As a 30 plus something year old, the word social influencer does have a laughable quality to my ears. Especially as children are now saying that when they grow up they want to be a YouTube star or Instagram Icon. Whatever happened to wanting to be a nurse, police officer, or flight attendant?
Saying that though, I have always worked in marketing and a social influencer is just the modern word for a brand ambassador. And the same principles apply to millennial’s. It would be disingenuous if it was made simple and easy, but I have broken down the steps and things to consider when raising your online social profile.
How can you be a social media influencer?
1. Find your niche
It really does need to be something you are interested in or you have a real passion for. You will be informing people about something they enjoy or something they want to know more about, so you do need to establish yourself as an authority in that area.
2. Social media channels
Pick a maximum of four social media channels that you will cover. Are you good with video or more written content oriented? Think about this when you are choosing the platforms.
3. Create a marketing strategy
The main purpose of this is to keep your plan on course. The goals should align with the broader company or brand objectives; and will aim to grow on what is there currently. It also helps you target markets, set measurable goals and distribute budgets.
4. Create a content strategy
Once you have your marketing strategy, you will be able to put this in place. Many say that they often forget or run out of time to post their messages online. Invest in a platform that will allow you to schedule your social media, videos and articles ahead of time.
5. Do it constantly
Your content must attract people, so it needs to be considered and consistent. You know what message you want to pass along, so stick to it. Look to introduce new elements too.
6. Befriend the competition
It is ok for you to contact other people and brands in your industry. Again this will build your authority in your area. Talk, exchange, interact, comment – be noted.
7. Build your community
Invite new people to like your content or your social media pages. Go to forums, groups, fan pages, etc online and also go out and meet people. Attend trade shows or networking meetings linked to your industry.
8. Promote yourself
It is ok to do this, it is not self-indulgent. You are not bragging, good content always defends itself, you just need to guide the audience to it. It is ok to share where it might seem interesting.
9. Provide value
This is vital. If your audience is not getting what they want or expect from you, they will leave and go elsewhere.
10. Grow and draw attention
As you grow, take the opportunities that arise, that fit your brand. It is ok to collaborate or take part in press articles or interviews. Enjoy the attention your hard work has brought you.
Is it ok for you to call yourself a social influencer?
Honestly, no… not until someone gives you this title. It is your community who decides if you are an influencer. It is a title that comes with respect from your field. Popularity is not the same as influence. It is not always about someone’s audience numbers. Engagement and the ability to spread targeted awareness on social media is paramount. Influencers do not focus on themselves, they focus on who they are talking to.
Remember, people follow you because of the value you provide them.