Social Media Influence the Hunt is On!

social media influenceBlasting out update after update on social media isn’t likely to do you or your business any favours in the long run. What you need is cleverly worded updates to catch peoples’ eye and be forwarded around by influential people. Easier said than done!

Any old retweet won’t necessarily add any value to what you’re already doing – I’m sure you’ve all had the odd tweet picked up by an automated account just because it contains a certain key word.

What you really need is to build Influential people into your network who help you by commenting and forwarding your message around their friends, family and network proving that your brand is one to be trusted and respected.

Influential People aren’t necessarily the ones with the most followers, and in order to prove that you are an honest and trustworthy brand you can’t just ask influential strangers to endorse you, the best endorsements are always unprompted.

So how do encourage Influential endorsements?

Be pro-active about building your network.

Again, I don’t mean follow everyone you come across. Instead, research who the top influencers are in your niche or local area and get in touch with them. Think outside the box as well, and maybe look at who the key influencers are in complementary businesses to yours. The benefit being, that if someone isn’t in direct competition to you then they may be more likely to recommend you.

Look after your existing customers and contacts

If someone is thinking about buying from you, they’re likely to be more influenced by someone who has already had that experience from you, rather than an “outsider”. So if you have happy customers retweeting your messages then their friends and family are the people they’re most likely to influence, another reason to avoid those automated accounts as they don’t have friends or family!

Make people feel special!

For everyone who spreads good news about you on social media, make sure you publicly thank them, or send them a message of some kind. If someone has made a real difference then perhaps think about sending a gift of some sort? You could also create some kind of reward program for top influencers, invite them to an opening night, or give them a discount against future purchases.

Add a Personal Touch

Building quality relationships takes time and you can’t expect to go from nothing, to the point where you can approach trusted contacts and ask them to promote something on your behalf. To get to that point though, one of the simplest ways to build trust and show friendship is to be a bit more personal. Start simply: Mention people by name in a post to attract their attention. Get to know a little about them as a person outside of their business, and offer a little information about yourself in return. Be careful what you post publicly, as no-one wants to put themselves at risk online, but by showing a little of your personality and humanising your brand you might be surprised at the difference it makes in other peoples’ perceptions of you.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Adjust your tactics depending on the platform and the person you want to attract or impress. What works well on Twitter in 140 characters may seem a little brief for your blog. Find a voice that works well for you while at the same time gives an honest reflection of your brand. Customers will soon see through any false attitudes, and likewise will turn away from you if you’ve not got the right balance. For example, don’t bombard people with Tweet after Tweet, and if you’re on Facebook but only update it once a month then don’t expect people to automatically jump on every word you say.

Join The Conversation.

Social Media is all about conversation and relationships. If you send out a lot of updates but never respond to any messages, or never get involved in other peoples’ conversations either then you will find it very difficult to become a recognised influencer on Social Media. By staying aware of current trends, commenting on other peoples’ statuses and retweeting updates from people who you follow you will probably encourage more people to get involved with your own work.

Becoming a person of influence is a status that many people strive for their entire careers, so don’t be frustrated if you don’t seem to be making the giant waves that want after only a short time. If your message is good and you mix in the right circles then people will start to notice you. What they notice you for is up to you!