How to engage your influencers?


How did I manage to have Magnus Resch following me and commenting on a post? Or the art critic Jerry Saltz liking a photo?  And, having the auctioneer Simon de Pury and the collector Michal Bortowik following me?

What do we understand by Influencer?

An Instagram Influencer top tier is an account followed by minimum 30m people. A medium top tier starts at ideally 2m+ followers. So like most of us, let's be realistic; and only focus on the "people of influence" and social credibility in the art world (100k to 500k followers).

Do you want a one night stand or a lasting marriage?

As usual long-term relationships take time and efforts, and so does your social media.

Depending upon your objective, choose your target Influencer.
Decide to like any new posts plus give meaningful comments to draw their attention. And comment / respond to their stories regularly.
You can as well tag people in your own post, they will be notified.
You need to be ready to like them for months before you may have a little like in return. You could message them but if they do not follow you, your message will be in their 'request' IG inbox => Spam.

Please note that big account have a social manager to take care of their account. Therefore, before you sent an exhibition proposal, be sure that the person managing the IG account is the correct addressee of your message.

Who's an Art world influencer?

If you're a starter, an influencer is anyone who's got a higher rank of followers and a higher engagement rate. Let's say 15 x more followers and a good 2 to 5+% engagement rate.

How can you know who is your influencer and interact with? Use SocialRank, it's free. It shows you the list of followers and followings plus their engagement rate. Remember, the engagement ideal rate should be between 2% to 5%+.

Analysing an influencer's engagement rate can also help you decide whether the influencer will deliver you a return on investment (R.O.I), as it indicates how responsive their audience is to their content.

An influencer's engagement rate can also be used to set a benchmark to determine success or failure for your influencer marketing campaign. For instance, if the influencer shares content about your artwork or exhibition, that has significantly higher level of engagement than their usual engagement rate, this could indicate that the campaign was very successful. Whereas, if it has a significantly lower engagement rate than their typical rate, this could indicate that there is a problem with the content that may need to be addressed.

Resisting the quick good look fix

There are tons of sites that sell you up to 10k followers and likers.
It's easy to spot them as from one day they have 500 followers, overnight more than 10k and one week later they lost 2k followers. Adding an extremely low engagement rate with 100 likes then suddenly they have 500 likes.

To keep up with the appearances, you have to pay and pay. In the long-term, this is extremely expensive for no real return on investment, because those accounts will bring you nothing in return. And, your objective should be to sell art not really to be appreciated.

I know a few accounts of art professonals that bought those services. Their account are 20+k. In view to counter balancing the poor engagement rate, they may buy additional like / comment services. This a financial story never ending. But most of all, their message is not really seen to the people they want to reach.

Instagram choose to whom it shows your post. Imagine you have now 20k followers and Instagram only show your post to your fake followers...

The mega art players

As previously seen, very popular accounts do not block lagger users, since this is not "community" friendly. And, Instagram select to whom they show the post. Hence, their mission is to post more engaging content and more often in view to drag the attention of the followers. You end up posting either daily and even several times per day.

But what about those who go on Instagram only once a week or per month? When they come back, their feed is jammed by the same user looking as a spammy behaviour.

Celebrities are generally doing poorly!

Being on top does not mean having a huge engagement rate! Even Instagram is doing a bit poorly on that side compared to Justin Bieber and Cristiano Rinaldo.

Being a celebrity like Beyonce or Tony Robins, you are allowed to follow no one or only another of your own business.

Software automation

The top of the cream of the art world or the most influencers accounts are probably managed by an Instagram manager equipped with several software.

The software can be programmed to all the functionalities notably to like back or comment on the followers within the Instagram limit of 2,400 per day.

Therefore, by liking and commenting your target mega Influencers, you have more chances that they reply back - thanks to the automated system.

However, some accounts have more than 5k engagements per post, you have to be among the first ones to engage. Hoping that you are in the lot of "actionable followers" of the day minus all their peers that will come first.

And, that's how I got Magnus Resch commenting on my photo, or Jerry Saltz liking a post - by an automated system. BTW, it took Magnus Resch more than 6 months to realise that unfollowed him.

To have Influencers following you, all you need is perseverance ...

What an Influencer can do for you?

Having an art Influencer engaging with you, it will give you public credibility for a moment. To build a relationship with someone who does not know you personally, it takes time. But, by regularly giving meaningful comments or react on the stories, you can get noticed. Evaluate what this Influencer could do for you. Get noticed and persevere!

For example, I used to follow Michal Borrowik, a Polish collector, and responded to several of his stories (birthday wishes, talk at a conference) and that's how he started following me.  It stopped when I unfollowed him, since he is not in my target audience.

Knowing that most big accounts are managed with a powerful software, you could have different tactics, such as:

  • liking every post - hoping than the Influencer account will follow you or like you back,
  • comment gives more value and give possibly immediate response, such as a "like your comment".

To have an Influencer following you, you should have a profile that may have the same affinity and style. This is how, my profile is compliant with the brand of the auctioneer Simon de Pury.  The prestige factor: a top account will rarely follow a messy account and never like your doodles.

If your an artist you can show general families post but most importantly your last artworks and recent exhibitions. If the content of your profile is controversial, no big Influencer will follow you. 

A no no profile is also the one - in my opinion - with too much memes, selfies, foodies, doggies, babies or kitties. I am on Instagram to see artworks not your lunch, your newborn, your pet on every single post. Keep a good balance of content to be reviewed in THoTA Club: Content is King!

Maintaining the relationship

Selecting a target Influencer does not mean spamming the account with likes and comments. Or the owner may block you.

Obviously, if you manage your Instagram account on your phone, it is time consuming to be there every hours and engage into 60 actions per hour. 

The solution is either an Instagram agent or a software, they can become your time saver.

Happy Instagramming! 😀

And if you prefer to get the results without the fuzz, check our Instagram Packages

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One of the most common problems I see with artists is that they make art randomly - where the creative flow brings them.

Your followers have 24 hours to view your story (image or video) before it disappeared. Stories can be more personal (about what you like or behind the scene / in the studio).

To the question, do I really need to write an artist statement, the answer is YES.

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