Instagram has one of the most fantastic app success stories. In just two months since it was launched in October 2010, it soon gained a million account signups. Facebook eventually purchased the photo-sharing platform in April 2012 and its momentum just kept on going. Today, Instagram boasts more than 2 billion active users each month. This translates to big business, as about 92% of consumers find influencers more trustworthy than traditional ads. For influencers, this can lead to massive social media success.
If you’ve been thinking about joining them, one of the first things to ask yourself is whether you have the traits of successful Instagram influencers. This article should give you the information that you need so you can decide if the influencer path is for you.
What is an Instagram influencer?
An Instagram influencer is an individual who creates content and shares it with a substantial number of followers over the social media platform. As a result, they wield considerable influence over their followers, who regularly visit their account, check out their posts, and possibly interact with them through likes, reposts, comments, etc. All these interactions comprise an “online relationship” that enables influencers to shape the perceptions and behaviors of the people who follow them or see their content. This influence makes brands want to partner with them to promote their products and services.
How do I become a unique influencer on Instagram?
Social media users follow their favorite Instagrammers because they find their content unique, something that provides value. Here are several tips to help you stand out as an Instagram influencer.
1. Find your niche.
Whether one is a comedian, a makeup artist, or even a professor, there’s always something of value that they alone can provide. Assess where your talent, experience, and interest intersect—this will help lead you to that one area to focus on, where you can enjoy and excel simultaneously.
2. Never compromise quality for quantity.
You must post regularly to maintain your visibility among your followers. But ensure that you aren’t “rushing” your content just to produce more. It’s quite easy for platform users to switch to another influencer if the posts you’re sharing look like reposts from a dozen other Instagrammers. So instead, invest time and careful consideration into creating high-quality content your followers deserve. If you must take lessons to upskill, then do so!
3. Take care of your followers.
Never take your follower base for granted. Instead, be genuine about your relationship with them by finding out what drives them, their needs, and interests. This way, you can tailor your content to make it more relevant to your followers.
4. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself.
Your content is only as good as your visibility. And you won’t get this by staring at your Instagram stats. If you genuinely believe in your brand, prepare a good pitch and approach potential companies to partner with. Get more visibility by learning the techniques that will get you “out there,” such as using the relevant hashtags, combining channels, and tapping user-generated content.
Top traits of successful Instagram influencers
So, what is a good influencer? Read on to discover these essential personality traits of influencers who attain social media success.
1. They’re relatable.
The relatability of Instagram influencers is what makes other people feel connected to them. Furthermore, this relatability enables their followers to believe that their Instagram idols understand their needs and wants.
2. They’re credible.
The relatability of top Instagram influencers leads to the second trait, which is being credible. Because influencers are seen as “real people,” their followers find them more authentic and therefore more sincere. Thus, these Instagrammers are more likely to earn the trust of Instagram users.
3. They’re techno-dexterous (or have people who are).
They needn’t be rocket scientists, but flourishing Instagrammers typically know the ins and outs of technology. This proficiency allows them to benefit from all the tips and tricks of Instagram and make the most of the platform’s features. It’s also common for Instagrammers to skip the learning curve and hire professionals so that they can focus on content creation.
4. They’re creative.
Instagram influencers have vivid imaginations. With the right editing skills, the sky’s the limit. Their ability to develop unique concepts helps them create fresh and delightful content on a schedule.
5. They’re disciplined.
While creativity is a great trait to possess, it won’t get you anywhere without the discipline to stay consistent. Discipline is “stick-to-itiveness,” which allows you to focus and persevere. For instance, being a successful Instagrammer requires regularly creating and posting content to remain highly visible among your followers and relevant to Instagram’s algorithms.
6. They’re adaptive.
The social media scene is highly dynamic. A trending idea can quickly lose significance in a matter of weeks. Thus, top Instagrammers are comfortable with change and promptly make the necessary tweaks to their style or technique to continuously score high on relevance.
7. They’re passionate.
Like everyone else, Instagrammers need to stay motivated to keep at it. Along with discipline and perseverance, the Instagram influencer’s passion for what they do will encourage them to continue creating quality content regardless of the challenges they may face.
Characteristics of unsuccessful influencers
However, not everyone has it in them to become successful. For instance, these characteristics of influencers can get in the way:
1. Being deceitful
This may sound harsh, but it is what it is. When an influencer fails to disclose sponsored content as such, their followers may feel fooled. After all, the relationship between an Instagram influencer and their followers hinges mainly on trust.
The remedy: Companies may forget to remind you about proper disclosure. Whether intentional or not, this negligence can bring down your influencer brand. Thus, make it a point always to incorporate disclosure specifications in every business deal. In addition, if you unintentionally made the mistake of not disclosing your sponsored content, nip the damage in the bud by being upfront about it and sincerely apologizing to your followers immediately.
Not a few influencers take the fast and easy route to success, only to regret it in the end. One disastrous shortcut is being a copycat of major Instagrammers, imitating everything from their style to the type of content they post. Yet another example is paying followers and likers, even using bots to boost account popularity. However, once algorithms catch on to your malpractices, you’ll find it difficult to recoup your investment.
The remedy: Resort to legitimate tips and tricks that can deliver and help you maintain long-term success. Keep learning, collaborating, and upskilling; your efforts should take you to the top of the influencer game in due time.
3. Posting too frequently or too little
Flooding your followers’ feed with multiple posts can be annoying for them. And in all likelihood, what you’re sharing with such high frequency are unoriginal or uninspired messages since your focus is on delivering more and more content regardless of the quality. Doing so is ineffective and will fail to capture the kind of engagement you’re aspiring for. At the same time, it can also burn you out. The other extreme, which is rarely posting, is equally futile. Without a regular schedule of postings, you can easily lose favor with the gods of algorithms.
The remedy: Set a regular schedule to ensure you remain visible without overwhelming your followers’ feeds.
Some of the biggest influencers on Instagram
1. whinderssonnunes (58.7m followers)
Whindersson Nunes is a top comedian and singer from Brazil who is also a prolific YouTube sensation. His Instagram account is full of stories and posts about his everyday life, as well as funny videos and parodies. His editing can be characterized as simple and raw. Some brands that have tapped his influence are as diverse as Acuvue to Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
2. Huda Beauty (50.8m followers)
Huda Beauty was created by top makeup artist and blogger Huda Kattan. The famous Instagrammer has been tagged as the Kim Kardashian of the cosmetic world, owing to her uber-influential social media presence. Her posts typically focus on beauty content that includes tutorials, makeup tips, and tricks. What makes her unique is that she tests and models many of her products which she doesn’t subject to animal cruelty.
3. chiaraferragni (27.7m followers)
Chiara Ferragni is a highly influential Italian multi-hyphenate, being a blogger, fashion designer, businesswoman, model, and devoted wife and mom. Her primary focus is fashion, so you will find her feed littered with samples from her eponymous clothing brand that encompasses women’s items from denim jackets to bags, sneakers, and even underwear. However, you can also see her love for her family with multiple posts of their everyday life as well as vacations and special occasions.
Now that you know the top traits of successful Instagram influencers, as well as the other tips we’ve shared, do you think you’re made of Instagram influencer stuff? Then, we hope for the best as you embark on your influencer career. Don’t forget to take some (if not all!) of our advice and use the latest and most effective tools to help you work smarter (not just harder!) on your road to success.