Brands and advertisers sponsor influencer content in order to authentically spread their messages to their target audience by working with people the audience trusts. In turn, influencers drive interest in and engagement with their sponsored content by writing personal blog stories about their experience with the brand or product, promoting the experience to their followers on social media and inviting them to learn more.

The key to influencer marketing success is authentic stories combined with engaging social media promotion. But what is the right frequency of content promotion? Too much and you could come across as “spammy.” Too little and your audience might not see the great content, resulting in missed traffic opportunities. Additionally, how can you maintain authenticity while still inspiring enough engagement to meet or exceed your program goals?

We’ve gathered 5 tips from expert Linqia influencer Jamie Gernert, owner and editor of Work Your Closet. Gernert has successfully participated in over 18 Linqia programs and grown her per-program earnings by almost 2x since joining the platform in 2014.

Following her advice can help you determine the right type of social promotion for generating more engagement without appearing inauthentic or “spammy.”

Use Plenty of Original Images

“I use different images in all of my social media posts,” says Gernert.

Including fresh, original images with each post gives your content a broader appeal than displaying the same image each time. New images can also re-engage a reader who might have already seen the content in a previous social post without causing them to think you are simply recycling content.

Additionally, take note of which types of images garner the most engagement from your audience and feature similar ones in your promotional posts. This helps maintain a feeling of authenticity because you are staying true to the style that made your content popular in the first place. “I’ve noticed that ‘lifestyle’ photos with products tend to do the best,” says Gernert. “As a result, I try to style my product photography as lifestyle images.”

Post When Your Audience Is Most Engaged

“I schedule blog posts, Facebook posts and Instagram posts during peak hours when I know my audience is online,” says Gernert.

Posting when your audience is most active is a surefire tactic for effective social promotion. You can access your Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Pinterest Analytics directly from the insights or analytics tabs when logged in from the web. For Instagram,consider using an analytics tool like Squarelovin.

The data from these tools can tell you when your audience is most active on each channel, so you know when to release promotional posts rather than posting when no one will see them. And because many of your followers likely follow all of your social channels, space out your promotions to avoid saturating your feeds with the exact same message at the exact same time.

Only Commit to Programs that Truly Interest You

“Be selective about the campaigns you choose,” advises Gernert. “The more natural collaboration the better, as your genuine passion will show in your writing and result in better performance.”

Be genuine in the content of your social posts, share real stories from your life, and write in your own voice to make social promotion trustworthy, engaging, and interesting to your audience. For example, Gernert shares short personal anecdotes that relate to the brand sponsor. These real- life details tell a story that not only shows her honest interest in the brand’s product or service but also reveals a bit of her life and personality.

People are more sensitive to advertising than ever – only 1% percent of Millennials trust brand advertising – so it is especially important that the content you’re promoting is authentic to you. When you have a real passion for a product or service, creating sponsored content is much more than just an ad; it’s sharing a part of yourself with your audience. Let this passion show in your social media promotion and your audience will be intrigued to learn more rather than turned off.  

Make Your Content Valuable

“If the program permits, another way to get your readers interested is to add a relevant giveaway, discount, or coupon,” says Gernert.

Use social media promotion to advertise the value of your sponsored content. Your posts should delight, entertain, or provide truly useful information to the reader beyond just information about the brand or product. Gernert’s followers love that her content features gift guides, beauty tips and tutorials, recipes, silly stories and cute, candid images to make her posts informative or amusing.

When promoting on social media, make sure you include keywords such as “gift guide,” “tips and tricks,” “tutorials,” “discount,” “coupon,” etc. to entice your audience to learn more.

Integrating these recommendations into your next Linqia program can help your performance increase while spending less time promoting unengaging content. Learn more about how to up social media engagement in our blog post about headline optimization. Or share your tips on creating great sponsored social media content on our Facebook and Twitter.

Read more from Gernert in her Linqia Influencer Spotlight.