Even as social media expands to fill more of our lives, old fashioned advertising like word of mouth remains one of the top drivers of online marketing success. Put simply, even online people prefer to buy from those they trust. That makes it even more important to learn how to become an influencer on social media, because as an influencer you can offer expert advice from a trustworthy source. This guide will lead you there in seven easy steps you can start taking today.
1. Find a Niche
What interests you? If you are looking at becoming an influencer, chances are you might already know what your preferred topic will be. One thing that many people realize when they are learning how to become an influencer on social media is their ideas may be too broad, or too narrow.
Whatever niche market you want to influence should be something into which you are willing to commit time, effort and heart.. If you are unsure where your niche is, just follow your passions and you may be surprised at how many of them are shared by others.
2. Create Value in Yourself
What makes you, you? How will you stand out? When you study how to become an influencer, look first at yourself and your personal talents. Even though social media takes place online, you need to create a genuine, personal connection with your readers.
Each follower should feel connected to you, even if you never meet in person and they never do more than like a post or post a comment. A genuine approach that lets your personality shine will go much farther than a false persona that others can see through.
3. Choose Your Network(s) Carefully
Each social media network is a unique ecosystem. Some, like Facebook, live off viral sensations, the spread of shared content, and others, like YouTube, favor quality videos with catchy titles and appealing thumbnail messages. As an influencer, you should read the platform blogs to stay up to date on the latest ins and outs of your channel, and pick up tips specific to your media environment.
When first starting out, try to limit yourself to one or two channels that really speak to your medium. Once those are established, then you can test the waters in other sites. It is easier to have a small audience that expands with you than to cast a wide net and hope for fish.
4. Keep Yourself in the Know
Being a skilled influencer is not just about quantity and passion. While those two things are important in creating and maintaining a following, staying up to date on the latest topics and news impacting your industry and readership will give you credibility and relevance.
Influencers are people who can alter the way others react to news and current events. No matter what your niche is, there are always going to be new things happening, whether they are trends or current events. The more you read, listen, study and understand what the people you share with are hearing about, the better you can explain and influence the way others see those events.
5. Know and Keep to an Editorial Schedule
You can spend all day trying to imagine how to become an influencer in social media circles. However, your dream will be a pie in the sky unless you put in the grunt work of writing, posting, and staying current on your follower’s news feeds. Having a set schedule is a good way to both ease new readers in – they know when you are posting, and can see that it is consistent – and train yourself to not procrastinate and get things done on time. Everyone, from visual artists on Instagram and Tumbler to comedians on YouTube, has to work hard and stay focused.
6. Engage with Other Channels
No matter what your niche topic may be, you are not the only voice in the social media chambers that your readers (and potential readers) are listening to. Being invited to speak on the topic, write a response, or otherwise make your option known on other channels will lend credibility to your persona. If you want to know how to become an influencer, you first have to show influence not just among the followers of the topic, but among other experts as well.
When you engage regularly on other channels than your own, you show that you are walking the walk. You should post comments, answer questions, and message relevant people in your niche to see if they want to become a guest on your page. It is great publicity for everyone, and may lead some of their followers onto your page for the first time.
7. Pick Your Battles
Finally, as your blogging expands and your influence grows, you are going to sometimes have to say “no”. One of the biggest challenges that people face is they want to be everything to everyone. With so many social media channels to choose from, it can be easy to overstretch your editorial and posting schedules and replace quality with quantity.
So, if you feel you have already mastered how to become an influencer on social media but start to feel that the tail is wagging the dog, just refocus your energies on what made you successful in the first place. If a certain approach is not working for you anymore, it is okay to say no and walk away to more successful ventures.
When you are learning how to become an influencer, there will be a lot of thought and effort that needs to go into it. Sharing valuable insights is easy when the topic is something you are passionate about. The necessary work and research will come naturally to you.
How have you made your mark as an influencer on social media? Feel free to weigh in on any tips you may want to share, and let us know your story and how you became an influencer.