Building and maintaining a relevant audience is one of the hardest things to do on social media. Fortunately, there are some shortcuts you can exploit that don’t include buying followers! There are many influencers on social media, users with large followings and voices in the industry, such as renowned writers, celebrities or business leaders, who can give your profile a significant boost. Having a single influencer endorse your company or share your content could produce an Oprah Winfrey effect.
Find, follow, connect with, and learn from influencers in your industry.
Connecting with and engaging influencers should be an important part of your networking strategy. Of course, connecting with Oprah Winfrey may be a long shot, but many others may be within your reach. Here is one tactic that may be useful:
1. Find and follow influencers in your industry.
Focus on influencers who are active social network where you have a presence and whose views are aligned with those of your company. Interact with their content by commenting, sharing and liking, but be authentic and don’t overdo it.
2. Use an “ego bait” strategy to engage them.
Quote them on social media and in your blog and mention their name in a positive context. You would be surprised by the results this may produce. Influencers might share your mention with their audience, and they may link to your content or follow you.
3. Reach out to them directly.
Compliment them on their content and ask if you could commission an article for your blog. Yes, this may cost you some serious money, but it will be more likely to get their attention. Having even one article from an influencer will be a huge credibility boost and will help attract others.
When all fails, don’t be discouraged and focus your efforts on other influencers who may not be as hard to attract.
Build relationships with influencers on social media by commenting on, sharing and liking their posts
While attracting influencers is a good starting point, the ultimate goal of your social media strategy should be to become an influencer yourself. Influencer status will do miracles for your social media marketing as well as your own career.
Working toward earning an influencer status is a long journey that starts with producing amazing content, continuously improving it, networking tirelessly and working your way up to earn the respect and trust of the industry.
By networking and interacting with other influencers (see the previous tactic) you can learn a great deal about becoming one yourself. Here are some suggestions:
- As an aspiring influencer, you have to be ready to contribute by producing and curating a lot of quality content.
- Discover where other influencers contribute their content and pitch some of your best material.
- Be prepared to be rejected at first. Use the criticism to improve on your content, and don’t give up. Practice makes perfect.
- Participate in discussions and conversations. Respond to all comments; engage others by discussing their content across multiple platforms.
- Be ubiquitous by applying your name and face to every piece of content that you produce. It’s all about building recognition.
- Post frequently across multiple social networks. Use automation tools to help schedule your posts.
- Utilize your personal social media accounts and channels to distribute your content as well as to receive feedback.
- Be helpful to others by offering advice and assistance. Helping others grow will grow your network as well.
- Be active offline. Attend networking events, seminars, conferences; try to land some speaking engagements or interviews. Get your name out there!