Social media influencer marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Seems easy enough: a person posts on social media to entice consumers to purchase products. Social media users interact with the post and boost the word of mouth for the brand.
On one hand, it is a simple concept. On the other, there are a lot of factors that go into the rate of engagement with these influencers.
Behind the scenes, it is more than just a simple post. Here are the 10 tips to increase influencer engagement dramatically.
1. Discover Your Best Time to Post
For maximum exposure, you will want to determine the best time to post on social media.
Each platform will have a different level of engagement at different times of the day. Engagement is any activity associated with your posts, such as likes, comments, and shares.
Take a look at your analytics and determine what time of day your engagement is highest for each platform. Make your posts at those times. If you’re unsure how to choose, a social media strategy can help.
This could mean posting multiple times per day, every day, or limiting to certain times on certain days per week. It is all dependant upon when your followers or target demographic are active.
You don’t want your posts to get lost. Posting when most individuals are online and interacting with content will help the posts reach even more users.
Posting a little too early or too late may bury your post in users’ feeds. Likewise, posting on the wrong days of the week may do the same.
Let’s say that a fashion brand is trying to reach teenage girls. The influencer is very popular in this market but is posting every day at 5 a.m. Sure, the posts will get engagement, but not as much as say, noon.
It’s possible that those 5 a.m. posts will be buried by more recent content by the time the target customers were awake and online. Precious opportunity is wasted simply by posting too early in the day.
The noon posts pop up fresh while users are online and are at the top of the users’ feed. More engagement when content is first posted will help more users see it.
2. Use the Right Mix of Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get people to your posts. Used correctly, they can be a very powerful tool.
A hashtag is a word or phrase followed by the # symbol. There should be no spaces in a hashtag even if using multiple words.
Social media users can search or follow specific hashtags which will bring them to the posts that use them in their text.
Trending hashtags are hashtags that are popular. This means a lot of accounts are using them in their posts, searching for them, or following them.
Examples of trending hashtags would be #fashion, #food, or #summer. As you can see, they are vague and broad with not a lot of guessing or creativity.
When choosing a trending hashtag on social media platforms, the number of uses can be seen so you can easily gauge how popular it is. #Fashion has been used in hundreds of millions of posts on Instagram.
You would not want to include #winter on a summer-themed post, however. The winter hashtag has millions of previous posts but wouldn’t make sense with the context of your post and would not be currently trending during the summer.
Trending hashtags are useful for exposure, and using a number of them will be useful in your posts. With hundreds of millions of posts to compete with, they might not always direct users right to your post every time, though.
That is why you would also want to use longtail hashtags. Longtail hashtags are highly specific and are intended to lure the consumer that is searching for a specific product or service and take them right to the influencer posts representing it.
Brands, geographical areas, or specific niche communities are often referenced in longtail hashtags. They have a much lower number of uses than trending hashtags.
If the influencer is posting about a specific coffee roaster, the longtail hashtag could be specific to the coffee brand like #yourbrandcoffee or specific to the product, like #bestboldcoffee. Or even add in a relevant location like #bestcoffeeinsydney.
A user searching for the best bold coffee in or around the neighborhood will likely find the post.
On Instagram, posts can have 30 hashtags or 10 on stories. Use the maximum amount of hashtags, but be sure to use a good mix of both longtail and trending to reach the maximum amount of engagement.
3. Write Longer Captions
Caption length is similar to the time of day you post; it will depend upon your followers and the consumers that react to your posts to determine the best length.
Some posts will only need a few words to get the message across. That being said, more words tend to attract more engagement.
The influencer’s lifestyle can sometimes seem elusive to most people. A glimpse into how they think or a story about the product could tip the scales and create more buzz.
Similarly, reading how the influencer used the product and their favorite aspects of it is like reading reviews before making an online purchase.
If an influencer creates a post about a seltzer drink and writes something quick like, “enjoying the taste of summer.” That would be catchy and may get some engagement.
A longer caption explaining the benefits of drinking that particular seltzer and pointing out her favorite strawberry-lime flavor will entice even more people to comment, like, share, and ultimately buy!
4. Post Consistently
This may seem obvious, but it is not so easy to accomplish. Once you’ve set your best days and times to post, make sure the posts are consistent.
You wouldn’t want your followers to wonder where you went after posting for a couple of weeks and then nothing at all. Keep posting every week around the same times.
Once a user reacts to a post, it becomes more likely for that user to see future posts from that account. Keep giving them content to engage with and keep spreading that exposure.
It can sometimes be difficult to come up with fresh content. Make sure to have a marketing strategy in order to continue to come up with fresh content.
