Let’s be honest. Whether you’re a brand, influencer, or regular social media user, you put a lot of thought into your Instagram posts. Will people like it? Does it look like I’m trying too hard? Do my arms look fat? WHY HAS IT ONLY GOTTEN 4 LIKES? I’m deleting it.

No matter how aloof you may be, there’s no way around the pressures that come with social media. Finding a healthy balance between showing off how cool your life is and not being annoying about it isn’t easy. This goes for influencers and brands too. Their goal is to penetrate your mind enough for you to buy into what they’re selling without being pushy. So how do you engage your followers without annoying them? Keep reading.

  1. Engage at the right time

Timing is everything. You can have the most awesome content but if you’re posting it at the wrong time, it’s falling on blind eyes. Further to that, if you’re posting it at inconvenient or nonsensical times for your followers, it becomes a nuisance to them.

Content falls into two categories: seasonal and evergreen. Seasonal content has relevance within a certain time frame while evergreen content is good all year round. While having a mix of both seasonal and evergreen content is a fine strategy, you should be going one step further to drive the best results.

What’s more important than a mix of content is understanding what your followers want and need and when they want and need it. For your content to be timely in the eyes of your audience, you need to understand their behavior. What is their purchase history? What types of posts do they respond best to? When are they absorbing the most information? Taking these things into consideration is key to sending out relevant messages that your followers will be open to receive.

  1. Don’t overload your followers with information

Although it’s important to be informative, there’s a fine line between that and being a pest. People go on their social media to see pretty things that make them feel nice. They definitely don’t go on to be schooled on the intricacies and nuances of your brand or product. For this reason, it’s important to educate without overloading them.

Typically, when people see a lot of text, they keep scrolling. The last thing anyone wants to do after a long day at work (or school) is to read. This is a big hurdle for companies wanting to convey their message. To avoid people swiping left on your content, keep it short. Get rid of the clutter and get straight to the point. How does your page, product, service or brand benefit them? That’s the only thing anyone really cares about. Do this by producing straight-forward content that offers them obvious value.

  1. Make every message different

There’s an assumption among marketers that consumers need to be exposed to an offer seven times before acting on it. This Rule of Seven- though not always accurate- means that you need to engage with your followers a ton before your message actually sinks in. Unfortunately, a lot of brands think this means that sending out the same exact message a bunch of times will reap results. It won’t. It’ll get you blocked.

Instead, every piece of content you put into the online universe should look different. Further to that, don’t have it revolve around the sale itself. If you’re trying to sell a top, don’t post the top alone. Post some rad girl eating ice cream while biking along the Brooklyn Bridge wearing the top. The second time around, post a flatlay photo of the top with some super cute accessories and shoes. Lifestyle photos always trump product photos. They let the user see how the product can be used in their own lives.

  1. Avoid the annoying surprises

Surprises can sometimes be nice. An extra 5$ off ‘cause it’s Women’s Day? Awesome. Free gift with purchase? Also awesome. It becomes not so fun when the surprises are ones that make your eyes roll. Credit card fees? Eye roll. 20$ shipping charge? Bigger eye roll.

The practice of hiding the fine print on social media by both brands and influencers is becoming the norm. On top of these unexpected surprises causing abandoned check-outs and unfollows, it’s creating a distrust among their followers that is often hard to reverse.

Unwanted surprises like being difficult to contact or slow to respond to followers’ inquiries creates an unhealthy brand-customer relationship. Whether you’re an influencer trying to grow your following or a brand trying to grow your business, these types of blips are never a good look.

 

Consumers are being marketed to just about every second of every day. Peeing in public? Ad. Driving down the highway? Ad. Scrolling your Instagram feed? Ad. Ad. Ad. Marketing today is everywhere and that makes it very easy to become annoying. Avoid this by prioritizing your audience’s needs, diversifying your messages, and keeping it honest. Scratch their backs and they’ll (hopefully) return the favor.