If you need some guidance, Headspace offers various digital resources and services to help individuals improve their mental well-being and dev

7. Seek professional help if needed

If the pressures of social media are significantly impacting your mental well-being, it's important to consider seeking support from a mental health professional.  Helplines such as Samaritans or BetterHelp can provide guidance, tools, and strategies tailored to help you navigate and manage the challenges effectively. 

Mental health awareness campaigns to note

‘Dramatic Transformation ‘ by ASICS 

For last year’s World Mental Health Awareness Day, Asics paired up with mental health charity Mind to highlight the profound impact of exercise on one’s mental health. Social media is full of misleading images of people who have ‘transformed their’ bodies and Asics found that (73%) of Brits believe that this obsession with the perfect body damages our mental health. 

Their research found that a staggering 80% of individuals feel demotivated by the portrayal of transformative exercise images, and nearly half (48%) experience body insecurity when exposed to "before-and-after" photos. To help promote the transformative power of exercise on the mind, prominent figures such as Love Island alumnus and A&E doctor Dr Alex George, creator and influencer Jada Sezer, and Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse feature prominently in the campaign. Asics worked with these influencers to help challenge people’s perceptions of dramatic exercise transformations and encourage exercise for mental health benefits, not purely the aesthetic.

‘Brace Together’ by Maybelline New York 

The renowned make-up brand, Maybelline New York, recognised the challenges faced by their target audience, ages between 14-24, and identified mental health as a key struggle for this demographic. In an effort to address these struggles, the brand launched an empowering initiative known as the “Brave Together” campaign.

The primary objective of the “Brave Together” campaign is to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and provide essential support for individuals dealing with anxiety and depression. Maybelline has developed a comprehensive, long-term program that offers one on one assistance and equips individuals with a toolkit to navigate their challenges effectively. 

In the effort to spread awareness of mental health amongst Gen Z, Maybelline enlisted the support of Storm Reid, an influential Gen Z actress known for her open discussions on mental health.   Storm advocates for and strives to create social change through her various platforms, making her the perfect voice in driving greater change amongst the brand’s consumers. 

A final thought

With social media playing such an integral role in our lives; connecting us to those we love and exposing us to extraordinary and seemingly perfect lives, it is important to remember to be kind - not only to those in the limelight but to ourselves, too. Remember, self-care, authenticity, and seeking support are key to maintaining a healthy mind in the digital age.

Whilst we are always available via the platform or email for any concerns, we acknowledge that our professional expertise here is limited. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, please reach out to a mental health professional to get the correct support and guidance you might need.

Women’s History Month: The female influencers to look out for

Women’s History Month is dedicated to recognising the achievements of women across the globe, with this year’s theme dedicated to ‘celebrating women who tell our stories’. We, therefore, think it's more important than ever to celebrate the female influencers that utilise their platforms as resources for education and to promote positive messages - and most importantly, to tell their individual, inspiring stories too. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the importance of making social media a more positive and healthy space; and, we’ll be shedding light on some of the female influencers we admire on Room Unlocked’s platform for doing just that, as well as the three steps influencers are taking to make social media a more positive and healthy space.

It’s important to promote positive messages

We recently commissioned some nationwide research and found that social media users highly resonate with influencers who post content that, to an extent, caters to their own beliefs and values - women specifically, with 1 in 4 women saying this is one of the main factors they look for in those they follow! With that in mind, let’s see how female influencers are inspiring their audiences and helping to make social media a more authentic space.

What are creators doing to support this?

Content creators are myth-busting to build trust in communities

Have you ever been scrolling on social media and landed on the notorious ‘clickbait’ workout videos? The caption is often something along the lines of ‘Try this workout for 5 days and watch your body transform’ – great clickbait, right? However, this type of content can have detrimental effects on people who struggle with their body image or who struggle to reach their workout goals.

Luckily, we’ve seen a huge shift away from these types of videos recently. More influencers are now motivating people to be kinder to themselves, busting workout myths and spreading awareness of the toxicity of clickbait videos. We think this rise in honesty is great for workout communities on socials as it gives space for body positivity to come forward as well as realistic goals and training routines, rather than toxic and incorrect workout advice.

Jumping on the ‘deinfluencing’ trend to keep it real

To show the impact that consumerism can have on social media users, and in an attempt to be more authentic with their following base, many influencers have been sharing their true, unfiltered opinions on products that have been trending, stating whether they think they are worth purchasing - deinfluencing their followers. Acting as the antithesis to traditional influencing, this trend is being referred to as #deinfluencing and has generated millions of videos on TikTok!

Its popularity comes as no surprise - influencers are more relatable when they are ‘real’ with their audiences, so when an authentic creator says a product is not worth the hype, their word is taken seriously. This authenticity is exactly what we want to see more of on social media, as we believe it’ll help influencers build a closer and more genuine relationship with their community.

