Stop seeing numbers. Start seeing people.
So often we scroll our little thumbs past a dozen different faces, different girls in different locations, most likely all wearing the same bikini. Love it or hate it, we can’t help but stop and stare. The perfect outfit, the perfect location, some dreamy set up and a whole lotta filters, touch ups, contrasts and highlights. It’s aspirational, inspirational, but sometimes a little frustrating. In this digital age, we’re constantly moving, shifting trends, growing communities, creating new ones. Yet, there’s more to influencing then the latest bikini on the latest “It” girl with the highest engagement.
Photography by Mark Morgan @mxmsurfphoto
Granted, these people are good at what they do and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. From planning, shooting, re-editing, writing, re-writing, posting and promoting… the list goes on and the skillset is expanding.
Instagram, although one of my favorite platforms, is turning into an algorithm that makes it really hard for individuals, and even businesses, to stick out and grow organically.
In a society where you can buy followers, get fake accounts to like and comment, the line between real and robot is getting blurry. So really, how can I, as a business, make a difference, inject a bit of diversity, and speak to my core audience organically?
Making a difference and being different are two derivatives of the same idea.
When the type of engagement can range from “you’re hot” to “That was so helpful, thank you”, social media is getting lost in a sea of algorithm and pirate technology. If you’re looking for authentic content, there is one thing that sets certain people apart, and that’s their knowledge. The success stories of social media have made it to where they are because they are regarded as the experts in their respective fields. Knowledge, as someone once said, is power. Being the voice of authority in your world, whether it be food, lifestyle, health, wellness, DIY or tech, is what sets you apart from the rest.
To get a little more insight, I decided to ask some experts in their own field. Taryn Williams is the CEO of influencer marketing and creative talent platform theright.fit . I was fortunate enough to have a little chat with Taryn and her team to get an idea of the importance of authenticity and credibility when it comes brands and influencers
“The biggest benefit to collaborating with an expert/voice of authority is credibility. When someone is genuinely interested in their field, their audience tend to be more interested and involved too. The content produced by the influencer comes from an honest place and the post usually become more natural/organic as the topic is similar to what the influencer is passionate about.”
– Nio Poniatowski, Marketing Manager at theright.fit
It can be as simple as knowing your niche market and going for the people who speak to that. I’ve missed out on opportunities because I didn’t have anything close to a multiple-digit “K” number on my social page. I had all the qualifications and more to do the job, but I was esteemed to be not much of an “influence” to gather the crowds. The vicious circle of “If you don’t give me a break, I can’t get the following, and if I can’t get the following, you won’t give me a break” has happened so many times. It’s something out of my power, a catch 22. But increasingly, brands are overlooking the numbers, and considering something a little more authentic: the people behind the numbers and the lifestyle they emulate.
Reach for the stars, but pick the right one.
I’m a qualified yoga teacher with a masters in journalism and a bachelor in business. I love writing. I love creating an image that is my own, with words that I strung together. The brands I’ve worked with have overlooked my so-called “numbers” because they know I will create something for them that is authentic and thoughtfully put together. There is beauty in quality, not quantity. In realizing that, brands are helping me, help them.
“To achieve high reach is really great but not if you're reaching the wrong people. It is really important to not get blinded by high following numbers. Sure, it's great to be seen, but you want to be seen by the right people that are actually going to take action”
– Nio Poniatowski, Marketing Manager at theright.fit.
All this to say, if you’re a business looking to promote the latest high-tech watch or life changing app, why not reach out to someone who knows a thing or two about it? There’s a lot more to influencing then the girl in the latest bikini (With all due respect – those girls are nailing their markets). There’s also the self-proclaimed geek with a degree in IT who has a passion for tech reviews. Or the stay-at-home mum with a knack for cooking delicious, colorful, beautiful meals. Chances are, your geek will speak to all his high-tech buddies, and mum will speak to all her other mum-friends. Before you know it, you’ve got some genuine, knowledgeable fans at your doorstep.