Keeping your authenticity as an influencer
Not designed to be an exclusive list, here are a few easy tips to help you keep it real with your social media following, in general and whilst engaging in branded or paid social campaigns:
1. Trust the Best Policy
We all know what it is. As a brand or an influencer, it’s important to always be upfront & honest with your audience, through your posts and your comments.
Social media is a powerful tool and getting caught out for small ‘honestly lapses’ can radically affect your positive:negative engagement rates, follower numbers, and most importantly it can be detrimental to your mental health!
There’s no need to pretend to be anything you’re not. Being an influencer is about capturing your true self and letting your audience fall in love with that person.
Trying to be someone you’re not is bound to end in tears. Haters gon’ hate, so post your own content, keep your opinions real and show the haters the gate. Lol.
2. Promote products you are passionate about
As long as you stick to promoting brands & products that you have already (or would) suggest to your friends and family anyway, there is nothing disingenuous or deceitful about accepting sponsored posts from them.
Where influencers can get themselves into trouble is when they force products – that are not their usual cup of tea – in front of their audiences. Remember that your audiences know you extremely well so they can generally pick this a lot faster than you would think.
Beyond just what you are passionate about, make sure you consider what products and brands will resonate with your audience. This means that if you know that your followers are predominantly 13-16 year olds, no matter how much you love Vodka, it’s probably not the right product for you to be promoting.
SUMMARY – always consider:
- Am I passionate about this product?
- Is this a product that will resonate with my audience?
3. Know what & how much to share
Although your followers obviously love your content, there definitely is a line and we all need to remember that.
Over-sharing could come in the form of posting 15 photos of your trip on Instagram at the same time, or it could be posting a nasty photo of your ex girlfriend in a fit of anger..
Be considerate of your audience about how much of your life you need to share with them. Remember you are a person of influence, so you do have a responsibility to be a strong example for how to behave online.
With post quantity, a lot of people believe that the perfect balance is 2-3 posts a day, spread evenly across the day so as not to spam feeds at any time. However, you know your audience, you know what they expect from you and how they like you to engage them. Trust what has worked for you in the past and be mindful of not upsetting your current loyal followers in pursuit of new ones.
4. Balance your posts
To ensure you keep your followers engaged, make sure to keep your posts balanced.
One of the worst thing you can do is become ‘spammy’ as straight away, you will lose enormous credibility with your audience.
Post as you usually would, and a good rule of thumb to use is the 7:2 ratio (out of every 7 posts, no more than 2 should ever be straight out product promos). Remember why your audience followed you in the first place and keep as many posts as possible as the type they wish to see.
When you are promoting brands, keep your posts consistent to your theme. There is nothing wrong with being picky about the brands you want to work with!
5. Treat Social as the real deal
Social media is only a small step removed from real life: it’s in real time and it can come in every form (copy, photo, audio, video). So treat it as if it is real life. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable saying/showing face-to-face.
Finally, live in the moment but think about your actions and consider the consequences that may come. Remember that what goes online stays online (literally, once it’s up there’s no coming down no matter how many times you press delete!).
6. Show appreciation for your audience
Make sure your audience knows how valuable they are to you. Engage with their content when they engage with you. Send shout outs thanking them for their support. Run giveaways when you meet follower milestones e.g. 10k, 50k, 100k. Remember that they’re now helping you build a small gold mine, so be kind!