Influencers are revealing the toxicity of filters

Filters started emerging in the social media space around 2011 and blew up in 2013, causing a widespread use of filters on all social media platforms; from the iconic flower crown filter on Snapchat, all the way to various ‘glowy skin’ filters on Instagram, we’ve seen it all! Unfortunately, filters have been known to contribute to poor self-esteem and a distorted body image amongst users, especially the younger audience. But thankfully, ‘face-fixing’ filters are slowly losing their appeal as creators are beginning to advocate for a more relatable and body-positive look.

There has been a rise of TikTok creators that are turning off beauty filters on their posts to show their real skin texture and flaws, reminding their followers just how common ‘non-perfect’ skin is. This new wave of genuine, authentic content on TikTok stands against unattainable beauty standards and we are definitely here for it!

Lucy Dawson, aka @luuudaw, is a disabled model and activist after contracting a rare brain disease called encephalitis in 2016. Featured in numerous campaigns with major fashion brands, she has been an advocate for disability awareness joining movements such as the #DisabledAndSexycampaign, and the #BabesWithMobilityAidshashtag.

 Jelena Fairweather, aka @into.trends, is a food and lifestyle influencer with a following of over 20,000. You might recognise her appearance in Masterchef in 2019. She encourages women to be the best and healthiest version of themselves through her healthy food recipes and fun cocktails.

Charlotte Pemberto, aka @lifeofcharliejames, is a mother of two boys documenting cute outfit pics of her sons Charlie and James and meal prep ideas for mothers. Her content also aims to help women who are new to motherhood and how to navigate processes such as weaning.

 Gemma Baker, aka @gemmagoesgloba,  a luxury travel and lifestyle creator. From Abu Dhabi to Argentina, Gemma travels to all corners of the world. As a solo female traveller, she gives her top tips on the best food, activities and places to visit.

We hope this blog helped bring awareness to the ways inspirational female influencers are adding authenticity and positivity to the social media space. By joining movements that encourage real and unfiltered content, creators are creating a space for genuine communities to be built.

This allows brands to feel confident that their chosen influencers will promote their products because they actually love them and are excited to share them with their audience, and not just for the money. If you’re looking to source authentic advocates for your brand, find out more here.

Social media lovers: How to land on the healthy side of influencer content

To get the attention of an ad-wary consumer base, brands promote their products using influencers and celebrities which consumers admire or relate to. In an age where people are bombarded with ads constantly, it becomes more difficult to stand out. Equally, consumers have become sceptical of purchasing products advertised via social media, as they are not always as hyped up as they seem to be. That’s why we’ve compiled our top tips for engaging with authentic creators so you can stay on the healthy side of influencer content.

1. Know what to look out for

There are certain characteristics you can look out for when deciding if a creator is authentic. If their feed is void of ads and filters and they speak openly about their experiences, the chances are they are an authentic creator. It’s also useful to look at the brands they’re posting about, if they align with their personal style or experiences, it’s a good sign that they are genuine.   

2. Find creators that really align with you

Nowadays, the social media market is populated with smaller influencers who have more curated feeds and focus on a specific niche, which makes them come across as more authentic. We are not saying to unfollow your favourite celebrities or macro-influencers, but keep in mind the possibility that they might be pocketing from mentioning a product on their social media when they wouldn’t use it themselves. 

So, make sure you are also following people who are promoting products that align with similar values and beliefs as your own.

3. Think about your relationship with social media 

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen a viral product and wanted to see what the fuss is about – especially when our favourite creator has tried it. Whilst buying the product may feel as though you’re getting involved with the buzz, it’s important not to lose sight of what you would usually purchase, and whether that product is actually right for you.  

When you’re considering buying a viral product, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Would I buy this product if my favourite creator wasn’t promoting it?
  2. Is it actually worth the money?
  3. Does this product have different benefits from the ones I already have?

 Another tip is to disconnect the product from the person you’ve seen using it. Subconsciously, people believe that purchasing a product that’s promoted by a celebrity will allow them to emulate the celebrity’s traits or attract similar people into their lives. Yet in reality, this person is often using other products to achieve the finished look. In short, there is no magic product or quick fix, no matter how viral the video is! So often it’s best to think about the product itself, and whether it would be right for you, rather than the person promoting it. 

4. Lastly, remember social media is meant to be fun! 

If you feel like your feed is overloaded with creators that are promoting the latest product or experience, take time to ‘detox’ your feed.

It can help to think of it as a journey, sometimes content may resonate with you but other times it may not. Don’t be afraid to update your following page if it doesn’t align with you as a person anymore.

Room Unlocked’s examples of cool, authentic creators 

If you’re wondering who the Room Unlocked team is following right now, these are just a few of our favourite authentic creators. Check them out below!

Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe is a celebrity fashion stylist, beauty expert and interior decorator. She has a very distinct personal style and favours bold colours, luxurious fabric and statement jewellery pieces. You can spot her authenticity by the products she promotes – they all fit her personal style. There is nothing on her grid that feels ‘out of place’.

@melissaswardrobe on Instagram

Juliana Shiel is a model and artist who is best known for her beauty and makeup tutorial videos. When trying out a new product, she’ll suggest options for those who don’t own the item and even suggest cheaper alternatives! This is a great example of a creator who doesn’t believe in promoting something for the sake of it or because she is getting paid.  

