Easy Mistakes You Are Making in Trying to Grow Your Online Influence
Don’t ask me to follow you on social media, that’s an easy way to lose my follow
By now you’ve maybe seen an article, or video, or some content telling you the do’s and don’ts of growing your online influence. Whatever social media platform you want to there's probably an oversaturation of, “growth hacks” type of content. I hate to break it to you, but endless research will not lead you to become a social media influencer.
In order to grow your online influence, you need to actually be putting out quality content with consistency. That’s probably the biggest piece of advice that I give my clients (FYI, I work in communications and marketing for film/tv in Los Angeles, CA) and that top agents and managers will also offer. But it should be noted that I, and you, should respect each person’s hustle. There is no better time than now to try and become an established content creator.
The issue that I’m seeing from aspiring influencers is that they are falling into the trap of blatantly asking for followers. Whether you’re in dozens of Facebook pages or you’re following a topic and commenting on every-single-post asking for subs, that’s an easy way to not grow on social media.
You have the right idea, DM and comment but don’t be blatant
As I mentioned earlier, engagement is the key to unlock a career/life as a social media influencer. But with every app being oversaturated with content it can be hard to break through onto people’s feed. I believe that the idea of commenting for likes and follows started as a good intention, it easily becomes spammy. Even though you could honestly be sincere in trying to connect with other content creators, asking for a “sub for sub” is off-putting.
I’ve gotten some random DMs from people whose messages start off right but quickly get deleted by the end. When DMing a stranger/business/brand remember that you are pitching yourself. As someone with 3 years of public relations experience, I’d like to briefly share this nugget of advice. When pitching yourself never demand anything, instead invite the other person to engage.
When a random account contacts me or the accounts that I manage for work, anything asking for a follow is deleted. While this may seem harsh, this is just the standard in both the industry and people’s first reactions. Pivot your mindset. Instead of spamming dozens of pages or accounts asking for people to check out your work think of how to position your content as something worth checking out.
Engagement is vital to growing on social media, invite it don’t demand it
Most recently, I had the pleasure of receiving PR mail from a skincare brand that I love. You can see the post I made here. This collaboration and the follows that came from it, were thanks to following my own advice of inviting engagement rather than demanding it.
When trying to grow on social media commenting, DMing, and tagging people is key. You want to do it consistently, but when it’s relevant. Brands and the people who manage business accounts notice creators big and small doing this. You want to show a genuine investment in the brand. And of course, you want to follow them before you ever even think of DMing them.
When I DMed this brand, I had already lined up my content. I had blogs my Instagram posts all organized. I DMed this brand saying who I was, why I loved them, shared a relevant post boosting their business, and asking to be considered for any upcoming collaborations. Note, I asked to be considered, not to be included. You can be as direct or circumventive as you want. Just engage with businesses and creators in genuine and organic ways.
Consider inviting people to share your content, instead of sharing it yourself
Speaking from personal experience, some of my most successful posts are ones that I did not share or promote. It’s a great rule of thumb to share your work, but the key to growing on social media is getting other people to share it for you. Convincing people to engage with your content and distribute it requires you to put on your marketing cap. Here are some creative ways you might get people to share and engage with your posts:
Pose a question
One way I get people to share and engage with content is by posing a question. Make sure it’s a question that’s not a, “yes” or “no.” The more people comment on your posts the more the algorithm of any social media platform will make you pop up. Either pose a question or ask people to comment on something relevant to the post.
Tag, tag, and tag
More often than not, businesses and brands will share content on their stories, or reshare content featuring them. Again, your content should be of high quality and creative. Because if they are sharing you they want their followers to enjoy it and not be off-put by it. This is the part again where research can only help so much. You need to create good work to have a great impact on the brands you hope to work with.
Top creators do this all the time-always take advantage of your combined following. Whether you’re just starting or you’re established on social media, I always encourage people to cross-promote their content. For example, you might want to grow your blog and you have a decent YouTube following. Mention in the video that you have a blog and include links. Let’s say you’re on Instagram and want to create long-form videos, use your caption as space to mention an upcoming video or point to a link in your bio. Every follower you have on every platform counts!
Whether you’re a veteran in the social media game or a newcomer, I hope that this post offered you some great tips! Remember that to break into the world of social media you actually need to be posting. Stay inspired, stay imaginative, and get creative!