It’s likely you’re familiar with the term, but if not, here’s a definition provided by Simply Business. A social media influencer is “someone who uses a social network, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, to reach—and influence—an engaged online community.” Such influencers “create content that has value for their community, whether it’s written or audiovisual content.”
You may already generate content that fits this description, but not leveraging it sufficiently to position your business as an influencer or thought leader. Many prominent social media influencers are found in celebrity or other cultural circles, but there’s no reason your small business can’t strive for—and attain—a reputation as an influencer, with a significant social media following of your own.
Here are tips on becoming a leading social media influencer:
Decide on your goals. There are different reasons for pursuing the status of influencer, but simply trying to magnify the number of followers on a social media platform shouldn’t be one of them. Rather, key objectives should center around how this affects your growth as a business and new customer acquisition. Think carefully about what sets your business apart from the competition and begin creating based on that distinction.
Provide content tied to what’s happening in the news. One great way to attract attention is to tailor the content you provide so it links up with what’s going on in business, culture and other news. For example, a weather-proofing business might produce and distribute a blog post entitled, “5 Ways to Protect Your Home Against the Winter Storm Season.” Whatever’s happening in the news, there’s bound to be a way to leverage events and connect them to your areas of expertise.
Restrict your offerings to one or two platforms at most. Don’t make the mistake of spreading yourself and your business too thin. The overall impact of your content marketing efforts is diluted if you try to be active on a plethora of sites. It’s more efficient to concentrate on a single (or, at most, two) popular social media platforms and strive to build a strong, loyal following there.
Quality wins out over quantity, every time. Another common mistake among businesses and individuals striving for influencer status is to bombard their platforms with too much content. “Don’t just post for the sake of posting,” advises social media marketing expert Brandon Brown. A more effective strategy lies in offering content “that will bring true value to your followers,” and not appear as blatant self-promotion.
Grow and nurture your community. Becoming an influencer means actively engaging with your social media community on a daily basis. (Yes, this requires time and effort, but small businesses really can’t afford to ignore the reach and impact of social media.) Brandon Brown encourages ongoing interaction (commenting on and sharing other peoples’ posts, responding to what they say about your content, etc.).
Consistency is key. Getting involved in social media—whether or not you strive for influencer status—demands consistency. Your followers expect to see fresh content or retweets or other messages on a regular basis, or they’ll move on to another business with more reliable input. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to churn out “world-class” articles or blog posts every day, but you should put thought into what you post and what you want your audience to learn.
These efforts, when pursued with enthusiasm and diligence, won’t necessarily win you hundreds of thousands of social media followers (though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility). The effort will certainly increase awareness of your brand and your company, which can lead to any number of prospective customer possibilities, and new avenues for growth.
Want to learn more about using social media to grow your business? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!