The first place you turn for social media marketing advice is Rihanna’s Instagram feed, right? No?
You might want to rethink that.
Though most of the world associates Rihanna with chart-topping hits, ever changing hairstyles or her fashion line, it’s about time we begin recognizing her for the highly successful marketing strategies she employs via Instagram. With over 12 million followers, even the most skeptical among us have to admit she’s doing something right.
Let’s take a look at 5 marketing lessons from Rihanna’s Instagram
1. She doesn’t just collect followers, but she follows back
While the chart-topping diva only follows a little over 1,200 users, she still follows back more than the average celebrity. The small percentage is understandable; following all 12 million fans back would be an astronomically overwhelming task. Yet by following a small percentage, Rihanna maintains a positive image, which yields positive results for her brand.
Utilizing a social media outlet solely to advertise and collect your own follows comes across as narcissistic. You might as well pepper your feed with constant “Hey! I’m Advertising Here!” reminders. By following back, Rihanna builds brand loyalty and turns what would otherwise be a one-way advertising campaign into a two-way, interactive relationship. This is one of the most basic principles of inbound marketing, and something that corporate social specialists would do well to emulate.
2. She interacts both playfully and meaningfully with fans
Are you having trouble deciding which of Rihanna’s designs to wear to a house party? Try posting your options to Instagram. For instance, user rnavirenrih received a response from the superstar herself! Rihanna isn’t afraid to engage with fans via Instagram. She responds to criticism, cracks jokes, clarifies misunderstandings, and offers advice, encouragement and help to fans in need. While it would be impossible for the star to respond to every Rihanna-related hashtag, consistent and memorable interactions help her followers feel like a personal relationship with the star is not merely a possibility, but a reality.
3. She posts a compelling collection of professional and personal images
While there are a multitude of ways to improve your marketing campaign’s use of pictures, Rihanna’s strategy of posting professional and personal, candid shots is definitely one to emulate. While Rihanna’s feed contains plenty of explicitly brand-related images, she’s not afraid to intersperse photos of her family, her vacations and other aspects of her private life. These opportunities allow fans to peek behind the professional curtain work to promote a relationship between the star and her fans.
Even if they will never meet, fans feel like they’re supporting a beloved friend instead of simply buying a commodity.
4. She knows the power of a sense of humor
Nothing breaks the ice quite like a sense of humor, and nothing helps your brand spread like wildfire through social media quite like humor either. Album promotion and concert pictures might interest established fans, but they aren’t as likely to interest those outside her current following. However, a funny photo, a bawdy joke or some quotable sass can spread quickly from follower to follower. Before you know it, there could be countless new feeds reposting.
And while only a percentage of those who repost will travel back to browse the source, it still manages to engage new people and introduce the brand to an outside audience. Still not convinced? Don’t just take RiRi’s word for it. Check out Waterstones Oxford Street’s humor based Twitter campaign.
5. She posts regularly
While humor, personal glimpses, personal interaction and refollows are great, none of these strategies would mean a thing without a regular posting schedule. Rihanna makes sure she keeps herself relevant and visible in her followers’ social feeds by posting with dependable regularity. She keeps fans engaged by ensuring new content daily or every few days.
Waiting weeks between photos can cause your brand to fall to the back burner, but posting regularly keeps you at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
You don’t have to be an international superstar to market your brand successfully on social media. Even small businesses can improve their social strategy by taking inspiration from this 5 marketing lessons from Rihanna’s Instagram account. By remaining visible, promoting a sense of relationship and creating content that encourages reposting, you can increase your brand’s market and inspire personal brand loyalty.
See also: 10 Things to Never Do on Instagram