5. Don’t Preach; Tell Stories
Consumers like to be told stories. They don’t generally like to be preached to. Influencer posts should be creative and informative without feeling too much like an ad.
This is true for all markets, but a great example of this is in the fitness market. Consumers will respond better to real-life stories like a weight-loss journey or a healthy-eating challenge rather than being told how they must live every day.
In general, fit people telling not-so-fit people to get up and exercise every day will not be as motivating to the target demographic. Preaching could cause resistance.
Seeing a real-life story about how that influencer has gone from a couch potato to a fitness instructor will seem relatable and inspiring.
6. Use Instagram Video Subtitles and Closed Captions
Many social media users have their phones on silent while scrolling through their feeds. For this reason, videos with subtitles and captions will get more complete views.
Inclusivity is important, and captions can help include the hearing impaired community.
Open captions are captions that are shown automatically on your videos and can be auto-generated in the settings on Instagram. You can also add your own text in subtitles on posts, stories, and reels.
The goal, as always, is engagement. If a user doesn’t understand what is happening in the video, they will continue scrolling without viewing the whole thing. This will limit the engagement potential.
7. Use Emojis Effectively
Emojis are a small picture to represent a feeling. Emojis are commonly used on social media to communicate the emotion behind a post.
With simple text, it is sometimes hard to decipher sarcasm or intended emotions. Emojis help with just that.
In business, using emojis can help make the content relatable and modern. They can also help with engagement. At times, wordy posts can get hard to read. Emojis can help to break up long lines of text and make them easier to digest.
Another great way to use emojis to bring life (and engagement) to posts is by asking the users to comment with an emoji. Emojis can represent different responses in polls, or a simple yes or no.
Challenging users to come up with an emoji-only comment to answer a question or to enter a contest entices users to comment on your post when they normally might not have.
Now, these tiny pictures can be a little difficult to understand the true meaning. Before you post any emojis, just be sure it matches the brand and you know the true meaning.
You wouldn’t want to accidentally post an inappropriate dark, sad emoji on a fun, summer post.
8. Include an Attractive Offer
Reward the users who find your post with an attractive offer. A common way to do this is for influencers to have promo codes they give out.
The promo code could represent a percentage off or a free trial. Really, it can be anything to entice the users to take a closer look at the product.
A fun way to do this is to include the influencer’s name or handle in the promo code. We know the user was inspired by the influencer; why not capitalize on that?
Let’s say an influencer is promoting a blemish cream. She could post a tutorial for how she uses the cream in her night-time skincare ritual and when she mentions the cream, she says to follow the link and use her promo code for 25% off.
This will get a lot of engagement from followers and a lot of traffic to the product site. Consumers will be more likely to check out the product if they have an attractive offer.
9. Don’t Overuse Photo Filters
Filters are a way to enhance photos and videos. They can change the coloring, enhance the look (like smoothing the look of skin tones), or even add fun additions like unicorn horns or cat ears to photos and videos.
It is often tempting to use filters when an influencer’s face is being seen by so many users. They can also portray a false sense of perfection.
More often, in this day and age, consumers want to see regular people represent products.
In the skincare example from above, who wants to see someone with seemingly perfect skin use a blemish product? Consumers will want to make sure it will work for them as well.
A unicorn horn added to a video is fun in some cases. While promoting car insurance, it might be best to leave it out. Context is key.
Consumers do respond to bright, vibrant images. If you must use a filter to achieve this look, this is an instance in which it might be useful.
10. Be Authentic
A great component of influencer marketing is the wide variety of influencers out there. Influencers should be as authentic as possible.
Consumers will not be drawn to fake images and portrayals. They want the real person and their honest feedback.
Of course, an influencer must promote a product and not detract from it. That is where creativity and authenticity come in. Of course, matching the right brand with the right influencer is also crucial here.
Connecting honestly with the target audience is a large part of the secret to going viral.
Bonus: Join in the Engagement
If users are commenting, comment back! If users are sharing, like on their page! Engagement is key to exposure. Exposure is key to sales and brand awareness.
Commenting back to a follower will create a relationship with that user. Relationships will increase engagement on future posts as well.
Enhance Your Influencer Content
Social media influencer marketing is a booming industry. Influencers are a great tool to get the word out about your business. The more people who come into contact with the influencer’s posts, the better.
Engagement is the magic word when it comes to getting influencer posts seen by the maximum amount of users.
Posting at the right time of day, the content in your posts, and simple tricks like the use of emojis and special offers will put your engagement (and sales) over the top.
Not sure where to start? Contact Wear Cape, an influencer marketing agency, to help come up with a social media strategy and put you into contact with the best influencers out there!