The key to getting rankings is using a combination of content creation, advertisements, and social sharing. The key to getting social shares is gaining the support of influencers. But who are the influencers and how do you use them to promote your business?
Social Media Influencers
Essentially, social media influencers are those who have the power and credibility necessary to garner followers and boost support for your brand. They help to promote your products or services, widen your audience, elevate the conversation surrounding your niche, and provide a trusted voice for consumers to follow.
Oftentimes, these influences are those in a place of physical power. For example, people love to follow Mark Cuban on social media to find out what he’s learning and get his opinion on business matters. Other times, influencers will be virtually invisible in the real world, but have an extremely popular blog.
Either way, influencers are the best way to spread your brand reach. All it takes is the proper knowledge of how to find, use, and retain these social media idols. Use this guide to get you started.
1. Define Your Influencers
Begin by finding the influencers that will benefit your brand the most. They should share content relevant to your business, have a large number of followers who appreciate that content, and excel at engaging with their followers.
2. Use Tools to Find Them
The best way to determine if someone has a lot of influence on social media is to research the reach of their influence. There are plenty of tools to help you do this, the most popular of which are Klout and Peer Index. These tools show exactly how much pull influencers have in the social media realm. As a point of reference, typically users with a Klout score higher than 60 percent are deemed prominent influencers. See other Social Media Tools here.
3. Connect, Communicate, and Build Relationships
Begin by connecting with influencers on social media, and then start a conversation. In order to build a mutually beneficial relationship with influencers, it’s important to continuously engage with their page. Participate in their conversations, join their Twitter chats, share information you think they’ll enjoy, and comment on their blogs or websites.
Influencers take care of their devoted followers, and if you’re willing to engage often and with relevance, they’ll likely return the favor if asked. These relationships will be your key to more social shares that reach a wider audience.
4. Retain Relationships
Once you’ve brought influencers over to your side, keep them there. Treat them like a close friend. With true friends, you don’t give them your attention only until you get what you want from them. You nurture the relationship through continued conversation and attention to things they love.
This is the real challenge, but you can do this in conjunction with your social media marketing. As you attend to your social media networks throughout your day, go through your list of influencers and connect to at least one a day.
5. Grow the List
The more influencers who will share your content, the better. Continually look for new members to garner even more social feedback, and above all, don’t forget to add the social web in general to that list. You can gain a significant amount of traction simply by treating everyone as an influencer of sorts.
Anna is a freelance writer who specializes in social media and business development. Follow her on Twitter.