Lorenzo Ferrari unveils the hidden secrets of Instagram growth.

There is no magic behind Instagram growth. It doesn't happen overnight, but these insights will help you build an Instagram strategy for your brand in 2022.

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Nadia Belkarroumia

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Lorenzo Ferrari. At 22 years old, he is an accomplished digital marketer who deals with all aspects of digital marketing with a focus on social media. As a social media manager, strategist, copywriter and personal branding consultant himself, he is now the most followed under 25 on linkedin in Italy. 

Lorenzo is a multi-hyphenated entrepreneur. He founded smarTalks, a platform where he creates content on digital marketing, and CleverAdv. 

The idea behind smarTalks was to apply what he learnt during his graduate education. smarTalks statement is really simple: Marketing in a smart way. 

How did you come up with smarTalks? 

It was during my second year of university. I wanted to gain experience on social media and social selling as an aspiring marketer. I thought to myself “Why not create an Instagram page where I could explore, share and expand my knowledge on the topic?”. Everything started there. Now I’ve graduated and smarTalks became one of my main occupations as a professional. 

How do you think social media has changed in recent years?

A lot of things have changed. I think the biggest challenge today is knowing how to use social media. We’re all convinced that we know how to use it, but as big companies remind us when they make mistakes, it’s not that easy.

People are very sensible, and communicating on socials has become very difficult. The biggest challenge is knowing how to do it in the right way. It sounds silly said like that but for instance, Instagram offers features and not all brands even use them all. It’s such a waste of potential! Also the key behind all social media strategy is the community, the people. Only them can legitimize your presence. Your community must be and stay the foundation of any social media strategy. 

As far as people are concerned, another challenge is to use social media responsibly, without it becoming substitutes for real life, and overall be aware of the health implications of each individual platform. 

What’s the right way to use social media?

Use it responsibly. Don’t use it too much, and live real life. Don’t confuse real life with social media life.

I think it all comes down to setting boundaries, as a user. And as a brand, you don’t have to push content 24/7. Your community needs time, your social media team as well. It’s all about empathy. Once you are aware of the implications, it just makes sense.

 

What would be the most clever way to use social media for a retail brand?

I think communicate in a transparent and clear way. Because today there is an overload of information and it’s too loud on social media, and it’s difficult to communicate directly with your community without the message getting lost.

So the biggest challenge is to do it in a clear way because people want this today. And by clear, I mean honesty as well. Your community is intelligent and deserves respect. So I’d say there is nothing worse than a brand that shares false or misleading and dishonest information.

Did you work with influencers?

No, but I think it’s an interesting field. Because today influencers are an important part of life for brands and companies, and even people sometimes. They have an important power for communicating a message and creating empathy with yours and their audience . And it’s important that companies work with them.

But it’s difficult to choose the right influencers. As a brand you have to trust them, not give them scripts because people can always tell when the message is not genuine. So I’d say, try to work with people who love your brand in the first place. 

How do you choose the right influencers?

This depends on the aims and KPIs of the company, and the type of message that they are ambassadors for. Whether they are micro or macro is not important, the important thing is to choose the right influencers according to the goals. What I’m saying is, like I said before, you should always aim for people who have an affinity for your brand and/or your product. PR schemes don’t work anymore. People are used to them and they don’t fall for it anymore. Genuine relationships are key. They are the cheat codes that will make the difference between a brand that is endorsed by its community and one that is not. 

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had to choose influencers for a brand?

No, but I’ve been chosen as an influencer on LinkedIn and it’s a really fun experience.

What do you think of the changing market sentiment towards micro influencers and away from macro influencers?

I felt the same. I think that they have more and more power than before. I think that micro influencers are more and more used by companies. They have three advantages: They are more easily trusted by their followers as they are usually their friends and acquaintances, they are less expensive than macro influencers and their engagement rate is usually much higher than the one of big influencers. 

There is a powerful feeling between them and their audience. It’s genuine, they usually know each other in real life. It makes a huge difference. 

What do you think of brand communities?

Communities are more and more important today for brands, because people don’t really care about brands anymore. They want to interact with people. Brands today are humanized, they want to show that there is a person behind the account so that the community has someone to relate to, to gather around. And this puts in light how important it is to have a community.If one can’t relate with your content, then it’s not good. 

It is important to have a community and make them support you by supporting them.

How do you make a community support you?

Having contact with people, talking with them, and creating special contents with them. It is important as a brand to be human. This is important to grow your community. More than talking to your community in a place of authority, put yourself at their level, treat them as equals and even befriend them. 

How do you create this relationship?

Talking to them and creating valuable content. I’ve been doing this every day on linkedin. 

I always try to share my unique point of view in the content that I create on linkedin. Because what people care about at the end of the day is not necessarily marketing content, but my own special point of view because there is a lot of marketing content available online. But my point of view is unique, so is yours, so is everyone’s. So showcase personality, don’t be afraid to be yourself and be relatable. That’s how you create relationships with your audience.