Your job as an influencer is multi-faceted. Creating content is just one part of the equation; building a community is the far harder & more valuable aspect, both to yourself and to the brands that are looking to work with you.
Building a community all comes down to one thing – how connected are you with your audience? How well do they know you? How much do they like & trust you? While these are intangible qualities and somewhat difficult to measure, what isn’t hard to analyze is how responsive they are to the content you post.
This engagement is the most important metric brands look at when deciding which influencer to use over another. Far more weight is placed on the connectivity of an influencer to their audience than follower count, believe it or not.
You may be in a position where you have worked your buns off to get to a sizeable following, but your engagement is lacking. Or you may have had great engagement and for reasons unknown to you, this has dropped off in the past little while leaving you to feel discouraged and unsure of how to bring it back up.
Luckily, there are a bunch of things you can do to help boost your engagement, however none of them are quick fixes. There is no such thing as a quick fix, which on the flip side is also a blessing because it means that your engagement won’t just drop off a cliff one day, the decline would be slow so you can catch it again if you are on top of your rate and have a good understanding of how to keep it strong.
Before we start talking about how to increase your engagement, let’s go over some basic information.
Engagement rate, as calculated on platforms like momfluence, is a calculation of a post likes + comments divided by your following. When you average ten posts for example, you get an engagement rate somewhere between 1-15%.
Here’s a quick step by step guide to determining your rate (or just check your momfluence profile):
1. Add up the total likes & comments from your past 10 posts.
2. Divide by 10.
3. Divide this number by your following.
4. Multiply that number by 100 for your percentage.
Engagement rates vary with following size – here is general breakdown (keep in mind these are average):
– up to 5k followers – up to 10%
– 5-25k – up to 7%
– 25-50k – up to 3.5%
– 50-100k – up to 3.25%
– 100-250k – up to 3%
If you find your engagement rate is well below these values, you need to dedicate your work to bringing it up, as it really is the most important thing you can sell to a potential brand client.
Here are some tips & tricks to do just that.
By asking questions, whether in your post captions or stories, opens the door for conversation. Including a question in every post can feel forced and unnatural but doing it more often than not is a solid idea.
Make your posts personal.
Social media relationships are not much different than in person ones – people want to get to know someone for who they are because that’s where the relatability becomes possible. When you relate to someone, you feel connected to them and invested in what happens to them in their life. Being authentic is paramount to building an engaged following, even if that means sharing hard stuff at times.
Storytelling is the most important part of being relatable so make sure the majority of your posts include some type of real life experience you are doing / have experienced in the past. Longer captions help immensely with this tip so don’t be afraid of them! The average length of captions has increased dramatically over the past few years so you won’t be alone in this approach.
Post consistently and varied topics.
Posting consistently helps keep your audience engaged with what you have to say & the events of your life. Stories are one of the best ways to do this as they are a type of content that people check in with multiple times through out the day.
It’s also important to post about a variety of content so you have multiple topics that your audience can relate to. Avoiding “follower fatigue” is important, meaning don’t be so one dimensional that people unfollow your account thinking that the only thing you post about isn’t what’s of interest to them.
When you are being authentic this is easy because we are all complex and have many interests. Just beware of oversharing a certain topic unless you are consciously doing this (ie. you have a fashion only account), however even in this case, mixing in other topics just builds the possibility for a myriad of people to get hooked on your content.
Have a visually consistent feed.
The style of your feed is part of your brand and we all know how important branding is for audience loyalty. Keeping it consistent is visually appealing and something your audience values immensely.
Stick with one filter. If you are going to change your entire feed, that’s ok and is actually pretty common so don’t stress about it. You don’t need to delete your previous content but stick with one for a while.
Hashtags make your post discoverable. The more you use them, the more exposure your post will receive. Instagram limits users to 30 hashtags per post (in captions, stories, or comments), so you’ll have to find the popular and relevant hashtags related to your post. Avoid using hashtags that have nothing to do with your brand or your image; this can feel like spam and can turn people away from your account.
Post different content formats.
Variety variety variety. Give people many formats to fall in love with your content. Be active on Stories. Post regularly to your feed. Get into the swing of things with Reels. Lives and IGTV are great but can be intimidating so warming up to those or doing them less frequently is understandable. The real priority is to include some type of video content so your audience sees you beyond just a static in feed post.
Create ‘savable’ content.
Saves are a very valuable metric for you to focus on because the algorithm loves them as it demonstrates really valuable content. Creating content that your followers want to save it should be something you think about every few posts, whether it’s a recipe, a how to, something inspirational that they might want to refer to later, a workout, style ideas for a certain staple outfit piece, etc.
Go back through the content you have saved for inspiration!
Use Polls, Stickers & Questions in Stories.
One of the easiest ways to increase your engagement rate is to use the features found in Stories, specifically stickers, polls & questions. Something as simple as “This or That” or “Pick your favourite” can be fun for your audience and help you as well.
Comment on other posts and tag other accounts.
The algorithm values accounts that are actively contributing to building the community. Commenting on other’s posts and tagging not only shows that you are active but it sets you up for reciprocal behaviour which again boosts your engagement.
Pay attention to what you like.
There is no shame in gathering inspiration from other’s, we all do it. Keep a list on your phone when you come across a style, type of content, topic or other idea that you love and tailor it to your own interests.
Pick two of the above tips and implement them every week. Soon you will be well versed in all things engagement boosting and your numbers (and brand deals) will begin to reflect that!