 @julianashiel on Instagram 

Christian Petty is a London-based content creator. You’ll see that he responds to almost all of the comments he receives which shows he wants to create an authentic community rather than just plug a product. When styling, he will use pieces he already owns and encourages his followers to invest in minimal pieces that can be integrated with multiple outfits. 

 @christianptty on Instagram

Just remember this, you don’t have to completely rejig your following list straight away. Just focus on the content you enjoy and follow creators that speak on the topics that resonate with you the most. Need more inspiration? Check out our blog on the Top Instagram influencers to watch. 

The benefits of influencer marketing

The Influencer marketing industry is experiencing exponential growth. Did you know that the industry grew from £7.8 billion in 2020 to a whopping £13.3 billion in 2022? Now more than ever, influencer marketing should be an integral part of your digital marketing mix, and there are plenty of reasons why. In this blog, we’ll uncover the key benefits of influencer marketing and how it can drive incredible results for your brand in the long run.

If you’re wondering what the benefits of influencer marketing are, read on to see the extraordinary influencer marketing statistics generated from our creator partnerships, from various industries and businesses. Spoiler: One of our clients reached millions of potential customers with just two brand ambassadors! But first, let’s dive into the benefits of influencer marketing. 

What are the benefits of working with influencers?

1. It can rapidly build trust in your brand

First and foremost, influencers have built a credible and trusted relationship with their audience. People respect their recommendations often because they share similar beliefs, have an aspirational lifestyle or provide entertaining content. 

By working with influencers, you have the opportunity to tap into this highly engaged audience that has been developed through community creation. If you work with a trusted influencer, it’s likely your brand will be trusted by their audience too. You don’t even need to work with tons of influencers to see remarkable results. 

How brands are using influencer marketing to build brand trust?

Hotel franchise Shangri-la worked with Room Unlocked to reach 2.3 million users from just two influencers to raise awareness for their locations. As a result, they received a 34:1 ROI.  

2. It adds authenticity to your marketing strategy

Authenticity is a big buzzword for 2023, and for good reason. We are seeing brands move away from commercial transactions, where brands buy influencers, to genuine connections based on brand love.

Customers are less engaged with highly edited, filtered posts, and more engaged with genuine, authentic content. Influencers who love your brand, are an excellent way of obtaining content that intentionally targets your lookalike audiences, with a touch of authenticity. This is one of the main benefits of influencer marketing, the power to share real opinions that in turn generate authentic brand connections. Find out more about unlocking your brand's authentic advocacy with Room Unlocked here

3. You can reach niche and targeted audiences

Another benefit of influencer marketing is the ability to reach those niche target audiences. Influencers that share content that embraces your industry or company values are perfect ambassadors for your brand. For example, if your product is a sustainable homeware set, you’d want to partner with a creator that talks about eco-living and has an interest in sustainability. Their followers would already be interested in living sustainably (that’s probably why they follow them), so you don’t have to target this niche audience yourself – the influencer does it for you, and you reap the benefits.

If you’re looking to target a particularly niche demographic, micro-influencers are great brand advocates to look for. Smaller creators are usually more engaged with their fanbase, so people often look to them for more personalised and authentic recommendations. 

4. You can save both time and money and get stunning influencer-generated content from talented creators

We know that developing exciting and engaging content can be hard, especially if you’re a small business or startup that has little space or resources to develop high-quality content. An advantage of influencer-generated content is that when you partner with influencers, this worry is taken off your hands. Since influencers work hard to ensure their feed is full of high-quality visuals, you can rest assured that your partnership content will be aesthetically pleasing too. Plus, partnering with an influencer is often much more affordable than hiring a team of photographers, videographers and editors! 

How brands are using influencer marketing to create stunning content?

A great example of this comes from Virgin Voyages’ campaign with Room Unlocked. We partnered our client with 35 influencers from a range of categories, who generated 1181 beautiful pieces of content that went on to reach 20 million users - and, had a 265:1 ROI! 

5. You can educate new customers about your brand

One of the final benefits of influencer marketing is that by fully briefing your brand ambassador on your product or service, you can empower them to create content that educates their audience about your brand in an inspiring way. Rather than just reading a product description, your target demographic can see the product in action by someone they trust. Ultimately, it’s a visual way of showing potential customers just how amazing your brand is.

Example of the advantages influencer marketing

At Room Unlocked we have no shortage of brands who’ve felt the benefits of influencer marketing. One brand in particular who’s influencer marketing statistics speak for themselves is Charlotte Tilbury. They came to us for authentic and inventive content for their social media channels to help drive significant awareness of their 30% off summer sale. From this they received 381 pieces of content in multiple formats across different platforms from a total of 104 brand loving influencers. Because this content was both creative and authentic, Charlotte Tilbury reached an impressive £1 million users, with over £1.2 million impressions and delivered a great earned media value of over £40k. To see more influencer marketing case studies read here.

