Trust is the key. The key to a long-term relationship, the key to customer loyalty, and the key to building your own community. Influencers gain significantly in importance for a company’s PR and marketing professionals since consumers trust people similar to themselves the most. A company’s message spread by influencers gains a significantly higher engagement in comparison to traditional advertising. The same applies for a non-marketing-related context such as thought leadership and growing social media reputation in any kind of field. Therefore a real social media influencer is somebody who not just represents a specific group of people, interests, or a generation, but somebody who is an actual part of this group. As stated in a recent survey the ROI of influencer marketing is eleven times higher than all other kinds of digital advertising. It’s obvious why companies seek to connect with influencers in order to spread their message, gain engagement and enjoy higher trust from their audience.
Following the same logic as a company ́s need to define strategic targets before entering new markets or social channels, social influencers need to define their field of thought leadership too. Before starting you should ask yourself: “Who is the audience I want to spread my message to? Which social channels does my audience use frequently?” If they are a heavy Instagram user comments in a forum won’t satisfy your goal of reaching your audience. If you comment on an Instagram post, it is possible your comment might not even be seen. If they do somehow see your comment it still won ́t be the channel where you actually r each your audience. So remember, in order to be successful it ́s not just about defining your area of influence and finding the right audience for it. Firstly it’s about defining the most popular channels of your audience and, secondly, to start spreading your message. By taking into account the following questions you can see, in detail, the different steps on how to grow your reputation on social media and how to become a thought leader.
#1: How to be a social influencer?
The term influencer includes journalists, bloggers, social influencers and social media starlets. While the lines between the different influencers can be blurred, it is important to focus on what you need in order to grow your reputation as a social influencer. Especially when talking in terms of thought leadership. In comparison to journalists social influencers cannot rely on past work to be rated on or to gain trust. The trust they enjoy from their audience is solely based on the quality of their current work and the engagement of their readers as they share content and spread it by themselves. Social influencer ́s reach is defined by their activity, number of followers, likes, shares, retweets, and mostly engagement in social networks as well as own channels as blogs.
#2: How to connect with other influencers?
Getting connected with other influencers is a good step to grow your reach when you have just got your social business started, but it is not as easy as you might think. Well known social influencers receive a huge amount of inquiries daily, and they have to sift through these to find the ones of interest to them. If your plan was to reach out to as many social influencers with the same standard template, you will find replies scarce. It is crucial for your success to identify the social influencers who produce content the same as, or similar to your specific topic and to fully inform yourself about their sphere of influence. Using this information, you can create a tailored, individual pitch for each influencer you would like to connect with. A good start into finding the right social influencers is to search social networks for keywords in order to identify which influencers are writing and talking about your topics as well as generating high amounts of engagement.
#3: How to define your goals?
When looking at how your engagement is defined on the platform and deciding to how you would like to present yourself and grow your follower base you must have a set goal. Do you hope for comments on Instagram? So you want your hashtag start trending on Twitter? Do you wish for a high click-through-rate to your blog or website – e.g. the student ́s initiative ́s website you are volunteering for? Before you start taking actions you must make sure to be clear about what your engagement should look like, and the reaction you would like or expect from it. While the reaction is a waiting game, having a defined goal can bring you to the best plan of reach and reaction.
#4: How to define your audience?
Once you have defined your overall goal, the next step is to define exactly which audience you ́d like to address. You don ́t want to operate on social channels when you are still unsure about who your audience is, and which social channel they use the most. To define your audience is important to create personas of typical community members you that you would like to reach. How old are they? How do they live on a daily basis? What is their buying behavior? What are their potential engagement patterns? You need to identify the social influencers needs as much as possible to understand why and how your message is related to them and the community they are a part of. Additionally, your message must always be clear how it can help
your audience – and no matter if it’s just for the purpose of entertaining them . Defining a clear audience strategy before you start sending out your message could save you a lot of energy that otherwise would be wasted by targeting the wrong audience, channels, or worst, nobody.
#5: How to create individual pitches?
When reaching out to social influencers you may think you just need one template for all influencers, something that could save a small amount of time in the short term. This plan may save some time, but it can also mean a lack of response or reaction. It is important to take your understanding of the type of influencer you are contacting, the platform you are connecting with, and the message you want to send to your set audience. Therefore you need to design individual pitches for each influencer, platform and audience that clearly points out your goals as well as the benefits of your collaboration. Especially at a time of information overload an individual pitch can be something that makes you stand out of the crowd. Follow these simple but successful tips and your wish for growing your reputation on social media in order to serve as thought leader in your field of expertise or maybe even for your whole generation could come true.