How to Use Social Media like an Influencer
You may not be a social media influencer, but you can use the tools the influencers have applied to become what they are today. Many brands are clamoring over themselves to have influencers push their brands on social media. But what is that one thing influencers have in common? They have the ability to push people to try out brands they would otherwise not have thought of using. Another thing they have in common is a large following on social media.
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is someone with a reputation for their expertise on a particular topic that they explore on their social media channels. The audiences, usually large in number, pay close attention to what the influencers have to say and tend to base their purchase decision on the recommendations of the influencer.
Some of the influencers are celebrities like Justin Bieber, Snoop Dog or the Kardashians who have many followers on social media. Influencer marketing actually has its roots in celebrity endorsement of products. Industry and thought leaders like Barack Obama and Richard Branson are also influencers in their own rights. Bloggers and content creators are also rapidly carving their niche in the social media influencer space because they have active relationships with their fans. Yet, other influencers are just normal people you would pass on the streets, who have such a complete understanding of a particular niche that they have huge numbers of followers who closely follow, watch and listen to what they have to say.
It is important that you amass a good following. Build your online community by inviting people to like your pages, subscribe to your YouTube channel or use the new tool for auto Instagram likes to build an Instagram following.
So how do they do it?
- They have discovered a niche and maximized on it.
Find your niche, let it be something you are passionate about and share your knowledge and experiences with your audience. Whatever your niche is, make sure you are knowledgeable about it and can provide a ton of information if your audience asks you any questions.
- Capture the audience interest with a great bio.
Talk about yourself in an engaging manner. Your bio is the first thing people see when they come to your social media page. Use SEO words for instance ‘seasoned traveler’ if your interest is in travel. This ensures that if anyone searches for a seasoned traveler, you will pop up in the search engine.
- Whatever you share MUST be interesting.
Pepper your experience with interesting anecdotes. If talking about food, share an experience you had eating unknown foods or crazy recipes that no one would ever think about. Talk about the day you ate bugs as a snack or your first time eating snails. People tend to gravitate towards experiences they have never had and interestingly the more morbid the better.
Also, use visuals. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so they say. Use pictures and videos and make sure you include interesting captions to accompany the pictures.
Use appealing colors and nice high-resolution pictures to capture people’s attention. No one wants to look at blurry out of focus pictures.
- Consistency is key
Schedule how often you will post. Most influencers will post every day but this could lead to fatigue especially if you don’t have a constant stream of content. You can schedule posts for every other day or twice a week. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Posts drive engagement but it cannot be random posts. Audiences like consistency, so make sure you can deliver.
There are great tools online that can help you schedule posts, you can create content in advance, set the dates and the tools will automatically post on your behalf.
- Be willing to spend some money to appear in the right places.
Get premium or business accounts that give you benefits like analytics or allow you to run your posts as ads. Ever been on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin and seen a sponsored post? This is the advantage of having a premium account. Analytics are important because they give you a chance to understand your followers a bit better allowing you to create content that directly speaks to them. It will also give you insights on the best day and/or time to schedule your posts for maximum engagement.
When you clearly understand your audience, it makes it easier for you to pitch for partnerships with big brands thus starting your journey as an influencer.
- Engage with your audience
Don’t ignore your audience. Don’t ignore comments or questions. Follow your followers and engage on their pages as well. You can also motivate your followers by hosting contests with, for instance, the first 100 to subscribe will get a gift.
Always remember to include a call-to-action like “please subscribe to my YouTube channel” or “follow me on Instagram or Twitter.” Most people respond very well to this.
- Cold pitch to brands
Do not be afraid to cold pitch to the brands you want to work with. Do not wait for the companies to approach you, sell yourself to them. Tag them in your posts and send direct messages to them. Sounds hard? Yes, it is hard but nothing good comes easy.
- Grow an audience
There are great resources online that will drive followers to your pages. Also, use your networks to get more people to your pages. Good content will keep your audience engaged and they will recommend your pages to their friends.
Becoming an influencer is not an easy task but you can do it using our tips above. Social media is all about engaging content that keeps your audience coming back for more. Ask the influencers, they have perfected the art of making a ‘mountain out of a molehill.’ The most mundane thing can become so exciting depending on how you package it.
So go ahead, try it and see the brands come knocking.