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I’ve been a social media influencer for a long time now, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. Today, I’m going to share those secrets with you. I’m not talking about the tired old advice you see everywhere else telling you to just “switch to a business account” and “figure out the best time to post.” No no, I’m talking REAL, valuable advice for social media success. These tips have been essential for me to get where I am today.
Biting off more than you can chew in the beginning is a surefire way to fail. Trying to juggle Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter all at once is going to be way too much to handle and you won’t make any real progress on any of them. You’ll lose momentum and burn out quicker than you can log off.
To ensure you stay focused, choose just one platform that will work for you. It’s important to take the demographics, style and conventions of each platform into account. The most popular channels right now are…
My platform of choice! Instagram is where a lot of travel and lifestyle influencers hang out. It’s a photo-focused platform with a young demographic and stories tend to receive a lot of engagement. The 2200 character caption limit is great if you’re skilled at writing. You’ll also be able to make use of the Reels feature, which is similar to TikTok.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: no-one cares about Facebook stories, so if that’s the kind of content you like to create, look elsewhere. This platform appeals to a slightly older demographic and is a good choice for family or food bloggers. Creating a Facebook group is a great way to get to know your audience and deliver value, so long as you can manage it efficiently.
If you want to appeal to Gen Z or younger millennials, you’ve got to get on TikTok. This platform is great for bloggers and brands with a humorous approach who want to create fun and relatable content, without having to write length captions or spend hours editing.
I wouldn’t say that Twitter is a top priority for most aspiring content creators, but it can be useful to provide your audience with on-the-fly snippets and updates.
Once you’ve grown your account, you might feel ready to tackle multiple channels. If that’s the case, I highly recommend hiring a social media strategist or virtual assistant to help you out and ensure you stay on top of your game.
I’m definitely NOT saying you should copy anyone else but checking out the competition can give you some idea of what you should (and maybe shouldn’t) be doing. Jumping in without knowing any idea of standard practices and conventions within your niche is a bad idea. You can learn a lot from observing others.
Of course, it’s great to be inspired by the big guns who have already achieved social media success, but it’s also worth checking out smaller but fast-growing accounts. These guys can give you a lot of insight because like you, they’re fairly early on in their journey, but they’re clearly doing something right.
I’m not saying that numbers don’t matter in this game: they do. You’re not going to land brand collaborations and sponsored hotel stays with 200 followers, no matter what those spam bots in your DMs tell you.
However, loyalty does count for a lot in the world of social media success. You don’t just need followers, you need them to care about you. It’s important to develop an emotional connection with your audience. Think about it: how often are you influenced by someone you don’t actually care about?
If your audience knows and trusts you, you’re on the right track for social media success. Your followers are more likely to take your recommendations, use your affiliate links to support you and stick with you throughout algorithm changes, mishaps and the odd digital detox.
Your social media content is not actually all about you. Contrary to popular belief, your job isn’t to make yourself look good. Your task is to educate, entertain and inspire your audience. People don’t engage with your content to be nice, they do it because it sparks something within them. The sooner you learn this, the faster you’ll achieve social media success.
Honestly, I could (and undoubtedly will) dedicate a whole other blog post to this topic. For now, though, let’s just say that brand identity is everything when you’re a social media influencer. It’s what makes you recognizable and allows you to market yourself. People think of this as a fluffy, inconsequential process but it’s actually vital to set yourself up for success as a content creator.
I do recommend seeking professional help to get clear on your brand identity. However, if you don’t have the means to do this right now, here are some quick questions you can ask yourself:
On a practical level, I recommend choosing a set of fonts, a color palette and a logo to help you be recognizable and provide a creative framework for things like blog images, story highlights and Pinterest templates.
There are millions of people out there with the very same dream of being a successful influencer. So what makes you different? What sets you apart? What do you have that they don’t?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you’re not ready to begin. You need to work out what sets you apart from the wannabe crowd and gives you what it takes to succeed.
Your USP could be anything, from your photography style to your cheeky personality or your trademark greeting. Do you focus on a particular topic, offer a fresh perspective or provide a new insight into your niche?
When I was getting started, I knew that my hotel industry upbringing gave me an edge. It made me a discerning guest with an eye for quality and an appreciation for detail that not everyone else has.
For another example, let’s look at cocktail connoisseur Skyy John, aka the Tipsy Bartender. He’s a fellow Bahamian who worked as a bartender in Los Angeles. When he noticed that many customers were taken with his unusual accent, he decided to start his own YouTube channel where he could teach viewers how to make cocktails and entertain them at the same time.
Trust me when I say that everyone has something unique to offer – the successful influencers are the ones who figure out what their special something is.
As Dolly Parton once said, “figure out who you are and do it on purpose.”
To be honest, networking is crucial for success in any business, but perhaps even more so in the influencer world. It’s called social media, after all. The support of your peers means a lot in this industry. Not only does it provide you with opportunities to learn and grow, this industry can also be fraught with drama and it pays to have solid allies in your corner.
I’ve been to a lot of blogger retreats and conventions over the years. Honestly, not all of them have been worth the money but meeting fellow creators was always a valuable opportunity for me – not to mention often one of the most fun parts of these events!
It’s vital that you engage with your audience. Social media is always reciprocal to some degree. Many would-be influencers fail because they forget this. Replying to their comments, responding to DMs and creating engaging stories is essential for the health of your social media account. Of course, once you get to a certain size you can’t possibly reply to everybody, but it’s always worth showing as much appreciation for your audience as you can.
I highly recommend setting aside a specific time each day to dedicate to your chosen platform. You need a strategy in place and it’s important to set yourself targets. Picking your phone up and scrolling mindlessly isn’t going to cut it. If you want this to be your job, then you need to treat it that way. The road to social media success rarely runs smoothly and you need to put the hours in consistently.
For example, you could set aside an hour in the morning to reply to DMs and engage with other accounts, and an hour in the evening to post, reply to comments and upload the story content you’ve captured throughout the way.
Treat this like a business from the very beginning and you’ll go places (and I mean this literally – hello sponsored stays.)
You might be cringing just a little – and to be honest, I don’t blame you – but this is some of the most important advice I could give you.
Over the years, I’ve heard about so many influencers losing sponsored trips and brand deals because they turn into divas and garner a bad reputation. Many people think that influencers are lazy and superficial, so you’ll have to prove them wrong.
If you want to be in this business long-term, you need to work hard. It’s imperative that you act professionally, treat everyone with kindness and strive to over-deliver. Your reputation is your most valuable asset in this game; I mean, that’s the whole basis of influencer marketing, after all. It’s important to show brands that you mean business. If you build a reputation as a hard-worker who goes the extra mile, everyone will be clamoring to work with you.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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