In the world of online marketing, it’s important to stand out. One way to do that is to build up a loyal following on social media and get people talking about your brand. In this article, we’ll show you the 6 most important steps to gaining influence on social media.
Most social media influencers make gaining attention look easy. The truth, however, is that it takes a long time and consistency is key. The biggest influencers on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter know exactly what their audiences want, which is why step one is…
1. Identify Your Audience
This is such a simple idea, but it’s one that a lot of people don’t tend to think about when they first start trying to gain influence. The reason for this is that when we look to social media influencers we see them and think, I want to do that. However, if you want to gain a following, you need to look from the perspective of the influencer and not the audience.
When it comes to marketing a product and gaining a following then you should already have a good idea about the people you’re going to target. However, it’s important to make sure you target them in the right places.
Try to find out your target audience’s preferred channels e.g. YouTube videos, blogs, Facebook updates, Instagram photos and stories etc.
It’s also worth finding out who else they follow and see if you can find trends between those influencers to give yourself an added advantage.
2. Get Their Attention
If you can find out who and what your audience likes then you can uncover what makes them click then. Once you know this, you can use other influencers for inspiration.
It’s important not to just copy exactly what others are doing because your audience has seen it before. Instead, you should try to create something original which shares certain characteristics.
3. Get Connected
Connecting with your audience is a lot easier in the early stages when you don’t have that many followers. However, even as your influence grows, you should aim to check out your comments section and reply to as many valid questions and responses as possible.
Proving that there are real people behind working behind the scenes who actually care about their audience, will really help to boost your reputation and consumer trust.
When responding to people’s comments, it’s best to provide useful answers, rather than generic ones. While saying ‘thanks’ is nice, providing people with advice which they can use is much more effective.
Think of digital interactions in a similar way to real-world interactions. If people walk up to you and ask you a question or admire your work, how are you going to react? Ignore them, give them a thumbs up, or give a more considered and thoughtful response?
The way you treat people online should mirror the way you treat them offline.
When it comes to dealing with negative comments, it’s best to try to address the genuine issues and ignore/delete the ones which are from trolls.
If you feel that a customer has a valid reason for compensation, make sure to direct them to a private chat and reach an agreement there. If you do it publicly then you risk more people complaining in the hopes of getting something for free.
4. Partner Up
Once you start gaining influence, you give yourself a boost by partnering up with other influencers in your niche. By doing this, you can pool your resources together and help each other grow.
The best way to do this is to ensure that you know exactly what it is that you can offer.
Partnering up does not mean being one of those annoying influencers that tries to get free stuff by offering ‘influence’. This will only lose you followers. Instead, try to find people in your niche who you could promote and who could promote you. If you are working in the same area, then the chances are your followers will like the other business, and the followers from the other business will like yours. The benefit here is that both influencers are able to point their visitors in the direction of things which interest them, while both gaining a larger audience.
One of the easiest ways to find like-minded influencers is to look through the list of people who already follow you. Your followers should already know who you are and they already have an interest in what you do, which will give you a much better base to start from.
It takes time to build trust and influence, and it won’t happen overnight unless you’re fortunate enough to go viral. Make sure you keep looking at what works and what doesn’t and engage with your audience. If you can continuously improve then your audience will grow and so will your influence. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the prize!