If you’re looking for a creator that has successfully built a personal brand – and monetised her following – look no further than fashion-influencer-turned-global-entrepreneur Elle Ferguson.
Elle recenty spoke to Forbes about her phenomenal success launching fashion and lifestyle site They All Hate Us and her own brand Elle Effect. When asked how she had managed to make such an impact on such a saturated space, she revealed the secret to her success:
“I always answer my DMs. That community has enabled me to build my brand. So I take probably three hours, morning and evening, to reply to my DMs on Elle Effect and Elle Ferguson, because essentially they’re my customers – it’s so important to ensure that relationship is strong.”
While it might seem time consuming, the relationships you have with your followers is so important. The connection you build will make sure your audience stays loyal and engaged with your content. For anyone looking to extend their influence and build their brand, growing an engaged Instagram following is essential.
Although most influencers play the long game, ethically building connections by engaging with similar accounts, or using relevant hashtags, some do not. Resorting to buying your followers, likes and comments. But just like Elle, we have found that the most effective way to organically build an engaged following is community engagement. Take the time to reply to your direct messages, comments and engage with your audience on a closer level.
Like your follower’s comments, reply to their questions and thank them for their compliments. A little goes a long way and your followers appreciate you acknowledging them as an individual, rather than just another number to add to your follower count.
Answer their questions with as much detail as possible; this shows you care and want them to receive as much useful information as possible. Brands will also love you for this is you’re working on a sponsored post.
Asking them questions will keep the conversation flowing i.e. “How have you found your experience with the product so far?” or “What type of content do you like best seeing on my feed?” Remember every comment is a boost in the Instagram algorithm.
If people tag you in their story, like the mention that pops up in your DMs and reply appropriately i.e. a thank you or answer their question.
Use your favourite emojis. It makes the conversation much more personal and can be especially helpful if there’s a language barrier between you and that follower. You can never go wrong with a blushing smiley face!