Monthly Beauty Roundup

January 27th, 2022 by

Every month we round up our favourite ads, campaigns, trends, and creators from the social media beauty industry. So, who’s been busy in the beauty world this month? 

Trend Spotlight

Clean Beauty 

This month’s beauty trend is Clean Beauty. Rather than meaning cruelty free and vegan, this trend relates to how makeup is applied. Going for the “clean girl” aesthetic look, TikTok creators have been showing their routines for no makeup, makeup looks. 

@breakfastatbetsysMy favorite makeup lately🤍 ##cleangirlmakeup ##everydaymakeup ##glowyskin ##fyp♬ Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) – Edison Lighthouse

@makeupbymonicaa✨💅🏾 ##cleanmakeup##browngirlmakeup##makeuptutorial##makeuptips##makeup♬ this is what falling in love feels like – JVKE


Creator Spotlight

@dollyholly

Holly McAllister is a beauty influencer and MUA on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. She has been growing quickly on TikTok, with many of her videos making the For You Page and going viral. 

She regularly posts upbeat and glam GRWMs, taking her audience through each makeup product and step. She currently has nearly 100K followers on TikTok. 

@dollyholllyInsta hollymcallisterrr♬ Forever – Labrinth

Content Spotlight 

Dior: #ForeverSisterhood

To promote its Forever Skin Glow foundation, Dior activated global influencers across Instagram and TikTok using the hashtag #ForeverSisterhood. The amount of influencer content has resulted in a lot of UGC and the supporting hashtag on TikTok has over 8.5 million views. 

 

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@kamgregory #ad New @Dior Forever Foundation is a 10/10🤍 #diorforever #foreversisterhood ♬ original sound – kamille <3

Essie: Nail Strengthener

Essie used influencers and In-Feed ads on TikTok to promote its nail strengthening polish. Essie reposted content created by the influencers to its branded page. Influencers demonstrated painting the strengthener and then showed their nails throughout the day, doing tasks that would typically damage nails. 

@essiethere’s a new nail strengthener on the scene, Hard To Resist, loved by @oliviagraceherring♬ Promoted Music – essie

@essieNEW Hard To Resist nail strengthener, made by essie, loved by @amelia.liana – shop at @superdrug♬ Promoted Music – essie

Olay: Vitamin C + AHA 

Using TopView and In-Feed ads to promote its new Vitamin C + AHA collection, Olay explained the benefits of ingredients, and announced the new brand ambassador, influencer Amelia Dimoldenberg. 

Olay did not use any hashtags to support the ads. The video announcing Amelia as the ambassador has received nearly 60K likes. 

@OlayUKBrighter skin in just ONE DAY. Meet NEW Olay Vitamin C + AHA♬ Promoted Music – OlayUK

@OlayMeet our NEW Vitamin C + AHA collection and find out how to get brighter skin in just one day!♬ Promoted Music – Olay

ALDI UK: Lacura

Supermarket brand Aldi has entered the skincare market. Promoting its skincare range Lacura, Aldi promoted a TikTok showcasing new products, and announced their availability to purchase from mid January. 

The ad received many organic comments from users surprised at the apparent quality of the products. The ad was supported with #AldiFinds and #AldiTok. 

@aldiuk Self-care comes first in 2022 x Shop these products from 13th Jan! #selfcare #aldifinds #alditiktok ♬ Beautiful and mysterious piano background music(1031950) – hiroki kobayashi

FaceTheory: Boosted posts

Facetheory has been promoting various products across TikTok. By boosting content posted a few months ago that performed well, the beauty and skincare brand has gained over 18 million combined views on the boosted content. 

Using an aesthetic content style, content was with #Facetheory, but no other branded hashtags. 

@facetheory What’s inside our Lumizela Azelaic Acid Serum? 👀🧪#facetheory #vegan #cleanbeauty #azelaicacid #skincare ♬ Bubble – Official Sound Studio

@facetheory Have you heard about our Clarifying Cleanser yet? Use code TIKTOK25 to try! 🤩 #facetheory #skincare #vegan #beautywithreason #acne #cleansercheck ♬ LIMITS THE SKY – Mpax

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Posted in Influencer News

Weekly Marketing News, 21st January 2022

January 24th, 2022 by

Instagram tests paid subscriptions, synthetic media is on the rise, the ASA names and shames, Twitter manifests dreams and Netflix partners with CALM. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram is testing paid subscriptions

instagram test paid promotion

Instagram users in the US will be able to subscribe to a small number of creators to access exclusive content and features. Instagram has announced it is testing subscriptions, with more creators to be added in the coming weeks. Fans will pay a monthly fee to access subscriber-only content and will have a purple badge by their username that shows the creator their subscriber status. Price tiers will range from $0.99 to $99.99 per month, and creators can select the price point for their subscriptions. (Via The Verge)

INFLUENCER MARKETING NEWS

2. The rise of Synthetic Media 

The rise of Synthetic Media

Synthetic media is signalling a new chapter for influencer marketing. For brands and creators, AI generated avatars are bringing exciting new opportunities. From recreating famous footballers to speak nine languages, to creating a completely new virtual influencer that perfectly represents a brand’s personality, synthetic media allows brands to tap into the social currency of an established character or celebrity. (Via Facebook

3. Meta’s “ethical framework” for virtual influencers

Meta’s “ethical framework” for virtual influencers

Meta is home to hundreds of virtual influencers, many of whom boast huge follower counts and verification on Instagram. With the Metaverse shift on its way, Meta has begun pulling together an ethical framework for how brands can apply virtual influencers. While virtual influencers present brands with countless opportunities, there are potential threats. The framework will set clear guidelines to inform as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps. (Via Social Media Today

