As an influencer, your first step towards attracting brand sponsorships and building business relationships is to drive engagement and build followers. But how can you develop a community of followers who are actively interested in your content and willing to engage?

Check out our four tips for influencers to develop unique content and build up an engaged followership to increase social media engagement and attract more brand sponsorships.

Focus On Your Individual Value

The number of followers you have is not everything, although it might be one useful measure of success. Brands want to engage with influencers who can help them to reach new audiences. Create authentic-feeling content that speaks to a specific audience and that conveys your unique personality. This will drive your engagement levels, which is just as important a metric as your overall number of followers.

Create Consistent Posts

This sounds like an easy one, but it isn’t hard to forget or go for a few days before you realize that you haven’t posted anything lately. You’re likely to lose engagement if you do not post consistently. Create content in advance if you know you will be too busy to post: For example, create your holiday season posts in advance so they are ready to go if you are traveling or spending time with family and friends. You should also have a couple of timeless images or stories in your back pocket to post in case you become unexpectedly busy at any time of year. Use systems like Hootsuite to manage, plan, and schedule your posts in advance for more consistency.

Use the Right Keywords and Hashtags

Strategically using keywords and hashtags, depending on the social media platform, will help you to reach and engage with your target audience and increase your visibility online. Do research in advance to learn which hashtags resonate the best in your favored communities. Add several hashtags to your Twitter and Facebook posts to make your posts easier to find and engage with.

Know Your Metrics

Use metrics to track your engagement so that you know which techniques are the most effective. For better or worse, social media engagement means you need to be hyper-focused on numbers. To gauge your overall levels of engagement, look at the number of likes on your posts, the number of comments, as well as clicks and shares of posts. Finally, “reach” indicates how many people have seen your posts in their timelines. On Facebook, for example, you can measure both your organic and paid reach via Facebook Ads.

Use these metrics to experiment and find out what techniques are best at driving engagement. For example, does responding to comments increase your overall number of follower comments on your posts?

Engagement is critical to your success as a social media influencer. Brands are more likely to partner with you if you have higher rates of engagement. Follow these tips to increase social media engagement and become a more successful influencer.

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