Since I started my new job, at one of Britain’s leading modelling agencys, within their Influencer department, I’ve been exposed to so many incredible Instagram accounts. How did I not know about Symmetry Breakfast, for example?
I get emails every single day from budding social influencers wanting to be matched with brands and start earning money from their social following. I’ll be doing a series soon about how you can get yourself a blogging agent and what the benefits are, but I thought I’d kick of a new raft of social media school posts by giving away 5 tips for organically and honestly boosting your Instagram following. Don’t fret! I’ll still be posting all my usual content and still have some events posts coming up from our adventures at Bluedot Festival, Bures Festival and our upcoming trip to Portsmouth for the best fest in the west, Victorious 2016. Okay, confession, it’s not in the west but that was a totally great rhyme…
A few industry secrets – in the Influencer marketing world, Engagement is ALL. We don’t pitch to our clients based on follower data, although it obviously forms part of the bigger picture - we only take on Instagram Influencers with more than 40,000 following, for example. What we do present to our clients is Engagement. All of the tips I’m sharing today are centred around increasing engagement on your posts, and with increased engagement, your following will naturally grow too.
1. Respond to comments.
Everyone does the ‘post one emoji and run’ thing. It’s the equivalent of dropping just your blog link in a comment section on a bit site. It can sometimes be hard to know what to respond to an individual emoji, but rack those brains, tag the commenter and give a similar response – a heart will often do the job. Your thanks will draw the commentator back to your post for another chance to grab them as a follower. This, incidentally, is proven to work even better for gaining and retaining followers if you post another photo before responding to a batch of comments.
2. Answer questions
I’m constantly being contacted by people looking to take the step in their blogging career. My first step in this situation is to check out their blog. If I see a bunch of answered comments or questions in their comments section of twitter feed, I’m going to assume that the person isn’t actually interested in starting online conversations, in communicating. Since they aren’t in the habit of responding to comments now, how can I have faith that if I match them up with one of our brands, they will engage with potential customers of that brand and drive traffic in the correct way? Real Influencers understand that they need to build a community for their brand to be successful and that involves positive interactions within your communication platforms.
3. Be real, share your true self.
This is common sense. If you are in a great looking place, eating fabulous food or hanging out with interesting people, get a snap and post it up. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have to tag and link places and events in your posts. Be that guy that asks at the bar if they have a hashtag and take an exciting photo of you having a fun time. This will start introducing you to the types of brands that would fit well with your stream – because it’s the kind of content that you are sharing anyway. Take this one step further – once you made the post, click the linked hashtag and like or comment on two or three other photos that have used the same tags. This will build your following by bringing your account to the attention of people interested in the type of things that you are doing, and it’s all natural!
4. Keep it positive
The party line here is that we and our Influencers do not respond in any way to negative comments. However much you might be tempted to fire back a snappy remark, don’t. Brands like to see people dealing with negativity in the best way possible – there is NO way to respond to trolls and come across as someone who has a grip on their social community. Don’t delete the comment, just reply to a different one, so it’s obvious you’ve seen it and decided it’s not worth your time. That doesn’t stop you keeping it there as part of your total comment count – increasing your personal engagement stats! Obviously, if it’s sweary, or reveals something you wish wouldn’t be on the internet, delete, delete, delete – but no major social influencer gets ONLY positive comments. Stay true – just make sure you show it has no effect on your positive vibes.
5. Follow the trail
It takes time and energy to build an Instagram following – you will not wake up one day with 100K followers without putting the legwork in. This means getting out there and commenting on other people’s posts, engaging with them and following people with mutual interests. I like to do something called ‘following the trail’ I’ll start with an account that’s commented on me, and I’ll give them a few likes and comments. I’ll find a pic with another user tagged, or a really positive comment and follow that to a different account. I’ll give a few likes and comments, find another tagged account…until I come full circle or run out of time. This is a great way to discover new account ts that will be interested in your content.
Boosting engagement is all about getting the right followers, commenting on your posts. There’s no point in having a million followers from Columbia (a prime region that shows up in insights when someone has bought a lot of followers) if none of them ever interact with your content – the key is to organically grow your following by finding accounts that fit in with your aesthetic.
I hope these helped someone out there, don’t forget to drop a comment below if you found any of these tips useful – please also share your own tips or experiences, I love reading them!
I’ll be back early next week with the start of my series on Blogger Agents, the How and Why.