ADVERTISING NEWS

4. ASA targets rogue influencers on Instagram 

ASA targets rogue influencers on Instagram

Last year the ASA set up a dedicated webpage that listed influencers who, despite warnings either repeatedly failed to disclose when their social media posts were, in fact, ads or failed to provide assurances that they would do so in future. Now, the ASA is using Instagram ads to further name-and-shame influencers who are still failing to follow the rules. (Via Hashtagad)

WORK WE LIKE

5. Twitter’s manifesting ad campaign 

Twitter’s manifesting ad campaign

Twitter is celebrating dreams manifesting into reality by launching a campaign featuring 12 athletes and celebrities—including Patrick Mahomes, Bubba Wallace, Megan Thee Stallion, and Issa Rae—whose original tweets predicting greatness will be plastered on more than three dozen billboards in cities across the US and Canada. (Via Boardroom)

6. Netflix donates benches to local councils

Netflix donates benches to local councils

To mark the third season of After Life, Netflix has collaborated with mental health charity CALM to donate benches to local councils around the UK. The benches feature QR codes leading to online resources and a message of support and are inscribed with a quote from the third season: “Hope is everything”. (Via NME

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Gen Z in 2022: What You Need to Know

January 20th, 2022 by

Gen Z, more commonly known as digital natives and those born between 1996 and 2010, are soon to become the biggest cohort on the planet. While they may still be in second place for the largest impact on global spending (until 2026…), Gen Z will be setting the social media trends for 2022. 

Trust in experts 

Gen Z aren’t known for giving out their trust freely. In a report by Imagen Insights, it was revealed that 45% of Gen Z trust experts and scientists to provide honest information within mainstream media and on social media. Although this isn’t drastically high, it is when considering 0% of Gen Z trust brands to be honest on social media. This means brands have to find an alternative way to earn Gen Z’s trust—perhaps through KOL marketing. Using an expert will give brands the social proof and consumer confidence they are missing from creating or promoting their own content. 

Video that engages

Given the popularity of short-form video content, it’s unsurprising that video ads are more likely to capture Gen Z’s attention than any other media format. Gen Z are 16% more likely to find video ads appealing when shopping for new products, when compared to other generations. As attention spans continue to dwindle, brands need to get to the point and engage faster than ever before. Currently sitting at a miniscule 8 seconds, Gen Z need to be engaged with a call-to-action or given the WOW-factor in order to finish watching an ad or video. 

Creators are the new celebrities

While the impact of influencer marketing has been recognised for the past few years, its impact continues to rise within Gen Z; influencers and creators are the new celebrities. For Gen Z, young creators drive communities online, regardless of the number of followers they have. The importance of popularity is out the window; Gen Z want to connect through exchanging interests, helping new trends emerge—1 in 4 Gen Z agree that micro influencers are the most important when creating new trends. 83% of Gen Z believe that influencers and creators have the same, or even more, influence as major public figures including actors, musicians and reality stars. 

The curiosity to explore 

While Gen Z is becoming increasingly aware and conscious of overconsumption, they are still prey to the temptation of newness. Gen Z are incredibly curious and are more than willing to explore product options, especially if they are one of the first to try the product. Previous generations have typically found the products they like and stuck with them, but Gen Z aren’t showing great amounts of loyalty to products or brands, unless they feel a brand represents and matches their own values authentically. 

Considered social commerce

While Gen Z are willing to open their wallets to new products and new shopping channels, every purchase is considered. With social commerce being led predominantly by Gen Z, the digital natives have the opportunity to discover, research and purchase from brands within the same application. As Gen Z have grown up with digital, they tend to gravitate towards the most seamless but engaging shopping journeys. Their adoption of social commerce means brands need to focus on accurately showing their brand personality, ethics, values and messaging through social media. Gen Z are passionate about social and environmental issues—they want to know the charities you donate to, how you are sustainable, and what social movements you support. 

The demand for social justice 

Gen Z are highly active in social justice and environmental conversations. Whether it’s second-hand shopping, cruelty free and clean skincare, or eco-friendly products, Gen Z want to support brands that offer a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle. Rather than caring just for themselves, Gen Z want to make the world a better place. Gen Z demand social justice and actively revolt against discrimination in any form. As more Gen Z grow into adults and are of legal voting age, we can expect their fight for justice to ramp up. Brands need to show their support and be transparent and authentic about their standing on social, environmental and political issues in order to engage and maintain Gen Z as customers. 

 Gen Me

Gen Z want to stand out. Having grown up with social media, they have been exposed to different styles, “cores”, and cultures. Pair this with access to countless shopping channels and “buy now, pay later” schemes, Gen Z have been able to evolve their own styles to stand out from the crowd. In order to capture Gen Z’s attention, brands need to do the same. Brands need to show Gen Z how their products or services will help Gen Z continue to make their own mark on the world. Brands seeking to target Gen Z should keep this in mind when brainstorming creative ideas for social media ads and campaigns. 

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The Beauty YouTubers You Should Be Following Now

October 1st, 2021 by

YouTube and the beauty community go together hand-in-hand. For a long time, YouTube was the go-to platform for beauty fans to find all their beauty needs. Whether you wanted to pass time watching a beauty YouTuber or to find out how to create the perfect smokey eye and red lip combo, YouTube would have you covered. 

While the beauty community and beauty gurus have expanded into other platforms, YouTube still remains the main platform for beauty content. Some of the most popular beauty YouTubers have been able to create collaborations with some of the most popular beauty brands in the business, and others have even created their own makeup brands. 

