Becoming a social media influencer: a how-to guide

Social media marketing is a powerful part of any online marketing strategy for small businesses.

As part of a social media strategy, becoming a social media influencer is something you could try in order to grow your digital network and reach your customers. It’s not easy, but becoming a voice of authority online is a great way to build a personal brand.

What is a social media influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who uses a social network, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, to reach – and influence – an engaged online community. These influencers create content that has value for their community, whether it’s written or audiovisual content.

You can take a look at our leaderboards, the #Business100 and #Property100, to see the online influencers you should be following to stay ahead in the world of small business and property.

But how can you become an online influencer and feature on one of the lists yourself?

Becoming a social media influencer

Establish your objectives

Knowing your objectives will make the following steps easier, because you’ll know what you want to achieve and you can base your decisions around that.

What does becoming a social media influencer mean to you (and potentially your business)?

Find your niche

What’s your niche? What are you an expert in? If you’re a business owner, it’s likely to be your product or service. Hopefully you’re happy to pass on everything you’ve learned to others.

A niche is important, because posting on too broad of a subject makes it more difficult to stand out in an already-crowded space. Also, think about what your story and online persona is. It’s human nature to love a story, so becoming an online influencer is a way to tell people about who you are and where you’ve come from.

Find your medium

Once you know what you’ll be posting about, you can choose the medium that will suit your content best. You can choose two or three social networks based on your aims and skills. For example, if you enjoy writing, you could start posting articles on LinkedIn and Medium.

It’s also a good idea to keep your audience in mind. What networks are your potential customers likely to be using?

Build a content strategy

Creating content consistently will help you stand out in your community.

When you’re starting out, you don’t want to set unrealistic aims for how often you’ll be publishing content. If you’re blogging, for example, one or two articles a week is an achievable aim alongside your other commitments.

Work out why people will want to read your content, refine your message and then plan your posts for the next several weeks. You don’t have to stick to the plan rigidly, but make sure that you’re posting consistently.

Nurture your community

Talk about your niche on social media, forums, and contact people in your business area. Discuss your ideas with others and become part of an online community, reading content from those who already have online influence. You can combine this online community with real-life networking, too.

Promote your content with others, sharing it where you think it’s appropriate. If you think your content will help someone or a group of people, let them know. Social influencers know that their content and opinions add value to people’s lives, so create an online profile that you’re proud of.

Get started!

One way to fall at the first hurdle is to overthink your plans and never get started, or to post a couple of times and then let your content plan slip.

So get started today and keep posting consistently. Be patient and you may start seeing results.

Do you want to become a social media influencer and if so how are you hoping to achieve your goal? Let us know in the comments below.

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