Recap: the benefits of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing, when done correctly, can take your brand to the next level - more exposure, more sales and more brand presence in the market you’re in. The key to really benefiting from working with influencers is to collaborate with content creators that are genuinely interested, excited and in the long term, love your brand. Their content will not only be truly authentic, but they’ll naturally put in the time and effort to create something amazing for your brand. It’s important to find the creators that are right for your brand: personality, content style and interests are all important elements to finding your true brand lovers.

Ready to kick off your influencer strategy?

Room Unlocked is a space where brands connect with influencers that genuinely love their products or experiences. As your chosen brand ambassadors, they’ll create inspiring content that drives trust, awareness, ROI and EMV. It’s a win-win for everyone! Find out how to attract authentic advocates for your brand here.

The benefit of influencers FAQs

Are influencers still effective?

Yes, but only if you choose the right influencer for your brand. Now more than ever we’re seeing a shift in the importance of genuine content. So finding real advocates for your brand is crucial in order for campaigns to be effective. To learn more about how Room Unlocked can help you with this, see here

Do influencers have a positive impact

Increasingly eyes are on influencers to be conscious of the impact they are having on the world, be that due to sustainability or setting beauty standards. Aligning your brand to someone who is aware of these matters will benefit your brand in the long run.

How to transform consumers into ‘brand lovers’ this Valentine’s Day

Over the years, Valentine’s Day has grown into something bigger and bigger. It’s no longer just a celebration for couples - consumers have started involving their families, friends and even their pets. With 40 Million Brits celebrating this occasion, it’s a huge opportunity for brands to tap into the excitement of the ‘day of love’, and pull in their consumers with exclusive products, experiences and offers. Thinking about what your brand could do for this special day? We’re here to give you all the support and inspo you’ll need!

This is also a great time to bring your customers fresh, exciting love-inspired content on socials and your website. And you’ll need it! Plenty of brands (in every space) get involved and create astonishing content for their V Day campaign, and it truly becomes competitive. In 2022, Brits spent approximately a whopping £1.37 billion on Valentine's day and it is predicted that more are set to celebrate the special day this year. 

 With Generation Z and millennials being the highest users on social media, using creators to share your message across their channels is a no-brainer. TikTok is Gen Z’s playground, with nearly half the percentage of users making up this demographic. TikTok can be an invaluable tool for e-commerce as studies have shown that 68% of users say that TikTok inspired unplanned purchases around Valentine's Day. So it’s pretty clear that brands need to utilise this space if they want to grab the attention of a younger audience.

LOVE as a strategy

With Valentine’s Day being one of the most celebrated holidays globally, it’s no doubt that it should be part of every brand’s marketing strategy. But it’s important first to understand how to genuinely resonate with your audience, and ensure that your campaign is not only exciting but relatable and loveable too. So let’s look at brand love. This is love for the brands that you take an interest in, the ones you identify with and the ones you want to know more about. So what does it mean to transform consumers into your own brand lovers? Well, brand love can come in many forms; referrals to friends and family, sharing content across social channels, press-worthy testimonials, positive online reviews and customer retention and loyalty. Brand love isn’t just a list of features, it’s an emotional connection that leads to brand loyalty and keeps consumers coming back and spreading the word. This is why it’s important to close the consumer gap trust, leaving your customers feeling connected to, and trusted by your brand. The power of brand love can be endless, so getting it right is critical. 

People love a good love story, so getting the ones that love your brand to share their stories is an automatic win. The authentic connections advocates have with their following, make them the best storytellers to showcase a brand's offering. Giving them the power to share their love story incorporating your brand product or service is an effective way to build brand awareness and sales. With more people seeing past paid sponsored posts, and a need for more authentic and real content, brands need to be more aware of who and how they work with people of influence. Instead of paying someone to talk about your brand, why not find the ones that actually love your brand and want to shout it from the rooftop. These people are more likely to create real and authentic content that consumers are going to relate to and engage with.

When customers are making a purchasing decision, they are looking for brands that they can build a loyal relationship with and continue to keep purchasing with. They want something deeper than that, they want brands that act in a personal way. Customers are looking for companies and brands to love.  So why shouldn’t brands do the same?

How to utile brand love to generate success 

In order to create real impact and a genuine connection with the right audiences, brands need to find and uncover influencers who authentically love them. Using the right creators who love and champion your brand, will show through the content created and, it’ll definitely set you apart from your competitors. By giving brands back the power to be themselves, and allowing influential people to be themselves, creates authentic and genuine partnerships. Authenticity creates love, which unlocks opportunity and diversity for brands. 

At Room Unlocked, we have helped multiple brands connect with high-performing creators who genuinely love their brand and products. They have now seen the true value of advocates and just how powerful brand lovers can be when trying to amplify their campaigns. Brands are now seeing the extensive benefits that not only come in the form of reach and engagement but through a greater volume of content and higher earned-media-value and return-on-investment. 

Building your brand love campaign 


Create a valentines day themed experience

Valentine’s Day is also about offering experiences. Whether it’s a fancy dinner out or a cozy night in, your brand can take center stage. Invite influencers day for a valentines day special, whether its for you and your partner or a “galentine’s day” night out. Cater to all needs to get maximum engagement. 