Famous beauty YouTubers have become celebrities in their own right, with many even attending coveted events such as the Met Gala. Working with some of the best beauty YouTubers can give brands an exceptional amount of exposure to die-hard and engaged audiences. 

So, without further ado, here are the biggest beauty YouTubers you should be subscribed to. 

The top beauty YouTubers

1. Nikkie de Jager

Best known by her channel name NikkieTutorials, Nikkie is one of the most famous beauty YouTubers in the world. Starting her YouTube channel in 2008, Nikkie’s channel grew tremendously thanks to her 2015 video titled “The Power of Makeup” which encouraged people to feel comfortable in their own skin. 

Nikkie’s channel currently stands at a whopping 13.8 million subscribers. She regularly collaborates with well-known and loved celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Megan Thee Stallion. Nikkie is currently going from strength to strength, having just launched her own makeup brand and attending the Met Gala in New York. 

2. Nyma Tang

Nyma Tang is one of the top beauty YouTubers on the scene. Nyma grew in popularity from her beauty videos that called out brands for not providing enough foundation and concealer colours for people of colour. Her series “The Darkest Shade” tests out  the darkest complexion shades to highlight inclusive ranges and help her audience find the right shade matches. 

Nyma’s videos have caused big changes in the beauty industry, with some brands even consulting with her on how to create inclusive ranges. She was recently appointed the position of Beauty Inclusivity Consultant by CVS—a brand Nyma has partnered with since 2018, following the success of her series. Nyma has also created product collaborations with MAC Cosmetics and Dose of Colors, which sold out incredibly fast. 

3. Victoria Magrath

Better known as InTheFrow, Victoria is well known for her luxury beauty and fashion videos. Victoria began her beauty career with her blog and grew in popularity fast when she transitioned onto YouTube. This beauty YouTuber is an ambassador for many luxury beauty brands including Armani, Dior and Dyson to name a few. 

Victoria uses her YouTube channel to share her favourite high-end beauty products, “GRWMs”, makeup must-haves and tutorials. 

4. Hannah Mussette

If you’re looking for skincare and haircare advice, Hannah is one of the best beauty YouTubers to watch. Hannah’s content encourages viewers to embrace natural beauty by informing them on the best way to care for super curly hair and providing hairstyle inspiration to enhance and protect the curls. 

Hannah also shares her skincare and beauty routines in fun, relatable and easy-to-watch videos. She supports independent Black-owned businesses and has collaborated with luxury and high-street beauty brands. 

5. Hyram Yarbro

Hyram became one of the most subscribed beauty YouTubers throughout 2020 and 2021 thanks to the pandemic-inspired skincare craze. His videos are based on simple skincare tips and tricks, dos and don’t and the best beauty brands for your skin (and buck). 

Hyram’s videos make skincare and beauty simple. He breaks down celebrities skincare routines and informs his viewers about which ingredients they should watch out for. This beauty YouTuber’s success has allowed him to create his own skincare brand to share with his fans. 

6. Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss is one of the most popular beauty YouTubers in the industry. He started his channel in 2008 with videos about makeup tips and tricks. His content has remained consistent over the years, although his content now focuses on anti-aging makeup hacks.

Wayne’s content is easy to understand and follow. His reviews are unbiased and he informs viewers of the best makeup for different occasions and skin types. He has created his own beauty line of makeup and tools that is well-loved by the beauty community. 

FAQs

Who is the most popular beauty Youtuber?

The most popular beauty YouTuber is NikkieTutorials. She has built her success with honest makeup advice and fun tutorials, while managing to avoid controversy. She is well-loved by many brands and the beauty community. 

Who is the biggest beauty influencer?

The most subscribed beauty YouTuber on the platform is Mexican beauty YouTuber Yuya with 24.9 million subscribers.

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The Plus Size Influencers Taking the World by Storm

September 30th, 2021 by

When it comes to the fashion and influencer world, plus size influencers have had to pave their own way into the mainstream media. With their important messaging of body positivity and inclusivity, plus size influencers have brought attention to the idea of embracing natural beauty in all its various shapes and sizes. 

The body positivity movement was hurled into the limelight more when celebrities began celebrating themselves and pushing back on publications that were editing their bodies. This has led to a strong community of plus size Instagram influencers that are high in demand. 

But who are these plus size influencers? We’ve pulled together a list of the top plus size influencers you should follow. 

The Top Plus Size influencers 

Thamarr Guerrier

Thamarr Guerrier is the definition of feminine and chic. Based in Florida, this curvy Instagram influencer is inspired by Blake Lively and Mindy Kaling in terms of her personal style. She is the cohost of the podcast Creative Chase that discusses careers, the fashion industry and what modern day creativity really is.  

 

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A post shared by Thamarr (@musingsofacurvylady)


Thamarr is well-recognised for her opinions on fashion product recommendations for plus size women and invites her followers to shop her Instagram and Amazon storefront.

Chloe Elliot

Chloe, also known by her blog title Chloe in Curve, was named the “Fashion Influencer of the Year” in 2018 at the Blogosphere Awards. Chloe believes women of all sizes should be able to experiment with fashion and uses her blog to show the latest high-street fashion trends. 

Chloe Elliot

Chloe offers her audience fashion inspiration, but also covers important topics such as body shaming, anxiety and body confidence. 

Lauren Nicole Campbell

Lauren is one of the most popular content creators, writers and models in the fashion industry at the moment. In just her early 20s, Lauren has gained a large following of over 50K on Instagram and is the contributing curve editor of Cosmopolitan UK. She started her own blog, Fashion Killer, at just 15, which has now evolved into a go-to news website for the latest fashion and lifestyle trends and tips. 

 

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A post shared by Lauren-Nicole (@laurennicolefk)

Lauren has been very open with her audience about the reality of being a plus size influencer and model, including maintaining confidence and her ongoing battle with body dysmorphia. 

Callie Thorpe

Callie entered the plus size influencer world with a blog called From the Corners of the Curve, which she has since renamed after herself. Callie uses her blog and Instagram to share positivity and inspire others. She often shares her parrions for plus size fashion, makeup and food. 

 

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A post shared by Callie (@calliethorpe)

Callie is well-known for advocating for body positivity and female empowerment. She uses her channels to empower women by prioritizing body confidence. She is also the founder of The Confidence Corner which is a membership destination for plus size women and it is also a popular podcast. 

Louise Pentland

Louise is one of the YouTube “OGs” and became incredibly popular in the early 2010s for her friendly and relatable beauty and plus size fashion advice. Louise helped shape the influencer marketing industry and began her career as a curvy Instagram influencer with her blog Sprinkle of Glitter in 2009. 

 

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A post shared by Louise Pentland : Creator🌷 (@louisepentland)

Louise’s bubbly and infectiously positive personality lends itself well to promoting body positive and confidence. She has been open on her experience with pregnancy and parenting and how to maintain her beauty and fashion passion throughout this. 

FAQs

Are there any plus size influencers?

Yes, there are many plus size influencers globally. Thanks to the body positivity movement, more and more plus size influencers are entering the limelight and working with brands. We are even seeing plus size models used on global Fashion Week catwalks. This has led to a strong community of plus size Instagram influencers that are high in demand.

How do you become a plus size influencer?

To become a plus size influencer, you need to share your personal experiences with your body and fashion. You can share outfit inspiration, your favourite plus size stores, your tips and tricks for adjusting plus size clothing or generally discuss your relationship with your body. 

Who’s the most popular plus-size model?

The most popular plus size model in the world is Ashley Graham. Ashley began her modelling career at the age of 12 and is praised as the world’s best plus size model. She is open with her body struggles and encourages others to strive for body confidence and positivity.

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Influencers as Creative Directors: Future or Farce?

September 30th, 2021 by

Influencers have well and truly infiltrated the creative processes of modern brands. Considering their ability to build, maintain and engage a loyal following on social media platforms, it makes sense that some brands have considered using influencers to grow their own online presence and taken inspiration from influencers in regards to content style and posting. However, a new trend we are seeing with influencers is taking their creativity to the next level. Influencers are no longer simply partnering with brands, but are now accepting high-level and coveted roles within brands, such as the Creative Director. 

It’s almost futile to argue that influencer marketing doesn’t have any impact anymore, but inviting influencers into high-level positions has seemingly split opinions down the middle. 

So, who’s hiring influencers in their highest positions and what has been the impact?

Molly Mae and Pretty Little Thing

22-year-old influencer Molly Mae was recently announced as the new Creative Director of UK-based Pretty Little Thing (PLT). This announcement was met with an outstanding amount of coverage across news outlets and organic social media conversations, for both PLT and Molly Mae.

 

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A post shared by FASHION • BEAUTY • LIFESTYLE (@prettylittlething)

Molly Mae already had a well-established relationship with PLT from previous collaborations, so a more permanent collaboration seemed like a natural progression for the relationship. Since the announcement, Molly Mae has confirmed that the role won’t be the traditional 9-to-5 Creative Director role we are used to seeing. In an Instagram Q&A Molly Mae stated that her position as the Creative Director would be a “24/7 role,” where she would be “sharing ideas, coming up with incredible new concepts, having input on shoots, events, you name it…” 

PLT itself has reinforced its decision saying: “Molly is the PLT customer. She is a great fit to join our team to work on our 2022 strategy, and we’re excited to have her input in terms of creative campaigns, signing new brand ambassadors and working on her own collections over the next 12 months.”

While Molly and PLT seem excited to get started on their next chapter, the decision was still met with a large amount of controversy online. The news sparked many conversations about whether Molly was actually qualified for the role—at just 22 will Molly be able to handle the pressure?

While we won’t know the answer to that question for a while, the decision to appoint Molly as the Creative Director seems logical—even if just to act as a PR stunt. Molly’s previous collaboration ranges with PLT have performed exceptionally well, showing that Molly knows what the PLT audience wants. Or is it that the PLT audience wants what Molly Mae has? 

Either way, Molly Mae has already had some major impact on the fast fashion industry and popular fast fashion trends. From the famous Molly Mae Bun to her statement neutral suits, Molly Mae is a fast-fashion trend setter.

Kendall Jenner and FWRD

Luxury e-commerce site FWRD announced Kendall Jenner as its Creative Director. Part of the REVOLVE Group, FWRD claimed that Kendall was the perfect candidate for the role due her position as “the epitome of luxury fashion” and her “style, creativity and overall exquisite taste.” Kendall’s role and duties include leading “The look and feel of the site, curations of brands sold on the site, monthly edits of must-have trends, styles, and looks, as well as marketing ideas, brand partnerships, and brand activations.

 

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A post shared by FWRD (@fwrd)

Just as with the Molly Mae and PLT announcement, Kendall’s new role received a large amount of organic conversations online. However, this time there was more bad than good. 

Many were frustrated with the choice, saying a role of this level should have been given to someone who worked within creative fashion and had earned the position with previous experience. Although FWRD claims that Kendall is the “epitome of luxury fashion,” many netizens believe there are many more “brilliant people in this business” that are more deserving of the role.

