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Founded in 2005, Reddit quickly became a popular social networking site that hosts a massive collection of forums, or threads, where users can share their favorite content and start mass discussions. There are a ton of subreddits focused on almost every topic you can imagine, including one focused on influencer marketing that was created in 2015. The subreddit is full of resources, ideas, and tips for all those interested in social media influencing. To engage this audience, NeoReach teamed up with musician, comedian, YouTuber, and influencer Ali Spagnola to host an AMA, or “ask me anything”, on the InfluencerMarketing subreddit.
Spagnola answered questions on influencer marketing and social media based on her expertise to engage Redditors in a fun, yet informational, way. Here’s how it went down:
To host a successful AMA, NeoReach posted a link to the Reddit post on our Twitter account to encourage more questions from an audience already interested in social media. From there, both Twitter users and some of the subreddit’s 5.3K members headed to the post where they could ask their relevant questions and get answers from someone who knows the industry in and out. It was also beneficial that Spagnola herself posted one of the questions she received on her Twitter – this way, her followers could engage in the AMA as well.
— NeoReach (@NeoReach) October 6, 2020
What Did Redditors Want to Know?
On the post, no two questions were the same, so Spagnola was able to give Redditors a complete insight into the life of an influencer on different platforms. To break down their questions during the 24 hour AMA, it’s best to split them into two categories: influencer-focused questions and industry-focused questions.
My reddit AMA today was super fun! You guys rock 🙂 I love that multiple people mentioned http://t.co/ecvkE3udY5 even though it's unrelated
— Ali Spagnola (@alispagnola) July 11, 2013
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The life of an influencer can seem mysterious to some, so Redditors wanted to know the following:
- How do you gain a following?
- What has been the most effective way to gain new followers?
- What’s the best way to keep followers engaged?
- What does a day look like for an influencer?
- How do you make yourself stand out among other influencers?
- What do you know now that you wished you did when you were starting out?
- What is the most overwhelming part of being an influencer?
- What advice do you have for a micro-influencer wanting to go to the next level?
Redditors also wanted a deeper understanding of the industry from an influencer’s point-of-view, so in the AMA they asked:
- How do I negotiate an influencer contract?
- Do you prefer to work with agencies or directly with brands?
- What’s your strategy for reaching out to brands for a partnership?
- What are your biggest concerns with the ever-changing social media landscape and the changing algorithms?
- Have you seen any emerging new social platforms that are worth considering?
- How do you see the social media space evolving for creators?
Ali’s AMA Answers
On being an influencer
When it comes to being an influencer and boosting your growth, Spagnola emphasized the need to:
- be unique
- create shareable/relatable content
- collaborate with other creators for cross-promotion
- make content that resonates with a specific audience
Especially for those wanting to take their accounts to the next level, Spagnola advises that they follow their passion and make content that interests them and fills them with pride. That way, making content you love will be much more helpful when trying to strategize or grow a following. Spagnola also mentioned that she goes to a lot of strategy talks at conventions and digs into her analytics to try and figure out how to make content that performs well.
But sometimes, the content doesn’t take off as she planned it to. In this case, she advised Redditors to just make what they love and release it without rigid expectations.
While she puts a lot of thought into her content, Spagnola also recognizes the need to take a breather. Or, as she puts it: “knowing when to stop” and “having a sense you’ve done enough”. On a day to day basis, Spagnola is always doing something different to move her career forward, whether it be wading through her inbox, shooting a new video, or working on a new song.
Yet, she claims she always feels like she could put in “more time, more effort, more dedication”. She doesn’t take days off and works as efficiently as she can, but says it’s something she needs to work on in the future to cut herself some slack.
On the industry
When working with agencies and brands, she recognizes that agencies can take a cut, but she prefers them in comparison to brands that don’t understand the value of influencer marketing. For her, choosing to work with a brand directly or through an agency varies depending upon who she’s working with and how familiar they are with the influencer marketing industry.
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When reaching out to brands, she generally likes to have a concept in mind beforehand to sell them on a unique content idea first. She’s also found it’s effective to say “What’s your budget for this campaign?” in order to get the deal that compensates her fairly.
To address the questions about social media, Spagnola claims there’s “always the fear that you won’t be able to reach your audience or a new one”. In other words, she fears machine learning and algorithms are dictating our culture: “It happens all the time on every platform. Things change and your exposure drops. Attention is your currency when you’re an influencer, which means if you don’t have attention, you don’t have an income. Algorithms figure out what to show people which influences their tastes, what the world watches, what our society does. From the creator side of it, I’m trying to please an algorithm so I change what videos I make based on what it demands.”
However, Spagnola has tried to not let the changes influence her content too much. Instead, she’s excited for new platforms that are made for creators with their needs in mind. So, what up-and-coming platform is she keeping an eye on? The new short-form video app Clash! “It’s made by a former Vine creator, so they have creators in mind. They’re focusing on monetization from the start which is awesome”.
Keep up with Ali Spagnola: