Just because you are on social media, does not mean you are a social media expert. In the same way, having an Instagram…does not make you a professional photographer (sorry…duck lips don’t count). I joined Instagram at the end of my Freshman year of college when I first started my blog, StreetStyleChi. I knew little about how to use social media, or, how beneficial it could be. After spending a year working with the women of Nike in Chicago helping to open a concept store called NTC, I quickly gained insight and learned how important a strong social media voice is. The fact is, that good social media can move mountains between a brand and it’s consumers.
Back in 2011, social media was looked at as purely an egotistical form of media (which it still can be). It was just a silly place for teens to express their love for the latest member of One Direction (again, still very much alive). Only in the last few years have we started to fully take advantage of what it really is: a direct line to your consumer.
If you read my post about the FTC blogger guidelines last month, you know all about how paid endorsements online are supposed to work. While many view giving bloggers monetary compensation to wear certain products as deceptive, it is truly just another form of advertising for these large brands trying to tap a specific market; and it is SUPER smart. Consumers no longer want to click on a banner ad or follow a brand on social media; they want to follow a personality. Bloggers and “influencers” being sent product, help brands build a direct relationship with their consumer through this third party (being the blogger.)
A great example of Instagram marketing can be found at @WeWoreWhat, founded by blogger Danielle Bernstein. Her Instagram account boasts a million followers, with sponsored posts trickling down her feed, that to an untrained eye, look organic. In reality, Bernstein charges $5-15K per Instagram photo, with monetary compensation going up as the number of Instagrams goes up. So why would a brand be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single photo on a social network? Bloggers build lasting relationships with their readers for years, thus, when they promote a brand, the brand gains that loyalty as well.
When looking at famous instagram accounts, we are not just talking number of followers, but engagements, which are measured by number of likes and comments on a photo. If you have 20K followers on Instagram, but are consistently getting 15 likes on your photos, there is a very fair chance that you bought 19K of those followers and brands will keep their distance. Essentially, your data will speak for itself.
If you look through any “instafamous” personalities, their content glows. Their photos boast the same filter to show consistency, and their snapshots are taken with fancy camera attachments or a Nikon camera. Every photo is strategically placed on their feed with the same intensive thought that goes into a full-throttle pr campaign. Why? They are their brand, and their social tool of choice is their main place of marketing themselves, so it better be good.
Check back for tips on growing your social following shortly.