Kendall’s missing influence on luxury fashion - Influencers as Creative Directors

Other netizens also mentioned Kendall’s missing influence on luxury fashion. Although she is a runway model, Kendall herself doesn’t have much influence over fashion trends. As a result of her prolific lifestyle, Kendall also has a stylist to pick her own clothes, so any influence she does have doesn’t actually come from her own creativity. Furthermore, Kendall has been repeatedly criticized for poor choices in advertising (we all remember that Pepsi ad…) and for culturally appropriative fashion choices. 

While crowning celebrities and influencers as creative directors, it does reinforce the power influencers have. However, it also begs the question: is it not enough to be a celebrity ambassador?

Emma Chamberlain and Bad Habit

The internet’s sweetheart Emma Chamberlain was announced as the Creative Director and Global Brand Ambassador for skincare brand Bad Habit at the end of 2020. Emma’s role as Creative Director will involve her overseeing product development and the creative process. 

 

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A post shared by Bad Habit (@badhabitbeauty)

Emma joined Bad Habit for their launch at the end of 2020. Speaking on the brand, Emma said “Bad Habit is me in a skin-care brand — it’s honest, unapologetic and realistic about the fact that life is far from perfect,” and that she was drawn to the brand for its honest, real and positive stance on skincare. 

Throughout 2020, Emma’s content began to focus more heavily on skincare and lifestyle, likely as a result of the pandemic at-home skincare trend. Emma has always been open and honest on her YouTube channel and Instagram about her struggles with acne growing up and her stint on acne medication. The natural progression into skincare tips was welcomed by her audience following this honesty and openness on her own bad skincare habits. 

 

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A post shared by Bad Habit (@badhabitbeauty)


Emma’s venture into business wasn’t scrutinised by netizens as a result of the natural progression into skincare and the fact Emma has already created her own successful business Chamberlain Coffee and podcast, meaning she already has experience growing new businesses from scratch. This is also likely why her position wasn’t criticised—there were no pre-existing fans of Bad Habit before Emma joined. This means all the brand’s success has come from Emma’s own effort and strategy (and probably her own audience). Since launching with Emma’s assistance, Bad Habit has gained over 133K followers on Instagram.

Influencers as Creative Directors: Good or bad?

There isn’t really a definitive answer as to whether influencers should be appointed the coveted title of Creative Director or not; it entirely depends on the brand and the influencer. From previous reactions online, it seems to be that brands with an already established audience will likely receive criticism online for appointing an influencer as a coveted role. 

While influencers should be given credit for their ability to draw in and maintain a large and loyal audience, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choice for leading a company’s creative visions. Netizens are just to question the credibility and expertise of influencers when they are given positions like creative director. Being a creative director involves more than just posting artsy and aesthetically pleasing images and videos online at the right time. It’s a demanding role that requires past experience in trend spotting, consumer behaviour, sales, social media and marketing. 

Launching a brand with an influencer as a creative director seems to have the same impact as launching a brand with an influencer as a global ambassador. Consumers are yet to form their own opinions on the brand and haven’t seen the brand perform without an influencer leading them. Launching a brand with an influencer at the creative helm may give the brand a speedier growth rate as the influencer can bring across their own audience. But this still begs the question: why not just make influencers brand ambassadors? This will give brands the same impact and growth opportunities while being directed by an industry professional who has the required experience. 

It is likely that we will be seeing more and more influencers be appointed highly coveted positions within brands. It’s also likely that we will be seeing more and more criticism from netizens over these decisions. 

So, to answer the question of whether having influencers as creative directors is good or bad… It seems to be good and bad. 

Each of the brands mentioned above experienced a huge amount of organic conversations online but the mentions were mixed. While some see the move as innovative, others see it as a robbery—people that have worked hard for those positions have had their chances taken from them. 

One thing is for sure: we’ll be keeping a keen eye on how these positions play out…

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How to Use Finfluencers

September 23rd, 2021 by

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. Finfluencers have been able to solidify their relevance thanks to the rise of fintech, COVID and unemployment uncertainty and the popularity of cryptocurrency. 

Finfluencers present financial institutions with many opportunities, but they need to be used with the utmost care and responsibility. As a result of fraudulent financial promotions, fake finfluencers and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concerns, social media platforms are becoming increasingly strict on the promotion of financial services and products. 

So, how can financial institutions use finfluencers? 

How Plum uses Finfluencers

AI money saving app Plum partnered with finfluencers including Matt Morgan (@moneywithmatt) and Timothy Paul (@tempahtime) who create content on finance, business and entrepreneurship for teens and young adults. Plum ran a series of ads and tutorials on how to save money and safely invest in stocks, alongside a “52-Week Savings Challenge” that encouraged users to save small amounts of money regularly. This use of finfluencers worked for Plum as TikTok users enjoy participation-based marketing. .

@tempahtime#save #saving #savemoney #finance #personalfinance #plum♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

@moneywithmattAn Easy Way To Invest in Stocks! #plum #invest #investing #ad #stocks♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依


How Snoop uses Finfluencers

UK fintech Snoop primarily uses TikTok and finfluencers for customer acquisition. Snoop has worked with finfluencer Jatz Naran since 2020 and promotes all his Snoop-related TikToks. The TikToks use simple language and explain real-life situations in an easily understandable way; some of the TikToks have received over 12 million views. Snoop has said that TikTok has been surprisingly successful in acquiring customers in their 50s and 60s, as well as younger audiences. 

@jatznaranLink in bio 🚀 ##snoop ##sponsored ##fyp♬ The Magic Bomb (Questions I Get Asked) [Extended Mix] – Hoàng Read

@jatznaranSnoop is by far the best money management app I have used 🤯🔥 ##snoop ##moneymanagement ##fyp♬ STAY – The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

How to use finfluencers


Host educational finance workshops

Finfluencers can be used to host branded financial workshops that provide accurate financial information and tips in a snackable format. Finance is a notoriously tricky topic to understand, especially for those who have no pre-existing knowledge. Having qualified and experienced finfluencers host workshops, mini-series or tutorials on how to use a fintech or traditional financial institution’s services and what benefits it can bring customers. By hosting multiple workshops or videos in a series, finfluencers can go into depth with their advice, offering a well-rounded and unbiased viewpoint. 