Launch products with LOVE

Take advantage if you can and adapt the products you have to fit this romantic season. If that can’t be done, why not consider turning your most-loved products into a limited edition valentines day gift special.  

Personalise it

Ditch the generic gifts and get personal this year! Personalisation is a great way for brands to stand out and reach people's hearts. Gen Z particularly love personalised products, so why not tap into this generation and personalise your gifts this Valentine’s Day to win them over. 

Collaborate with the most loved-up couples

With the inevitable social media posts dedicated to everyone’s other half, this creates an excellent marketing opportunity for your brand. Collaborate with everyone’s favourite influencer couples that can incorporate your products in a topical and emotional way to help boost your campaign. 

Examples of Valentine's Day campaigns


Valentines Day for all, at Ballie Ballerson

Ballie Ballerson invited influencers to celebrate the big 'L' in honour of Valentine’s Day. Whether they were living their best single life, boo'd up, entangled or just going with the flow, they enjoyed a fun night out. The content created captured the in-venue branding and seasonal decor which generated significant reach and high engagements. 


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A post shared by Anna | London Travel Blogger (@nospaceinmypassport)

Image credit: @nospaceinmypassport

Temple Spa x Valentine's Day

Temple Spa offered influencers the perfect Valentine’s Day gift set to get them in the mood and ready for the special day. Influencers created a variety of content, including product reviews, gift guides, and romantic-themed photos and videos, which they shared on their social media platforms. 


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A post shared by Hannah’s Home on the Glade 🖤 (

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Valentines Day with Malteser Truffle

To highlight that Maltesers Truffles make the perfect gift at Valentine’s Day, influencers were sent a hamper full of Malteser goodies. The campaign did exceptionally well as influencers went above and beyond. Many influencers didn’t just showcase gifting the products to loved ones, they created delicious and tasty treats incorporating their products. And the results we mouth-watering!


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A post shared by ~ JESS ~ (@justlikejess__)

Image credit: @justlikejess

Now that you’ve got excellent tips on how to market your brand this Valentine’s Day it's time to take action. Our team at Room Unlocked can help you start making connections with the ones that love your brand as much as you do to help you generate fast exponential ROI growth. Get in touch today to find out more. 

Influencer strategy: How to engage budget-conscious shoppers

What issues are content creators facing?

With content creation under severe scrutiny amidst the cost-of-living crisis, influencers across the board are facing backlash due to out-of-touch content (read more on this here). Sharing luxury products and holidays during a time where many Brits are struggling to heat their homes or put food on the table may ultimately make followers feel that their favourite influencer may be unable to ‘read-the-room’. 

Brands and creators should take steps to adapt their strategy to ensure it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to engaging budget-conscious shoppers, posting products and collaborations with social awareness. 


Why are luxury lifestyles leaving a sour taste? 

The media climate is rife with emotionally charged evidence of how difficult life is right now and influencer culture is at a crossroads when navigating how to evolve during such difficult economic times. 

In just the last couple of months, the latest social media faux pas was taken place by influencer Lydia Millen at the end of last year, after she posted herself checking into the Savoy Hotel after her heating had broken. To avoid losing fans during the cost-of-living crisis - as Brits across the country are struggling to heat their homes, put food on the table and have minimal disposable income - influencer culture must display greater empathy and authenticity towards their followers, with a genuine emphasis on social awareness. Read our co-founder Alex Payne’s conversation with Verge Magazine to see why this is so crucial during the cost-of-living crisis.


Do influencers have a responsibility?

As the UK finds itself sliding into a deeper recession, financial gloom is likely to continue to affect consumers at home - this is no different for (some) influencers, needing to find financial stability. Able to reach millions through their platforms, influencers have a responsibility to tailor the content they post and ensure their message is relatable, well-timed in the current climate. 

Those in the industry are traditionally associated with leading lifestyles of wealth and luxury, a reality that is now out of reach for many. As millions of Brits cut their budgets in order to save, now may be a good time for creators to adapt their content so it does not turn off their audience. 


How can influencer culture evolve during a social crisis?

As users, we have outgrown the culture of perfectionism associated with mainstream social media platforms. Instead, online authenticity is now dramatically reshaping the internet and the way we consume content on our favourite platforms. 

This became clear in our recent study, which revealed that 64% of Brits have lost respect for influencers that are driven by commercial gain and lack authenticity. Valuing un-filtered posts and real conversation over curated feeds and relatable lifestyles, 37% said they identify more with influencers who post with a social cause at the heart of their output. It shows just how vital it is for content creators to use their platforms to make a positive difference in society through relatable messaging.

Consumers also want to see themselves reflected in the creators they choose to follow, with our data revealing that 25% of Brits saying they only follow influencers who share the same beliefs and values as them.


A final note from our founder Alex Payne

In a conversation with Huffington Post, Alex shared that competition amongst influencers has been growing over the last couple of years, especially with the introduction of paid partnerships. This has left many content creators in the position of choosing between their genuine interests and the paid opportunities they are served with. 

Authenticity has quite rightly become king and disingenuous content has become increasingly easier to spot. Finding influencers that are right for your brand, is absolutely essential for a successful campaign. 

