Posting meaningful content is the key to becoming an Instagram influencer

The key to becoming a successful Instagram influencer is to post meaningful content, according to new research by emlyon business school.

The research, conducted by Professor Karine Raïes and her co-authors Mariem El Euch Maalej and Marielle Salvador, found that posting frequently with lots of hashtags is not the only way to increase engagement on Instagram.

In fact, the research revealed that using a social media strategy which takes a more emotional approach by linking yourself to your brand and not posting intensively, could be more effective as consumers will trust you more.

The researchers explored casual configurations of factors that led to a high level of engagement on 18 French Starred Chef Instagram accounts.

Starred chefs now face the challenge of building a highly recognizable brand. With social media they can showcase their history and personality before customers taste their cuisine making them suitable for this research.

By looking into the number of pictures uploaded in each of the 18 Instagram profiles, the average number of hashtags, the number of pictures containing people, and finally the average number of commercial links, the research raises the different mechanisms that can explain a high engagement of the followers.

“Social media, and particularly Instagram, enables people to get closer to their customers, extend their media coverage to a wider audience, and direct traffic to the starred establishment. With COVID-19 lockdowns meaning businesses are having to close, it is now more important than ever for businesses to boost their online profile, and our research shows a strategy that can lead them to maximize their social media marketing activities to influence follower’s engagement behaviours, and to successfully manage their accounts without adopting an intensive publication strategy” says Professor Raïes.

These findings can also be applied to other types of brands, including personal – influencers can use this research to develop strategies that can serve their collaboration with other brands while positively impacting their follower’s engagement.