Why are you on social media? For most, it’s a way of connecting with friends and maybe even making new ones. But times are changing and the importance of gaining recognition on social media has skyrocketed. You have opinions, interests, and values you want to share. The more likes, shares, and comments you get – the more appreciated you feel as a member of the community. Plus, who doesn’t like a little validation every once in a while?
If you’re promoting something or you’re trying to build a personal brand, becoming an influencer is an even more important goal to achieve. Thousands of brands are presenting content by the minute. The point of that content is to reach millions of people. You can either reach out to influencers, or you can become that person who has enough authority to promote.
The predictions for 2020 are clear: the rise of influencers will continue. People are seeing TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube stars as more influential people than celebrities. Turning an influencer into a brand advocate is one of the most powerful marketing strategies in the world of social media.
What’s a social media influencer, anyway?
Everyone has their own definition of a social media influencer. In its basics, the concept would be translated as achieving great popularity on social media platforms. The results from a recent survey give us a broader perspective on that definition:
- 65% of people discover a new brand or product through an influencer at least once a week (24% say they find one daily!).
- 31% of consumers recommend an influencer to friends and family at least once a week
- 87% of shoppers were inspired by an influencer to make a purchase
With that being said, it’s obvious that most consumers correlate popularity with credibility. It’s in the name! An influencer is someone who has the capability to influence people, whether that be through emotion, inspiration, or recommendations. When you consider the common characteristics of influencers, it’s easier to set the track that will lead you to that status. We suggest 10 steps that will help you build a strong social media presence.
The ultimate proof of being an influencer is to have a verified Twitter, Instagram and Youtube account. Read more about how some companies use press releases to support social media verification.
One step after another: your way to becoming an influencer
- Act like a blogger: identify your niche
Do you know what successful bloggers do before they start a blog? They identify their niche and target audience. That’s exactly what a social media influencer should do, too. You will have an audience with specific interests.
What are your main interests? Technology, politics, beauty, lifestyle… the choice of topics is enormous. Of course, you can discuss politics when everyone does that even if your main focus is lifestyle, but you still need a narrow niche if you want to attract a specific audience.
- Give them hooks
Lee Odden, consultant on influencer marketing, has a nice tip to share: “The number of people publishing content on social networks is growing at a staggering rate. Standing out means not trying to be all things to all people. Stand for something specific and focus on going deep on that topic with your messaging, engagement, connections and content. Become the best answer for what you want to be influential about, and stand out by being unique.”
Once you pick your niche, start posting authoritative opinions that will attract the activity you’re after. You’ll have to be very active if you want to become famous on Instagram in 2020 and other social media platforms, so make sure to include these activities in your daily schedule.
- Start creating content
‘Sometimes a tweet is not enough for sharing in-depth opinions. A link that leads to the entire opinion published elsewhere, however, is a very effective strategy that boosts your authority’, says Mark Richards, a content strategist at Essayontime.
Creating highly valuable, solution-oriented content that resonates with the readers should now become your top priority. As this is the best way to claim your expertise and build trust with people who will seek for more opinions from you when they become your followers. Make sure that what you create is unique or presents a new angle of the matter to keep the interest hot.
- Find yourself a partner
When you have zero visibility, you can become a recognizable face in the world of social media if you start a partnership with a social media influencer.
Do you know an influencer from the niche you’re focused on? If yes, ask for a collaboration. You can provide a guest blog post, get featured in their video, or ask for a direct recommendation. If you don’t have such connections, it’s time to start making them. Find the influencers you can connect with and start posting comments on their publications. Of course, your comments have to be great if you want to get some attention.
- Find out what your audience wants
When you start posting content and updates on social media, your goal is to express genuine opinions and show yourself to the world. As you make progress towards the status of influencer, you’ll have to shift your attention towards the audience.
Analyze the comments and mentions. They will help you understand what questions your audience has and how you can deliver exactly what they want to see.
- The content has to be great!
Instagram is all about the photos, right? Wrong! The descriptions matter more than you realize. If you simply post beautiful photos, you’ll get comments like “nice”, but you won’t trigger engagement.
Check out Kino Yoga’s Instagram profile. The photos are absolutely beautiful. However, the captions are just as important as the visual content. You’ll see that she shares personal stories, gives good tips, and asks for engagement. She gets it.
- Paid advertising is worth it!
If you’re looking for tools for better social media influencer campaign, you should definitely consider paid advertising. This strategy helps you reach your target audience.
Neal Schaffer, founder of Maximize Your Social, explains why paid advertising is important for influencers: “Paid Social assures that your message gets seen by your target audience, but the building of highly tuned and hyper-targeted custom audiences will be key to ensure that the audience with the most potential affinity will see and engage with the ads – thus making Paid Special ad spend all the more effective.”
With Instagram on the rise, influencers have taken advantage of the “business profile” option as opposed to personal profiles. With a business profile, you can view your stats and promote specific posts for whatever amount you’d like and for however long you’d like. According to a survey from Linqia, 68% of marketers say Instagram is the most important social media platform for their campaigns.
- Don’t sell; educate!
Huda Kattan is a huge star on Instagram. If you take a look at her publications, you’ll notice that she promotes her products, but she also promotes other Instagrammers and shares useful tutorials that her followers love. Collaboration is key!
If people follow you, they will want to get something in return. Being an influencer is not only about sharing opinions. Your wisdom and skills should help people get better at something. Share some tips!
- Ask the audience! Interact with them
If you want your followers to leave comments and share your content, you should show you’re listening. Seb Lester, a type designer and calligrapher, always includes the audience in his work. He asks for words they would like to see. Learn from his example! Interaction is vital for your social media accounts to grow. Just like you’ll want to know that others are listening to you, others want to know that you as the influencer are listening as well! Like/reply to comments, follow people back who interact with you frequently, and make sure your audience feels valued.
- Always be yourself
When you reach the status of an influencer, you’ll start getting contacts for collaboration. Some of those offers won’t comply to your values. It’s important to stay authentic and true to your opinions. It’s okay to evolve. If you change your opinions, however, the audience won’t be happy to see you did it for the money.
Who doesn’t want to become a social media influencer? You have a voice and you want to be heard. Have you taken any of the steps described above? Do you have another strategy to suggest? Give us your comments!