The world is changing. Once upon a time if you wanted to get your brand (personal or other) out there one of the best ways to do this was through what the marketing world calls an opinion leader. These people often fell into one of three groups; famous, a well-known community figure or the most influential person in any subculture. But now due to the internet, increasing connectivity and social media platforms like Instagram, anyone can become a modern ‘opinion leader’ or what has now become known as an influencer. So here’s a few of our top tips for how you or your brand can become an Instagram influencer.
Being consistent on social media platforms is essential.
This relates to three key things, posting regularly (notice we say regularly and not all of the time), maintaining a theme and having a clear concept behind the brand/account.
- When we suggest you post regularly we do not mean you should post three times a day, every day. In fact research has shown that unless you are already an influencer (and sometimes even then) that sort of posting will actually lead to as many unfollows as follows, placing you at a mute point. Instead you should find your happy balance, whether that be twice a week, every second day, or even third day (if you have the content and time to allow for this.) Being consistent is all about selecting key times during the week that work for your account, take note for a month or so of which times and days get you the most activity on a post. This is a clear indicator of whether you are growing your community. Do not set vague posting goals such as, ‘post three times during the week’ and then on Friday afternoon post three photos. Also remember that consistent activity doesn’t need to be posts. You can just as easily decide that for your brand posting one photo/video a week, plus a number of engaging stories actually works better (Instagram Algorithm favors stories). Just remember at the end of the day, quality over quantity in the land of social media is tried and tested.
- Research has shown that most influencer accounts stick to a theme. While this is an easy concept to understand, it’s actually quite hard to achieve. Theme relates to how your grid looks. Are the colors consistent? Does the content look consistent? Does every image look authentic to the brand and speak to what the brand is about? New followers who follow you will have done so due to one or two posts they have seen and liked. If you are constantly changing the way your feed look people will get confused as to why they followed you, and if they don’t like some of the theme’s you are using, they will very likely unfollow you. Some things that can help fix your theme include choosing one filter (or even no filter) to use for a little while, perhaps purchase yourself a proper camera and only use photos taken on that camera, be conscious when choosing your photos, really ask yourself ‘Does this fit with my theme, or am I just putting it up for the sake of it?’ Again, quality and not quantity is the winner here.
- Depending on what sort of business you run, you may already have a clear idea of what your brand is all about, if not, you need to sit down and brainstorm this for half an hour. Your Instagram needs to reflect one or two core brand concepts (even if your brand has more). If you’re a beauty salon or beautician your brand might be all about ‘making women feel great about themselves’, if you are a personal trainer your brand might be all about ‘helping people reach goals and helping them stay fit and healthy’. What ever your brand concept is, it needs to be reflected in your posts. A great example is the ‘Bumble’ account. Bumble is an online dating app but their key brand concept is that they ‘empower women, are mixing up the dating world and they have a sense of humor’. Their account includes quotes about dating, women in general and the posts are often humorous. In this way they really attract their target audience – young empowered women wanting to date.
Regularly engaging with your audience.
There are two ways you can do this that are simple.
- Firstly, utilize your social media apps like Pushgram to engage with people on Instagram. Like always you should have your settings adjusted so that you are commenting the right things, on the right posts at the right time; liking the right posts and following the right people to build your audience. If you haven’t seen our other posts on how to best set your Pushgram settings, you can find it here.
- Secondly, respond to comments people make on your own posts. Liking or responding to a comment (always in a nice and friendly way) is a sure way to gain a new follower, it’s also likely to lead to other new followers when people see you are engaged with your audience. The best part about this is that once you are an influencer you don’t need to respond to everything because your audience will start responding and answering certain questions, and you will find that a lot of the comments are along the same line and are either answered themselves, or can be addressed in another post or Instagram story.
A side note to this point is that you should always keep in mind if a lot of your followers have asked for something, comments are pretty great way to do research on what your followers want to see.
Talk to your audience as if you are talking directly to each and every one of them. The more someone feels like they are part of a community that cares about them, the more involved they will be…and you will grow to become an influencer.
Save time by using productivity Apps.
Apps can be your greatest tools when growing your online community. They can assist you to take better photo’s, plan your feed before you post, collect user-generated content and edit your photo’s to maintain a more consistent theme (or just give you a wider variety of filters). Here are some of our favourite social media Apps.
- Wordswag for making quotes
- iMovie for quick and easy film edits
- Camera+ for photo editing
- Pushgram for engagement
Becoming an Instagram influencer won’t happen over night, but if you follow our tips, you will be on your way to growing your community much faster than you otherwise would.