I recently published an article about the recent rise of influencer’s: The Age of the Influencer and received an influx of questions regarding Instagram best practices. So before I offer my advice, please know that I am not a self-proclaimed expert in the field of Social Media. I am just lucky enough to find myself working in the industry and as a result, I have gained a wealth of knowledge. For any influencer attempting to perfect their Instagram strategy, we know how challenging it can be every time Facebook decides to change the Instagram algorithm. But instead of overusing the trends that offer the promise of “more followers” – why not opt for organic strategies that will yield better outcomes. Being an analyst and working with large volumes of online data I have come to understand user behaviour, content consumption and habits a little more than most. And it’s this data that I use as the foundation for this article.
Understanding the value of a like:
If you are following micro influencers (influencers with a following of below 10k) then you would have noticed and perhaps even wondered why they are constantly urging you to like and comment on their content. No, they are not a bunch of needy Insta-Fame wannabes, they simply are trying to get their engagement numbers up. High engagements to influencers is their bread and butter. Without it, they essentially don’t have the numbers to back up their reach. Having 10 000 followers means nothing if only 700 are engaging with your posts. It simply means that for content going forward, mainly that 700 who initially liked their post will see their future content. And well in order to influence, you have to be able to reach as many unique consumers as possible. So what do you need to learn about how to do this? Well listen up:
- Don’t entice users with competitions on every post – As effective as it may be to prompt users to like and comment on a post to win something, the downfall of doing this for every Insta post is that you will be attracting competition trolls and well quite frankly the wrong audience. By setting that standard, you are basically buying followers that will only engage in competition posts and not your organic and Always On content. Keep your competitions limited to once a month for campaigns and instead opt for posting content that is engagement worthy. Ask your audience their opinions, ask for their feedback, ask for ideas etc. If you are relevant enough, the engagement will come.
- If you are an influencer I would make the assumption that you have a blog and if you do then chances are you should know about inbound links. You know when you drive traffic from your social profiles to your blog.? Well, have you ever considered that the opposite could be greatly beneficial too? Que in outbound links. Outbound links are when you drive traffic away from your blog, either to one of your microdomains or other blogger sites. This is a great opportunity to divert your organic traffic to your key social profiles especially since they found you by searching on a Search Engine and not on Instagram. Most blog templates have the option for adding a social widget that will automatically adapt your Instagram API.
- Ditch the high road – Some of the most successful influencers have reached their peak because they reflect humility in their online space. We know how frustrating spam can be but instead of going on a rant on an Instagram story, my suggestion would be to just hit that block button. You want your influencers to feel as though you are approachable so that they can hang on to your every word, not be criticized for being a diva.
- Response time – Being an influencer, depending on what level you are on, means that YOU are your brand. And much like most brands, there is a bit of social etiquette that you need to adhere to, much like the H&M’s of the world. Respond to your followers within 24 hours. Anything longer and you stand the risk of losing them altogether. People enable you to do what you do, so ensure you put them at the forefront.
- Influencer bashing – We know how frustrating it can be when another up-and-coming influencer takes inspiration a little too far and goes full-on copy and paste mode. But what we also know, is that Instagram call outs are petty and allude to the assumption that you are affected by it. Instead I would suggest you take that conversation to the DM’s with that respective influencer. Doing it out of the public eye will cement your purpose and reputation in the eyes of your followers.
- Just as though you put the effort in the clothes you wear, makeup you put on and flat lays you share, it is imperative that you have some “quality check” process when it comes to your copy. The worst is seeing caption text that has a spelling or grammar error. Sure, people are not following you because of your Voltaire writing skills but remember, you do have a reputation to keep.
- It is common for influencers to partner with brands but have you ever considered partnering with other bloggers? Far too often we want to dabble in everything there is to talk about but unless you have a lot of time, contacts and money, you can’t voice your opinion about everything unless you are an online publication/media house. So instead of claiming foodie on your title when you know, you are much more of a makeup gal, why not partner up with a food blogger for some crazy hot images? You would be assisting each other by exposing each other to a new audience reach and let’s not forget, the collaboration will allow you to make new contacts in the respective industry.
Much like anything in Digital Media, everything is ever evolving so it should come as no surprise then that we have to constantly be amending our strategies to attain new audiences. But just remember that new does not always mean relevant. Sometimes you will find more value in the quality instead of the quantity.
MzSeri signing off 😉