Attaining a large and loyal social media following is much more than achieving “vanity” statistics and boosting your self-esteem and ego. Achieving a large online social following means you have access to share your thoughts and ideas with the world, develop relationships with new clients and customers, and establish yourself as a sought-after thought leader. When you reach a certain influencer level, others in your vertical will approach you and ask you to share your thoughts and opinions on their social networks (often for money or other trade/compensation).
Becoming a social media influencer is not easy, but it enables you to be a recognized expert and “go-to” person in a particular industry or vertical. Using influencers has become a very effective method of marketing and engaging target audiences in order to help grow a brand and increase sales. By definition, an influencer is a credible and expert source who carries “influence” over others, and in this case, would be activated and employed through social media.
While many influencers have large followings on a number of social media platforms, this is not always the most critical statistic to measure. Instead, an influencer should be an active and engaged member of specific social media communities, interacting and posting on a regular basis. This means leading the way in commenting on relevant and newsworthy items (related to their particular area of expertise), interacting with and sharing posts from others, answering and posing questions, and more.
Here are some strategies that may be employed to help establish a social media influencer:
- be sure your area of expertise is specific and targeted. You will want to be THE expert in a narrow niche where your experience, knowledge, and research is viewed as credible and unique.
- stay on top of all relevant blogs, news, and opinion sources within your field of expertise as posted by people you trust to be credible. Be sure to read and study new trends, case studies, and the latest information in your field.
- create alerts, using tools such as “Google Alerts” and “Social Mention” to monitor all information related to your area of expertise. This includes press releases, news stories, social media posts, blogs, and more that will allow you to stay informed. Not only will this help with your personal knowledge base, it will also allow you to comment and ask questions on the latest information being shared online.
- post to your blog, and do this frequently. It is recommended that as an influencer, you are publishing at least a couple of blogs each week. This would also include times when you can share information from other experts in your field, invite contributors to your blog, and more.
- LinkedIn is a perfect place to also post your original blog posts using their publishing platform. Copy and paste your blog to the LinkedIn publishing platform and adding a clever headline, image, and keywords. The LinkedIn platform has built in credibility with an understanding that only the most respected leaders post long-form articles here. This means that you will automatically be viewed as an expert and authority simply by posting articles on LinkedIn.
- as you are now an established thought-leader, it is time to share this high-value content on your social media platforms. Pay the most attention to your primary social network, but use the others also to gain additional attention. Very important – your audience needs to see you as a wealth of knowledge and a resource in this specific area, so be sure to post content that will be valuable to them. This also may include sharing content from others that you have vetted and endorsed (by sharing) as important and of value.
- share your blog posts and original content with other blogs and publications. The more you are seen on other sites, the more you will be considered a credible influencer. This also will increase the back links and traffic to your own blogs and social media networks. And always be sure to share on social media each time you publish a blog!
- a very important aspect of being an influencer is being seen online. This means that you need to take part in regular and relevant conversations related to your area of expertise. So take part in Twitter chats, webinars, LinkedIn groups, etc. Answer question when they are posed, set up your own Twitter chats, and be sure to add your own comments and opinions wherever and whenever you can.
The key to becoming a known and respected influencer is to share your knowledge and be seen as often as possible, in as many different places as possible. If you are interested in pursing influencer status and need help from the recognized experts, contact Reach Beyond Marketing today!