We passionately believe that relationships between brands and influencers can be built on love, not money and provide an alternative to traditional, paid routes for content creation. Find out how our platform connects and creates mutually beneficial and lasting relationships regardless of the current climate here.

Top five social media and influencer trends for 2023

Are you preparing your social media strategy and need some pointers on the key trends to follow in 2023? You’re in the right place! With 57.6 million (yes, million!) active social media users in the UK, it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. That’s why our social media experts have revealed their predictions for what sort of content will be performing best on our feeds. From exciting video-based content to empathy-driven posts, there’s more for you to find out! Whether you’re a brand or an influencer, read this guide and get a head start on all things social this year! 

1. Video-based content will be everywhere

Get comfortable with video, it’s here to stay! Short-video clips will continue to dominate the social media landscape in 2023 with platforms such as TikTok continuing to grow in popularity. Did you know they reached 9.2 million users this year in the UK? One of the reasons this platform can to attract so many content creators is the fact that they offer high levels of organic exposure.  

Top tip: TikTok revealed that two in five users believe 'lifting their spirits' is key in motivating them to purchase a product a content creator has shared, so don’t be afraid to spread those positive vibes! Read more TikTok specific tips here.

2. Followers want sensitivity from their favourite creators  

Three in five consumers in the UK told us that seeing luxury lifestyles on social media is infuriating during the cost-of-living crisis. With two-thirds of UK consumers planning to cut non-essentials this year, it’s a good idea to tailor the content you post to ensure it’s well-timed in the current climate. There’s no need to completely alter your content, just be aware of who follows you and be consistent with what you post.   

Top tip: Focus on building empathetic content whilst focusing on your personal brand. For example, you could share some personal anecdotes or chat to your community to encourage honest discussions. This also shows your community that any partnerships you do are authentic and genuine.

3. Micro-influencers are going to thrive 

If you’re a micro-influencer, get ready – it’s your time to shine! Smaller creators are more engaged and connected with their followers which often means their fanbase see them like friends. If we compare that with macro-influencers who may not have the time to follow up with the thousands of messages they receive, you can see why users are super engaged with those who have less of a following. Plus, brands that micro-influencers work with are usually more related to them and their niche, and they might genuinely use their product or service, whereas larger content creators may promote any product or service just for the money.  

Top tip: If you’re a content creator, get rewarded for sharing the brands you truly love by joining our influencer network here.

4.  The big players remain most relevant, for now

If you’re a brand, it's likely that ad spend on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok will take a key share of your marketing budget. More creators and business owners are expected to increase their ad spend to get more visibility as organic reach decreases. That means now is a good time to start experimenting and testing ads while the prices are still low as they’re expected to rise in 2023.

Top tip: In order for paid ads to be successful, they must target the correct audience. Dedicate time to understanding your followers so that any paid content is tailored perfectly to their interests and needs.

5. Authenticity beats quantity every time

Last but not least, authenticity is key to growing your audience in 2023, particularly if you’re targeting Gen Z. Young people have a strong focus on quality and authenticity online, with our trusty data unveiling that close to half of young adults say they cannot relate to or identify with any influencers. It’s no surprise that TikTok is Gen Z’s favourite social media app, thanks to its personalised experience and inspirational content. Plus, look at how popular BeReal became last year. This app prompts users to post just one photo a day to reveal exactly what they’re up to in that moment, without any filters or editing.

Top tip: To grow a genuine fanbase this year, post authentic and unfiltered content that is true to your own interests and beliefs.

A final note from our social media experts

If social media is a big part of your marketing strategy this year, take note of what’s worked for you so far and merge it with the five trends we’ve looked at today. Look at the networks your followers are most active on and take stock of their key interests. Rather than trying to jump on every single trending TikTok song or popular hashtag, pick those that fit your niche and remember there is nothing wrong with staying authentic - it’s exactly what will make you stand out on social media. After all, your followers will thank you for it! Ready to join our influencer network platform to work with brands that you love? Follow this link to apply.

Finding financial stability as an influencer during a cost-of-living crisis

Why is it such a difficult time to be an influencer?

Influencing has become a desirable career option for 1.3 million young Brits; the industry was predicted to be worth £13.4bn by the end of 2022. Yet amid the UK’s ever-worsening economic conditions and an impending recession, brands have begun to cancel campaigns and today, a staggering 30% of content creators have seen a reduction in income

There is no magic solution to finding financial stability during the worst economic crisis in our lifetime, but here are a few ways to help you keep a steady income online during such difficult times.

How to keep a steady income during a cost-of-living crisis


Be sensitive to your audience

As our research shows, 60% of consumers in the UK say they find influencers who flaunt their wares on social media infuriating amidst the cost-of-living crisis, meaning influencers across the board are facing backlash due to out-of-touch content. So, it’s very important to be conscious of the current economic crisis when posting online. As a content creator, you may have had access to an array of luxury gifts and collaborations this past festive season, but with data revealing that 40% of Brits couldn't afford Christmas presents last year, influencers have a responsibility to tailor the content they post and ensure their content is well-timed in the current climate. 