Use finfluencers as financial brand ambassadors

Financial institutions can use finfluencers as brand ambassadors. We would recommend that the finfluencers chosen to be brand ambassadors have relevant professional experience in an institution’s financial category. This gives the partnership credibility from the get-go, and businesses can ensure the advice and content created will be accurate and beneficial to audiences. In addition, finfluencer ambassadors are already established within a social media niche and can help businesses reach new and relevant audiences. 

Make your own employees finfluencers

Employees of financial institutions understand the inner workings of the business and will already abide by (and agree with) company values. This means their ambassadorship is as authentic as it can be and a brand will be accurately portrayed and promoted online. Employees have the qualifications needed to work at financial institutions, so they understand how to offer relevant and accurate assistance on social media. In addition, using “normal” people as ambassadors makes a business seem more relatable to social media users; they will also be more inclined to trust a professional opinion. 

Host a money-saving challenge

Social media users, particularly those on TikTok, enjoy participation-based marketing. Hosting a money-saving challenge not only enables users to actively participate in a challenge, but promotes and encourages downloads of a business’ app or services. It allows users to experience, for example, a new fintech money-saving platform that has been demonstrated by reputable finfluencers and gives them a chance to ask for advice as the challenge progresses, increasing engagement. Challenges are highly popular on TikTok and are a surefire way to boost awareness. 

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The Finfluencer Opportunities and Threats

September 22nd, 2021 by

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. 

What are the opportunities?

Connect with new generations and upcoming spenders

Using social media and influencers is one of the best ways to connect with the Gen Z and Millennials. Traditional and fintech banks can use finfluencers to help connect and teach these generations genuine and helpful financial advice. As a result of COVID uncertainty and high unemployment rates, these younger generations are actively seeking financial advice. These generations are also becoming the largest spending spenders, so banks and fintechs can use finfluencers to explain budgeting and saving advice in bite-sized and understandable ways. 

Prevent high-risk investing and crypto FOMO

FOMO culture dominates social media, but particularly on TikTok. As a result of the popularity of Fintok, many TikTok users have created videos discussing their own success with investment in stocks and cryptocurrency. However, some neglect to inform about the risks of investing in these, leaving the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concerned at the number of high-risk investments from young people. Using expert finfluencers, financial institutions can inform TikTok users on how to safely identify and invest in real stocks and cryptocurrencies. This way TikTok users aren’t feeling like they are missing out but are being wise and safe with their investments. 

Crypto FOMO - Socially Powerful

Gain cultural relevance

Using finfluencers can be a great way to show social media users you understand their wants and needs. By using popular and relevant finfluencers, financial institutions can earn a competitive edge over their competitors as they are showing cultural relevance. Using finfluencers that can appear natively in people’s feeds, financial institutions gain social proof and allow viewers to connect with them through the chosen finfluencer. As the world continues to favour digital, using finfluencers is an easy way for traditional banks to get their foot in the social-door. 

Teach younger generations about fintech

Millennials are less financially literate than the generations before them and are also one of the most indebted generations. However, they are the most likely to use fintech. This gives an opportunity to established and upcoming fintech businesses to use expert finfluencers (or perhaps use their own employees as finfluencers?) to promote their services while teaching Millennials about personal finance. Social media offers instant access to financial information, but using finfluencers helps personify fintech companies and makes a typically confusing topic easy to understand.

What are the threats?

Excessive positivity and encouragement for high-risk investments

Finfluencers are actively trying to reinforce their position as finfluencers. They are more likely to gain followers and a viral hit if they explain investment opportunities through rose-tinted glasses. However, by emphasizing the positive wins of investing, these finfluencers are not fully informing their audiences of the risks involved. In addition, as many platforms aren’t regulated, advice finfluencers are giving may not be correct, opening the threat of misinformation and even fraud. This means people are making high risk investments without understanding the incredibly serious risks involved. 

Influencers abusing their position of power

In recent times, many reality stars and influencers have abused their positions of power by promoting dubious finance assistants, debt schemes and cryptocurrencies to their large audience bases. When financial information is provided by a non-financial expert, the likelihood of their audience being well informed on personal finances is relatively low. This means any financial information is incredibly misleading and stands a high chance of being fraudulent; Kim Kardashian has been criticised by the head of the FCA for promoting an untested cryptocurrency on Instagram. As these stars have large fanbases, many of their audience members will follow blindly as a result of misplaced trust.

Influencers abusing their position of power - Socially Powerful

FCA concerns over social-media encouraged investments

The FCA has voiced serious concerns over young people actively seeking out investments online and says social media is responsible for young investors taking on too much risk. Research has shown that more than half of young investors have purchased a cryptocurrency using loans and credit cards. 

Discussing TikTok directly, the FCA has said people should be wary of fake finfluencers “promising high-return investments” and encourages people to do their own research. The FCA has called for social media platforms to create regulations for the promotion of financial products that have not been approved by an FCA-authorised firm. 

Platforms banning the promotion of financial services

As a result of the FCA threatening action if social media sites continue to promote risky, and occasionally fraudulent, investments to inexperienced consumers, many have begun taking steps to protect their users. In July, TikTok globally banned the promotion of certain financial services products including investment services, foreign exchange and cryptocurrency. Google has also clamping down on finance fraud by forcing all financial services advertisers to prove and display they are authorised by the FCA. 

