Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
The power of social media has changed the way that we market.
Do you think a business can survive without social media?
Are you strategically planning your content releases?
Could you be doing more to develop that saint-like following? A following that will drive your business forward…
The truth is that the majority of us don’t do enough through social media. We understand the power that it holds. But we don’t strive to be innovative in the way that we use it.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could explode your following numbers on Facebook and Twitter?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could tap into the authoritative power of key figures in your industry?
In this article we’ll take a look at ways that you can become an influencer in the online environment. If you are powerful in social media, with powerful followers, the world is your lobster (as good old Del boy would say).
Be a Specialist
It is very easy to fall into the trap of being too broad in your advertising. When you are talking in social media circles, it is best to be niche-driven in your strategy.
Social media platforms give you the opportunity to become an authority, an expert if you like, in a certain area. You can develop a following within your industry that makes you powerful. To do this though, you really do need to be focused.
Begin with one or two social platforms and build a reputation for being knowledgeable on certain topics.
Speak to Authorities
In the social media world it is when you can grab the attention of authority figures that you will know you have made it. In every industry there are key people who are able to swing industry opinion.
These people may be in the press, industry associations, or may even be celebrities.
The easiest way to get the attention of these high worth individuals, is to share their content. You want to be sharing content of authorities in your industry more frequently than you are sharing your own content.
A successful social media team will not spend all of their time talking about promotions and products; they will seek to go deeper into the industry.
Be Selective about Your Social Media Platforms
Many people entering social media feel that they have to go as broad as possible in terms of the platforms on which they engage. This is not true. It is possible to find out where your customers are and spend your time there.
There is no point spending your time talking to people who will never buy your products or use your services.
Do searches on the different social media platforms to find out who is talking about what. Find out where your competitors are communicating most. Ask your customers which platforms they use (easy but often overlooked).
You can also jump onto Google Alerts so you can be notified when industry topics, competitors and your business are discussed.
Don’t Overlook LinkedIn
Many people will overlook the benefits to be had by working within LinkedIn. You should be keeping in regular touch with your LinkedIn contacts.
There are limits to the number of messages you can send through to your contacts, but you can always pop over an email. When we have industry contacts in our profile they can become a valuable source of information, prospects and revenue.
Don’t promote yourself with every email, talk about your industry.
Do you think you’re getting enough out of LinkedIn at the moment?
Invest Some Time
It is crucial that you invest some time in managing your followers and following dynamics. Spending a few minutes a day finding people to follow can help you get noticed in the right social media circles.
Obviously you can’t follow on Facebook. But on Google+, Twitter, Instagram and PinInterest, you can identify potential targets based on their biographies.
To gain influence you need to be able to communicate with people in your sector. You have to be proactive in your approach and invest some time.
Do make sure you keep your following/followed balance right though!
Good Old-Fashioned Face Time (Even on the iPhone App)
Many of us gets so intertwined with our daily social media activities that we forget that we own a phone, and that we drive a car.
When was the last time you phoned one of the contacts you have on social media?
When the last time that you checked who amongst your followers is going to the same event as you?
It is a fact that you will get more content shares, more likes, and more recommendations, if you have had some face time with your social media contacts. You could even have some FaceTime on your iPhone.
You wouldn’t believe how far having a beer with an authority figure in your network could get you!
What Does Your Image Say?
Your mug shot on your social platforms will be the window to your social media soul. What does it say about you?
Choose a picture that portrays the correct image for your brand. Be selective and be realistic about what will work best.
A picture says 1000 words, or so it has been written. Using quality images in your content really can improve your hit rate on social media. Infographics are shared readily by people in all sectors.
It is well worth going the extra mile to ensure that your images are high quality and highly targeted.
Become a Great Host
One of the best tips for engaging with your following base, and getting them loyal to you, is to host an event on Facebook. You can give something back to your followers and drive a networking community that is truly receptive to what you say.
All you have to do is set up a “Fan Page Friday”. You allow your followers and fans to share their websites and profiles on your Facebook page. In this way they can promote themselves to like-minded people in your network, and you get real good kudos through the process.
Send out an invite in advance, and early on the day that you run the event. Don’t do these events too frequently, as they will lose their novelty: Once every few months should be enough.
People who do this find that they have more loyal followers and that these followers are more willing to share their content and their brand.
Have You Tried Live Broadcasts?
In an ever more cluttered online environment you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else. Platforms such as upstream.tv provide the opportunity to broadcast yourself live to the world.
A tweet on Twitter stating that you are online now, will provide you with the opportunity to connect with others in a way that most do not. It really can be powerful.
In addition, you are able to share this content through a multitude of platforms, such as the streaming websites, your blog, and even by disseminating transcriptions of the live broadcast.
We need to be innovative to thrive in social media these days. Use the new media opportunities available to you.
Get Clever with Google Analytics
You can pass social media metrics from your content links in social media all the way through to your Google analytics reporting dashboard.
Sharing information, such as the social media platform shared from, type of content shared, and the title or name of the content piece, can really add value to your social media strategy. You will know what is working, so you can spend more time doing what works… simple.
Go to the custom UTM parameters in your Google analytics account.
Produce Top Quality Content
The only way to truly make a splash in the online world these days is to produce top quality content. Whether that is through live broadcasts, 2500 word posts, webinars, podcasts, infographics, interviews with authorities, or anything else, you have got to be able to grab attention.
Get Your Brand Voice Right
You must ensure that your social media presence is aligned with your brand. If you want to develop a saint-like following then you have to be consistent in the way that you communicate, and the messages that you relate.
Nothing will confuse your followers and fans more than if you have lots of different voices in your social media sphere.
Don’t get me wrong, you need to get personality in. The personalities in your business are what will help you grow your social media presence.
But you have to get the company’s stance on issues consistent, and the overall tone, whether it be professional, quirky, young and vibrant or cheeky, flowing through all threads of your corporate communications.
Speak To People
It is very tempting to start thinking of the social media platforms as automated systems communicating with a robot infested world. People are people! People do business with people!
Call people by their names. Praise people who have done things well. Speak to people in language that they will understand.
Communicating effectively on social media is the same as communicating to people face-to-face. They have to relate to you in order for them to want to transact with you.
Get Your Content Volume Right
Each industry is different, but you should be mindful that you don’t over-communicate, or under-communicate in your social media platforms.
If people are on several of your platforms then you don’t want to be sending the exact same information across Facebook, Twitter and whichever other platforms you are using.
Add some variety and spice to your social media, and strategically plan your content releases.
Tweeting every 40 minutes could well become tiresome for your followers. Tweeting every three or four days may be too little. Get the balance right so you can have the maximum impact in what you have to say.
Seek out interesting and informative information. Get interviews with authorities in your sector. Release interesting bite-sized content pieces.
Always leave your followers wanting a little bit more!
Become an Influencer
Your social media efforts will become fruitless unless you become an influencer. Rather than taking the approach that your social media efforts are there to sell products, try to build influence in your sector.
When your content is shared, and your products are spoken about, you will be inundated with interest. Your social media strategy will not sell your products, but it will build your brand, draw attention to your products and services, and ultimately make you the obvious choice when people are looking to buy in your sector.
Power and influence equals success!
So there you have it, 15 top tips to help you develop a saint-like following. Make sure that you are always honest and transparent in the way you do things, otherwise you will damage your brand and your social media reputation. Bad news travels faster than good! It pays to be a saint if you want a saint-like following.
Be consistent in the way that you approach your social media, and innovate to make yourself stand out.
Your gargantuan following will not develop overnight; but it will have a massive impact on your brand strength, and bottom-line if you have the attitude and aptitude to build it in the right way.