This does not mean you must completely alter your content, but to be aware of who follows you and ensure that you are consistent with what you post - whether this be budget-friendly hauls or luxury gift guides. 

Cater to all budgets

Try to cater your content to all budgets and audiences when you are promoting products. Hailey Bieber for instance recently shared her Christmas Gift Guide on her Instagram stories. From a YSL bag and boots, to £15 beauty products, it's safe to say she covered all bases. 

Don’t fall for one-off collabs

When money is tight, you might be tempted to promote products in one-off collaborations. Modern-day consumers are savvy enough to know when their favourite influencer or celebrity is probably pocketing from mentioning a product on their social media and wouldn’t use it themselves. In our research, 43% of Brits said they trusted influencers who aren’t getting paid to plug products more than those who are. So, a better way to make your money’s worth and earn the trust of your followers is through long-term partnerships with brands you genuinely love.

Get your priorities straight for 2023

With the start of the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on whether you are partnering up with the right brands or if you should seek out collaborations that align more with your values and beliefs. Research, test and trial products. Then ask yourself, would you pay for this? 

To give you a helping hand, our platform here at Room Unlocked helps you find the brands you are truly passionate about. You’ll have the opportunity to work with huge brands including Virgin Voyages, Charlotte Tilbury, Size?, HelloFresh, and more. Whether it’s a week long all-paid cruise ship or a complimentary cocktail night, you have the chance to take your pick!

Interested? Apply here.

Five Inspirational Influencer Marketing Campaigns from Fashion Brands

Open a social platform on your phone and you’ll be greeted by profile after profile of influencers.

This sharp shift in celebrity has paved the way for new marketing opportunities in the fashion industry and beyond. So what is this new phenomenon that we’re talking about? It’s influencer marketing.

But what is influencer marketing exactly, and why does it work so well?

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is all about using influential figures and getting them to endorse your products. This could be anything from sponsored and gifted posts to social platform takeovers, and adverts on YouTube videos.

Influencer marketing works on the psychological premise that people tend to imitate the people they look up to. And as the very name “influencer” implies, these famous faces have a lot of power over what’s trendy and what’s not.

Types of influencers – Macro versus Micro

When talking about influencers, it’s important to understand who this is referring to. In the influencer world, there are two main types: macro and micro creators.

Macro influencers are your run-of-the-mill mainstream famous people. This includes actors, musicians, athletes, presenters and influencers who have made a name for themselves…anyone you would expect to see in mainstream media. These influencers are primarily known through their work with social media being a secondary venture. With the demands of social media on modern-day Hollywood, most macro influencers have a personal connection to fans through social media which allows them to continue marketing to their audience.

Micro-influencers are known individuals that have made their name through one or more social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. These influencers come from a variety of backgrounds, with some becoming famous for their personalities, while others gaining fame from reality TV shows or, showcasing their talents online.

Ultimately, both types of influencers play a crucial role in helping brands reach a new audience.

Three benefits of using influencers in marketing campaigns


Brand recognition

Influencers in themselves are essentially a recognisable brand. Each person has their own aesthetic, personality, and audience. As such, when fashion companies team up with influencers, both brands become intertwined, and conversations will start including both of them.

Specifically, fans and followers of top influencers will relate your brand with that person, leading to more eyes on your products and services.

Build brand trust quickly

Influencers have a big following for a reason. Fans trust them, and they trust their opinions. Therefore, when an influencer advocates for a brand, their followers will automatically associate the brand as being trustworthy. This is especially true when the brand’s and influencer’s focus strongly aligns.

You can see this often with YouTubers and technology sponsors. YouTubers will often partner with VPN providers like ExpressVPN or SurfShark, or website providers like Squarespace or Wix. Because YouTubers are seen as trustworthy experts in the tech field, the trust of their fans is “loaned” to these companies.

Diversify your content creation

Companies can only do so much with their in-house marketing team. While many brands are doing a great job creating in-house marketing content for their Instagram and TikTok accounts, there are limits as to how much you can do.

By collaborating with influencers across many platforms, they can lend you their expertise in content creation to help elevate your vision and bring authenticity to your content. 

Not to mention the more platforms and audiences you can reach through your influence marketers, the bigger the audience you’ll have and the more chance there is of your brand expanding their demographic and increasing revenue.

Five influencer marketing campaigns from fashion brands



ASOS were one of the pioneers when it came to exclusively online fashion retail. Their expansive collection of clothes at all price ranges has amassed a huge following, with social media influencers regularly doing “try-on hauls” to show their followers the latest trends from the fashion giant.

However, there is an extra special influencer marketing tool that ASOS uses which sets them apart. And that is ASOS Insiders.

These influencers are ASOS’s very own trendsetters that post across multiple social media platforms using their accounts to promote their personal style using ASOS apparel.

The genius behind ASOS insiders is that it allows the company to create multiple leads based on different target audiences and fashion tastes, each with their own entry point (links in bio, sponsored link, etc) that can be tracked and used for further market research.

This also allows ASOS to create a tight-knit community of influencers with a clear message to persuade their audience to buy from the fashion giant.