In addition, it is likely the developing Online Safety Bill will include new regulations financial institutions and social media platforms need to be aware of. 

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The Rise of the “Finfluencer”

September 16th, 2021 by

TikTok is a popular entertainment app that’s used by nearly a billion users daily—the majority of whom are under 25. TikTok’s highly diverse audience base means there is an incredibly diverse range of content people create and consume. While TikTok began as a space for dance challenges and comedic videos, it has evolved into an all-round entertainment platform that shares bite-sized educational videos. 

As a result of this diverse content, we have begun to see new types of influencers gain traction on the platform and across other social media sites. A new type of influencer that is taking social media by storm is the finfluencer. 

What is a finfluencer?

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. 

Why are they relevant?

There are four main reasons finfluencer have been able to dominate TikTok:

  1. The rise of fintech has resulted in a money-savvy community of Gen Z and Millennials that live and breathe financial literacy.
  2. Amid the COVID-19 economic uncertainty, younger generations don’t know what to do with their money. 
  3. Amidst high unemployment, Gen Z & Millennial audiences are educating themselves to be financially resilient.
  4. There is interest in cryptocurrency and investing, but a limited understanding of the processes and consequences.

The impact of fintech

Fintech (financial technology) has disrupted traditional banking. As of January 2021, over 14 million Brits had a digital-only bank account (Monzo, Starling Bank. Plum etc.). 

Fintech banking offers customers 24/7 support through non-traditional channels such as social media. New fintech and traditional banks are beginning to take a mobile-first approach to reach out to customers by designing products and services with the aim of enhancing customer experience via mobile. 

With more accessible banking, more consumers are taking an interest into personal finances in order to become more financially literate. 

The impact of COVID-19 and unemployment

The pandemic has resulted in economic uncertainty. Unemployment rates among 18 to 29 year olds is expected to reach 17% in 2021 and many are in low-paid and insecure jobs. As a result, young people don’t know what to do with their money. 

76% of 25 and 29 year olds have concerns over how COVID has impacted their work and personal lives. Amidst this recession, Gen Z & Millennial audiences are using social media to educate themselves to be more financially resilient; they are learning how to plan for and in later life. 

The impact of Crypto

Cryptocurrency has become a buzzword online. As a result of its popularity on social media, many finfluencers have begun discussing investing in crypto. Thanks to the general population having a minimal understanding of crypto, finfluencers have been able to gain a following through creating crypto content. 

Crypto-memes and influence from public figures such as Elon Musk, crypto attracts people due to its perceived value; Dogecoin saw its value rise 40% after it went viral on TikTok. Many consumers don’t understand the concept and consequences of crypto. Finfluencers have the opportunity to explain these through simple, bite-sized content. 

Who and where are finfluencers?

Among top finfluencers, 34% are female aged 25-34 years, compared to 16% male in the same age bracket. This shifts when looking at finfluencers aged 35-44, of which 25% are male and only 9% are female.

Finfluencers are primarily found on TikTok (or FinTok) and YouTube. They are discoverable through the key hashtags:  #moneytok, #stocktok, #fintok, #finance and #investing.

TikTok has become a go-to platform for Gen Z and Millennials to learn and teach all-things finance and investing. The hashtag #FinTok has over 490.5 million views, and #MoneyTok has over 8.5  billion.  

Regulations for finfluencers

Surprisingly, there are no specific regulations relating to the promotion of financial services on social media. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has repeatedly stated its concerns for fraudulent content on social media; cryptocurrencies aren’t currently regulated by the FCA, meaning many social media posts around digital tokens are scams. 

As a result, TikTok recently banned the advertisement of financial services and products on its platform. Google is also cracking down on financial services advertisers by making them prove they are authorised by the FCA

To summarise, there are no regulations for banks or fintechs surrounding the use of influencers. The chosen influencers must be clear about exactly what they are promoting and inform their audiences of rewards and risks involved. This isn’t a strict law, but is ethical and will avoid an investigation from the FCA.

Finfluencers must clearly label any sponsored advertisements from financial institutions, as they would with any other partnership. 

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How to Gain Followers on Instagram for Free (the Real Way)

August 27th, 2021 by

Instagram has become a go-to for many brands looking to grow their online presence and connect with new audiences. Instagram can help brands drive relevant traffic, increase conversions and build a loyal community. 

While some social media accounts have opted to gain followers on Instagram by buying followers, this is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. You are filling your audience with inactive accounts, meaning your engagement rate will be significantly lower than it will actually be. The only followers you need to worry about are the ones who really care about our brand and the content you post.

 If you’re asking yourself “How can I gain followers on Instagram?” and looking into how to gain followers on Instagram quickly, you’ve come to the right blog.

How to gain followers on Instagram

So, how do you gain followers on Instagram? We’ve pulled together our top 10 tips to help you gain followers on Instagram naturally. 

Define your audience

Before you start figuring out the logistics of how to gain followers on Instagram, you need to know who your followers will be. Ask yourself:

  1. How old are your target audience?
  2. Where do they live?
  3. What do they do for work? How much disposable income do they have?
  4. When and how do they use Instagram?

By answering these questions you will give yourself a good starting point of the types of content you need to make and when you should be posting. 

Create a consistent brand story and theme

Consumers crave authenticity. By showing your brand story through your Instagram posts, you are being transparent with your potential audience. Sharing your brand story can help humanise your brand, helping your followers connect with you on a deeper level. 

While offering transparency to your audience, you should maintain a branded theme that is instantly recognizable as your brand. You should consider your Instagram grid as a cohesive unit; posts shouldn’t be competing against each other. 

