5 Ways Community Influencers Increase Your Social Media Following
Influencer Marketing5 MIN READ
Engagement and relevance make all the difference in the world today. What better way to gain social proof than by learning from others with a large following?
It has become clear that community influencers have a different formula for social traction. They are able to build a thriving following by providing value, unique perspectives, and being consistently useful. It is no longer enough to be an expert in your field; you must also show that expertise to others. Hence the boom in brand-influencer partnerships in the last few years.
Creator partners don't just help you drive sales or web traffic, they can actually help you grow your social media following for ongoing authentic engagement.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Knowing the Difference Between Engaged and Unengaged Followers
Considering how easy it is to buy fake followers, it's understandable that many marketers might disregard increasing follower counts for the brands they work for. Follower counts are technically considered "vanity metrics," since they don't typically show how valuable that brand is to its target audience.
But growing your engaged follower base does offer you one great advantage over your competitors: it significantly improves the potency of your owned media channels. When you have a large following of real people (who also are interested in your brand), you're guaranteed more eyes on posts and even strong engagement metrics, both of which drive sales and conversions now and in the future.
So with that in mind, it's important to distinguish between what makes one follower better than another.
Real Vs Fake Followers
Bots and fraudulent accounts are how social media scam artists collect money to artificially grow your audience. It's important that you know that these schemes exist and that they ultimately hurt your brand's reputation online.
Using a free audience analysis tool like CIPIO.ai's Cindex Report, you can quickly see which followers are real people versus fake accounts. If you plan to leverage an influencer to help you grow your audience, it's important that you confirm that the majority of their audience is also real people.
Brand Fans Vs Mass Followers
Mass followers are real people, but they follow too many online accounts to see most of your posts. These followers are not as bad as fake followers, but they are still not engaged. One's feed is only so large, and mass followers are unlikely to see and engage your content.
Why Community Influencers are Better at Generating Social Proof
By working with influential people in your industry, you can create authentic content that resonates with your target audience and drives more engagement for your brand. These creator posts usually receive significantly greater consumer engagement than any posts coming from your branded account. - CIPIO.ai, A Beginner's Guide to User-generated Content and Social Proof
Consumers trust consumers.
It's nothing personal against your brand that people are more likely to trust a community influencer over your brand. Most likely you feel the same way, which is why most of us follow way more people on Instagram than we do brands.
According to SEMRush, only 10% of all purchases occurred without a recommendation by a friend, family member, or influencer.
Partnering with creators is a great idea for this very reason. The trust they've built with members of your target audience is something you can earn with their help instead of having to generate it from scratch. Followers gained through a community influencer campaign are likely going to be your best social media fans.
Top 5 Ways to Leverage Community Influencers to Gain More Social Media Followers
1. Include proper tags and hashtags in every campaign.
Community Influencer Marketing 101 is making sure your creators are tagging and hashtagging properly. Tags should be as specific as possible so that when people search for those tags, they'll find your brand's page.
Hashtags are also important — they should be relevant to the content of the post and used sparingly. Branded hashtags — hashtags you've created and maintain to attract fans — should be unique and simple.
As you identify every critical tag and hashtag for your campaign, be sure to include those guidelines in your campaign brief. When working with a new community influencer, confirm that they are adding the proper tags and hashtags to ensure you're able to grow your social media audience for ongoing engagement once the campaign is over.
2. Give influencers an incentive to drive new followers.
If you want to increase your follower count, then give an incentive for influencers to drive new followers. This incentive can be financial or non-financial; however, it should be something they value enough that they will feel motivated enough to help you reach your goal.
The tricky part about incentivizing your creators for new followers is knowing how to properly attribute which followers were referred by which influencer. So often the best way to do is this is to reward everyone for the length of the campaign, such as:
If we achieve our goal of 10,000 followers during this campaign, every ambassador receives a bonus and free gift!
By adding compelling rewards to reaching the follower count you want, you demonstrate how highly you regard your goal. This excites your creator partners and guides them on the kind of results you're looking for.
3. Use community influencers to promote contests and giveaways.
Community influencers love hosting special events for their followers. You can sponsor a contest or giveaway by providing free gifts for a creator's followers.
For this to work well, you'll need to clearly plan out contest rules, and one of those rules can be that people like your page. You will also want to lay out the following details:
- Contest beginning and ending dates
- Complete description (with images) of the prize(s)
- How people win
- How many winners there will be
- Which tags and hashtags contestants must use
- When you will announce the winner
Because community influencers are experienced with these kinds of campaigns, it's always a good idea to get them involved in the planning early on.
4. Give influencer followers an incentive to follow your brand.
After an influencer refers you a new customer, consider offering that individual a special discount or perk for liking your page. You can do this through an email, direct message, or even ask the creator who referred them to extend the special offer.
Some brands do a great job of interacting with an influencer's followers within the sponsored post comments. With the influencer's help, you can leverage follower engagements to motivate them to claim a discount, free gift, etc. in exchange for liking your page.
5. Equip your best creators partners to lead your brand community online.
Perhaps one of the most powerful ways to get creators to help you build your online audience is to make them community leaders for your brand.
When it comes to enriching the lives of your best customers, there's no need to stop at products and services. Brand community initiatives build safe spaces for your biggest brand fans to come together, exchange stories, gain access to special perks, and so much more.
Community influencers are among the finest community-builders in today's digital age. These creators can help you grow your follower count with cream-of-the-crop consumers and even take that fan base to the next level using invite-only IG channels, Slack groups, Discord communities, and so much more.
Community influencers are more integral to social media marketing than you might think. They interact with followers, thereby increasing the odds that more non-followers will also engage with your content. Combined with other strategies, influencers can supercharge your social media marketing efforts, specifically by helping you build an organic, highly-engaged social media follower base.