As brands and influencers it can be difficult to drive impressions and followers on social media. Grace Lee , social media expert, influencer and blogger shares her tips for faster, organic social media growth.
Grace graduated from a college in North Carolina with a degree in PR. Post graduation she moved to”The Big Apple”, New York City, to chase her dreams of becoming an influencer. She began a blog ten years ago with the intention of documenting her outfits. She loves writing and fashion, so what better way to merge the two than to create a fashion blog. She started Instagram and through trial and error watched as her social media site evolved. She says that over time she became “very interested in how social media was evolving”. She says that “taking PR classes helped understand the brand side but not the influencer, content creator side”. Grace learned through experience on how to be the face of the brand, but school taught her the business side of marketing.
The young blogger says that her career has shifted every year. She moved to New York and started a job as a Social Media Coordinator, she soon felt that it wasn’t the right fit for her. She then quit to become a full time influencer and when she realized that she was not happy being “the talent”, she started searching for jobs. She began working for a startup, but she wanted to have multiple clients and the ability to choose those clients. She then quit and became a freelancer doing social media marketing, which is where she is currently and thriving.
Three Tips to Grow Your Instagram Following
- Use a planner. Planning is a very important part of influencing because it helps to plan your Instagram feed and stay organized. Thinking ahead will allow you to determine the steps you’re going to take moving forward.
- Strategize posts. When strategizing posts, it’s important to ask yourself questions like “who’s your audience?” If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you appeal to them? This is a very important question to answer, because the people, the followers, are your money makers.
- Be consistent. Make sure that there’s some type of regularity that will gain followers and sustain them.
Grace talks about the frequent changes in social media and Instagram specifically, and the effects that it has on brands and influencers. She says that it’s important to remember as brands and influencers you can’t rely on Instagram “what works for you now, may not work for you later.” It’s important to be prepared for any changes that may occur and to adapt to those changes for faster, organic social media growth.
Grace’s Instagram Hacks
- Don’t post too often; Post once a day either in the morning or at night.
- Use carousels to post multiple images at a time; Each post counts and it will help you gain more traction for that particular post. The number of photos you post in the carousel is the number of times your post will appear on other people’s feeds.
- Engage with your followers; Responding to direct messages and comments is a great way to engage with followers. They want to know that you care, take advantage of opportunities to engage with them to gain faster, organic social media growth.
- Utilize the statistics and analytics on Instagram; If you have a business account page, you can automatically see the impressions that are left on your audience. By using this feature, it’s easier to figure out what your audience wants and how to curate your page to fit their needs.
Apps to Gain Faster, Organic Social Media Growth
There quite a few apps out there that influencers and brands use to curate their Instagram pages, and Grace shared some that work really well for her brand.
- Planoly; This is a great app for planning and strategizing before posting on Instagram.
- Storyluxe; This app is used by Grace to “make her stories look pretty.”
- Unfold; Another app that is good for creating gorgeous stories.
- Wavve; An audio app used to add sounds to videos and feed posts.
There are other social media sites that are just as useful as Instagram and some of the ways to reach audiences and gain impressions is to start a YouTube or podcast. Grace says that podcasts reach broader audiences because they can be listened to in the background as people finish tasks and do other things. Starting a podcast is not as easy as it sounds, there are many things to think about before beginning. There’s strategizing the content, consistency, editing, finding guests and so on. A tool that Grace recommends for beginners is Anchor, a podcast site the hosts, monetizes and distributes for the user. This is a great way to figure out if you even like doing the podcast without the pressures that consistency may bring.
What Our Mingle Mastermind Panelists Want You To Know
Others on the panel had many questions to ask Grace, Daniel Quintanilla, a blogger asked how to appeal to an audience as a blogger and get them to read the blogs you post. Grace suggested that he input an excerpt of the article with a link to the article in the bio. When trying to get people to read articles, it should be easy for them to leave Instagram and go directly to the article page.
Catherine Schuller, fashion curator, writer, producer and image consultant asked about the use of TikTok as a marketing tool. Grace says that she was reluctant to use the app herself because it’s a foreign app and she didn’t want to jump into another social media platform just yet. She mentioned that it has gained much more traction during the pandemic than before. Companies have been increasing their marketing on the app since the increase in users during the pandemic. To answer Catherine’s question, Grace says that she thinks it’s a good idea to at least try it.
Dale Noelle founder of TRUE Model Management, had a question about LinkedIn and its relation to the other social media sites. Grace pointed out the discrepancies between social media sites, although Linkedin is a social media site its audience and purpose is much different than other social media sites. Linkedin is a professional platform and Instagram, for example, is a casual site that can be used for any purpose from personal to professional. Grace recommends engaging with LinkedIn connections to see what would get them to follow you on other sites.
Aysha Robinson, creator of Aysha Louise, a brand for women empowerment asked about the formalities of approaching collaborations. Grace answered saying that a good rule of thumb for pricing is $100 for every 1,000 followers, this would include the photographer rates in addition to the post rate. Aysha then asks about the copyright laws concerning reposting on social media and the necessary precautions to take. Grace and entertainment lawyer, Shirin Mohaved both chimed in on the importance of communication. They both explained how it’s always best to ask before reposting anything. Brands or influencers may make money from those posts, and reposting may demonetize them. A great way to prevent the confusion is to ask the creator for permission to repost or maybe workout a deal if need be to post without offending the creator.
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Grace offers a free one time consultation on gracefulleemade.com, she also offers more social media knowledge.
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