What’s the difference between a social media user and a social media influencer? The thought process behind the posts.
Micro-influencers are regular social media users just like everyone else, but they’re using their business savvy minds to turn a fun hobby into a real money-making career. The most successful influencers know how to play the game. They know how to create content their followers will love while satisfying the brands who want to work with them. So how can you make that jump?
A lot of social media aficionados find difficulty gaining traction as an influencer, but it’s usually because they’re approaching the business all wrong. From spammy shout outs to poorly chosen campaigns, here’s how not to do influencer marketing.
Spamming Your Followers
The only way to let your followers know about what you’re up to is by posting about it, but sometimes influencers are a little over eager. No one wants to see ten iterations of the same “check out my new blog post” tweet. Your followers want to hear from you, but if you’re inundating them with messages, you’re going to lose everyone but the die-hards.
The good news is, there’s kind of a science behind how often you should post before you start annoying people and losing their attention. For Facebook, you shouldn’t be posting more than once a day. For Twitter, the sweet spot seems to be 15 tweets. For Instagram, you can get away with one or two posts (but remember, you can add multiple photos to a post to make the content feel more valuable).
The time you post is also really important. Instead of posting a lot each day, post during the most effective times. Between 8:00 am and 9:00 am or at 2:00 am is best for Instagram. For Twitter, lulls happen around 7:00 pm., 10:00 pm. and between 3:00 am and 6:00 am. For Facebook, the best time to post is between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
Not Keeping A Content Schedule
Posting too little is just as much of a problem as posting too much. If your followers can’t reliably expect posts, they will lose interest. On the other hand, if you post content at regular times, followers will check in every single day. For example, video influencer Philip DeFranco posts his video show every Monday through Friday evening. His 5.9 million subscribers know exactly when to check-in, and as a result his videos average 1.5 million views in the first 24 hours. It’s like clockwork.
Keeping a content schedule is also helpful if you’re working with brands. It’ll help you create more effective content because you’ll be able to discern the perfect combination of sponsored posts and original posts with some proper planning. Consider using an influencer marketing platform to help you schedule posts in advance. That way, you’re not sitting next to your phone all day and you can get on with your life.
Working With Brands Just For The Cash
Your followers can see right through the fact that you don’t actually use the products you’re promoting. Who needs another d-list celebrity tea detox? Sure, it’s judgmental, but the truth is that you’re less likely to buy something if you feel like a person was paid to endorse. If you truly love flat tummy tea and hair gummy vitamins, definitely opt to work with the brands that sell them. Create genuine content touting their awesome benefits, but if you’re just posting “Thanks, [random brand],” your followers will know it’s just an ad. This ruins your credibility as an influencer and can actually damage your budding business. If people feel like you’re working with too many brands that you don’ genuinely adore, your engagement will plummet and you’ll struggle to find more influencer campaigns and retain followers.
The bottom line is that you should work with brands you believe in. Be selective and create genuine content around your promotions so it doesn’t feel like a paid advertisement even if it is.
Joining Too Many Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are great. Who doesn’t want to make cash promoting things they love? Unfortunately, sometimes influencers have a tendency to spread themselves a little bit too thin. If you’re signed up for too many affiliate programs, you might find your posts struggling to gain traction. Posting links will start to feel a bit spammy. People are way more willing to click on links for a select few of your favorite products than they are for a zillion products you’re only so-so about. You’ll find more success (and more money!) if you pair down.
Not Disclosing Sponsored Content
Most of us have the urge to not disclose that we were paid to make an advertisement. The campaign is generally more successful when people think you’re reviewing or using a product you purchased yourself. Unfortunately, failing to disclose sponsored content can wrack you up huge FTC fines. In 2017, we saw a major crackdown . To be safe, make sure you add the hashtags #sponsored or #ad to all your branded content posts. And yes, even if you didn’t get paid and simply got some free swag, you’ve still got to let your followers know.
Despite having to disclose the advertisement status of a brand campaign, there’s plenty of ways to make the content just as effective. Be creative and craft a story around the advertisement. View it as a collaboration rather than an ad. Post a tutorial or a gorgeous photo. You’ll find the greatest success if do you something different rather than just point your followers to a link.