Social media marketing is such a rage today, to the point of being omnipresent. Yes, almost every discussion that you have, be it sales, be it branding, be it your strategy meets, the topic comes up everywhere. Not that you are a laggard, you have already adopted social media, have your content calendars in place, and then there’s Instagram. You were so busy trying to keep pace with Facebook, carrying on conversations with one-forty characters at your disposal on Twitter, managing your keyword lists. All of a sudden comes this phenomenon of Instagram that overtakes them all! You are back to the drawing board again, and now you need influencers.

 

Who are the influencers?

Some estimates say that on an average each of us encounters almost 3000 messages on social media these days. What do we do with these? Scroll through? Ignore? Hope to get back to all of them at some later point and perhaps either forget or never be able to locate it again. That’s what the fate of most brand messages are. They get lost in an ocean of other messages.

How do you as a marketer get your message across? That’s where these influencers come to your rescue. Supposedly, they hold the reins to your consumer’s mind and trust. They are the humans in the physical world that help spread the word. Yes, old school word-of-mouth. Their friends listen to what they say, their acquaintances pay heed to what they might prefer, and in turn, their friend’s friends also get to know. These are then the people to whom you should reach out to.

Of course, they are essential, you as a marketer do realize that. How do you identify them? You know if you were to buy Instagram followers, you are likely to be left with a bunch of inactive followers. Of course, one way could be to buy active Instagram followers instead. Could you do that? I guess, yes, but not outright buying. After all, that’s floating the basic rules of using Instagram. You could be banned from the platform. Instead, what you can do is consult a social media expert who can help you strategize, focus, and then get you the relevant followers. Let us call that buy active Instagram followers. If you were to do it on your own, that’s easy too. Just a few steps to follow diligently. Here’s how.

Generate Humanized Messages

Assuming that your followers aren’t the ghosts I just mentioned, you can expect to have a conversation with a human. Conversations are interesting when they engage. People engage when they find a discussion inspiring. Therefore, the first step would be to think through and create what works for your audience. If you are already on Instagram, a great tool to see what works and what has worked for your competitors is an app called Whalar Labs. Create a story around what your customers or your competitor’s customers are looking for. Now’s the time to look for your influencers. The best way to go about doing that is to search by hashtags that you think are relevant to your brand and your story. Look for the stories that have got the maximum traction in terms of engagement and create a list of users who have actively occupied with the story. That’s your first list. Remember your competitor’s influencers can be your influencers too, engage them. Lastly, trawl multiple relevant Instagram groups to create a comprehensive list and you are done with your struggles.

Let Users Generate Content

These are real people talking. As with word-of-mouth, content that’s created by your users tend to be trusted by your audience. More so, if you are targeting millennials. There are multiple ways you could go about doing this. You could encourage your audience to share their content by organizing small contests, you could tag your content to the most trending hashtags, or regram (modify) user content and repurpose it for a different campaign. Some of them do require a little investment, but you could generate a lot of it free. For example, you could participate in conversations around trending social and political issues, encourage or recognize relevant contributions that could, in turn, get them to engage with you.

Human psychology is complicated, and there are multiple ways you can stimulate engagement. Sometimes, a simple acknowledgment or a simple encouragement to a relevant user on a social forum could work wonders for you. Keep sharing, share your user content, regram their conversations, recognize their contributions and you would have a significant community going for you.