Having a consistent theme makes your content more recognisable to audiences when seen outside of your profile. If your content makes it onto the Explore page, you want viewers to know it is from your brand. 

Use relevant hashtags

Using relevant and considered hashtags can help you gain followers on Instagram quickly and for free. Hashtags have served as an essential discovery tool for years and allow brands to expand their reach. 

You should use hashtags that aren’t over populated with content. Using an overused hashtag will just result in your content getting lost in the crowd. Using hashtags that your audience are more likely to check will result in audiences making a connection and following your account. 

You could even make a branded hashtag to group your posts together around hyper relevant content to your brand and campaigns. 

Pin top comments

Pinning comments is one of Instagram’s lesser-known features; you can pin up to three comments on each post. This option is really helpful if your Instagram caption goes over the 2,200 word limit. By pinning the rest of your caption in the comments, you can offer users an in-depth story. 

Pin top comments - how to gain followers on Instagram

Another option is to help increase engagement. By pinning the best performing or funniest comments, you are encouraging more Instagram users to comment on your posts in hopes of getting pinned. This helps develop your Instagram community. 

Post re-shareable content

When thinking about which content to create, consider making content that other people will want to share. This might be an insightful Instagram carousel, a mini infographic or a weekly news roundup. This is the type of content users will want to reshare to their own Instagram Stories. 

Engage with existing communities

There are many hyper-active communities available on Instagram; it’s highly likely that there is already a community relevant to your industry on the platform. You can engage with these communities by liking, commenting on and sharing content created by members. 

This not only makes you discoverable through comment sections, but gives users notifications that you have interacted with their content.

Work with influencers in your niche

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways of gaining new followers; over 60% of consumers say they would follow a brand on Instagram after seeing it promoted by an influencer they trust. 

Using micro and nano influencers is a great way to gain hyper-engaged and relevant followers. Smaller influencers have very high engagement rates and incredibly engaged audiences. These audiences trust smaller influencers and will be likely to support brands they recommend.

Make interactive Stories

Over 500 million Instagram users create and watch Stories everyday, so it’s in your best interest to use them too. People that use Instagram Stories are highly engaged; one in three Stories result in a direct message. 

Make interactive Stories - how to gain followers on instagram

Instagram Stories offer interactive features that can get users engaged including polls, questions and chat stickers. If an Instagram user has found your Story through a hashtag or location page, you are giving them the chance to immediately engage with you, increasing the likelihood of a follow. 

Use Instagram Reels

Instagram has announced it is going to be focusing on promoting video content over static content. Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s short-form video content and have become increasingly popular on the platform. Reels are easy to make and post, and can make a brand discoverable through the dedicated Reels tab and through a user’s main Instagram feed. 

Reels allow brands to show their personality in a digestible and engaging way. In addition, since Instagram is moving to focus on video content, you are more likely to reach the Instagram Explore page. 

Be consistent 

Consistency is key when posting on Instagram, especially if you’re just starting out. Find the best time to post on Instagram for your audience and stick to it. Keeping a consistent posting schedule will remind your followers why they followed you in the first place. 

When growing your account, it’s a good idea to post everyday. Through trial and error you can find out which types of content perform best on which days. Once you have analysed the Instagram analytics for these posts, you will be able to create a varied content calendar that will always provide value to your audience.

FAQs

How can I get 1000 followers on Instagram?

The best way to gain followers on Instagram is by doing so organically. The majority of large Instagram accounts have taken a while to generate their followers, unless they purchased fake followers or scored a viral post. 

To generate your first 1000 followers, you should begin by interacting with accounts that post similar content by leaving thoughtful comments. This will make people who are interested in your content aware of your growing Instagram account. In addition, this will also help you figure out the types of posts your target audience are most interested in. 

To make your content easy to find, use relevant and popular hashtags within your niche. Use slightly different hashtags for each post to ensure you are reaching every corner of your niche.

How do I grow my Instagram following naturally?

The best ways to gain followers on Instagram include ensuring your Instagram profile page is complete and optimised, keeping a consistent content schedule and engaging with audiences. 

A finished Instagram profile will give users a better first impression and understanding of who your brand is; a complete account is much more appealing than a half-finished one. 

A consistent content schedule gives potential audience members something to look forward to. If you have a weekly round up of the best news events for that week posted every Friday, Instagram users will know to follow you for updates. A content schedule allows you to keep track of the topics you are posting to ensure variety. 

Engaging with your audience will keep them coming back for more. By being active in conversations, you are helping develop an emotional connection between your brand and audience. This increases brand loyalty.

How do I grow my Instagram 2021?

If you’re wondering how to gain followers on Instagram fast, a top tip is to make sure you use as many content features Instagram offers. Instagram Reels are rising in popularity with Instagram users, so creating Reels content will introduce you to new followers. 

You could also create an IGTV series. IGTV content is becoming more popular on the platform and gives users a different style of content to consume. You can go into more detail about a trending topic within your industry to position yourself as an industry expert. 

How do you attract followers?

One of the best ways to gain followers on Instagram is to work with influencers. Working with influencers increases your reach drastically and also positions you as an industry leader. Influencers already have a trusting relationship with their audiences, so by working with an influencer, you are tapping into this trust. 

How do Instagrams go viral?

Viral content on Instagram gets significantly more engagement than average posts. A viral Instagram post will have 100K+ likes and views and thousands of comments. Going viral isn’t easy, and there’s no real formula to achieving a viral post. 

One way to achieve a viral post is to put your twist onto a previously viral post. Recreating a viral post is relatively easy as you don’t have to spend time coming up with an idea from scratch. If the viral post is relating to a particular social media trend, you will also help yourself appear culturally relevant. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

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