2. Nike

Nike uses a mixture of micro and macro influencers to help bolster their image. The message is simple yet powerful – we’re all different but sport is something impactful that can unite us all.

As such, Nike uses athletes at all levels to help drive this message and get people interested in buying their products.

One of the most prolific Nike influencer campaigns to date in the UK was the “Nothing beats a Londoner” advert featuring influential people including Skepta, Dina Asher-Smith, Big Shaq, and Jorja Smith.

The reason Nike’s influencer marketing campaigns are so successful is because they make you feel seen. They give a real sense of purpose and motivation. They make the viewer believe that it doesn’t matter where they start, it matters that they put in the effort and if they persevere, they can succeed.

It’s an inspirational story that pulls at the heartstrings and gets people to listen.

And from a marketing perspective, the virality and share ability of their adverts mean their name stays prolific.

3. Prada

Prada isn’t typically the type of fashion brand you’d associate with influencer marketing. But in 2018, they did something so outside the box, it caught the attention of the entire world.

You may or may not have heard of an influencer called Lil Miquela. Lil Miquela (or Miquela Sousa) is a 19-year-old Brazilian American model/influencer/singer with over 3.1 million followers. But there’s something extra special about this teen influencer. She’s a completely fictional CGI character!

That’s right, this realistic-looking model has amassed real-life fame despite being made up, and in 2018, Prada hired her to create buzz around their fall collection.

With the Metaverse and web 3.0 knocking on the door, stories like that of Prada and Lil Miquela will likely become more normal in the coming years.

4. eBay

Another great example of influencer marketing campaigns from fashion brands comes from a pre-loved fashion brand, eBay. They teamed up with the reality TV show, Love Island - which as a brand has a huge social media presence around the world. This campaign was to promote sustainability and pre-loved fashion through their messaging and outreach.

Due to their younger following online, many believe that the alliance of these two big-name brands will have a positive impact on sustainability in a radical way. And while consumers weren’t able to place orders for specific pieces worn by the contestants on the show, the overall trend made a huge impact. 

5. Foot Asylum

YouTubers are the modern-day celebrities of the entertainment world. Defying the rules of Hollywood nepotism, most big YouTuber creators have created a platform for themselves, on their own terms, that reflects their values and brings along with it a large following.

So using YouTubers in influencer marketing campaigns makes complete sense for brands trying to create engaging content for their followers.

Foot Asylum paired up with YouTube’s “Beta Squad” which features beloved personalities such as Chunkz, Yung Filly, and Harry Pinero to help create engaging content and boost brand recognition.

Some of their most notorious content includes online shows such as “Does the shoe fit?’, “ChefAsylum,” and “Locked in.”

Many prolific YouTubers including KSI and Deji are part of an additional rotating cast that help this influencer marketing campaign dominate the athleisure market.

Key Takeaways

People aren’t as bothered about traditional celebrities anymore. They want to see people they can relate to and aspire to become marketing their products and services. 

That’s why influencer marketing is the present and future of fashion advertisement. Customers want to feel part of the club, not excluded. When you master the art of using influencers to include your target audience in the conversation, you’ll see your brand start to rise above the noise.

If you want help attracting and managing authentic influencers to promote your fashion brand, book a demo of Room Unlocked today.

Do they know it’s Christmas time? How to make your festive content ‘Pop!’

The festive season is the perfect time to experiment and capitalise on your creativity. With Christmas fast approaching, we are here to share some tips that will allow you to produce more fun and engaging content. 

Festive Content Ideas 

The kind of content you create can make or break your relationship with your followers. Engage your audience with interactive reels and stills that will inspire gift ideas and heighten their festive spirit. The key is to be authentic; finding innovative ways to personally connect with your followers will build trust and maintain your audience. Need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing? We have got your back.

1. Share personal traditions

Vlog your experience of visiting your favourite Christmas market or a Secret Santa reveal. Inspire your followers to take on new traditions of their own that will make the holiday season special for them.

Christmas tree lights

Tour the best Christmas Lights across the UK


2. Create festive-themed cocktails

Kick-start Christmas party fever with your signature festive cocktails! A few staff picks: Classic Mimosa, Gingerbread Martini and the Candy Cane Cocktail. 

Christmas punch

Put your own spin on a Christmas Punch 


3. Host a live holiday quiz 

Which Country began the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree? Put your followers' Christmas knowledge to the test this year. 

Christmas food Have some Festive snacks in tow during your Quiz


4. Start a ‘12 days of Christmas’ countdown

Last year Laithwaites launched their Wine Advent Calendar and partnered with our influencers to do a giveaway to one of their followers. 

Laithwaites advent calender

Open this year's must-have Advent Calendar in style. Image by @Michelle_elia_brown 

The technical stuff - the dos and don’ts    

When capturing your content:


Have fun! (with the brands you love)

Use the holiday season to market yourself to the brands that embody your values.

Brand love is essential for sustaining long-term brand partnerships and boosting audience loyalty. Here at Room Unlocked, we believe that the exchange of love and passion with a brand is revolutionary in connecting your audience to the perfect gifts and helping both parties grow