How To Become A Social Media Influencer
We’ve compiled the expert advice from content creators, marketers, and even university professors to finally answer the question: 'How do I become a social media influencer?'
by Rob Eades / 2021-08-16
We started off wanting to be movie stars, gracing the silver screen and seeing our name in lights.
Then we wanted to be rock stars, selling out venues and touring around the world.
Nowadays, social media influencers are the thing to be. Creating communities and sharing experiences with millions of followers throughout our social network.
But in a world where influencers are a dime a dozen, and followers are like gold dust, how can you stand out? No matter the pocket of the internet you're trying to break into - from beauty blogging, building your own cooking channel on YouTube, to promoting your small business online - here are some tips from the experts on how to become as big as Kylie Jenner or Charli D'Amelio.
Professor Randy Hlavac from Northwestern University gives us the low down of how to use social media to influence and thrive.
The rise of the micro influencers
Now if you’re like me and thinking micro influencers are teeny tiny influencers then you would in fact be wrong.
A micro influencer, or nano influencer, has fewer followers than a more traditional mega influencer but has a might more tight-knit community. Being a smaller, more niche creator gives a greater sense of intimacy with your followers.
Strategy is everything
In the internet, and life in general, change is a constant. That means that you have to be light on your feet when it comes to chopping and changing your strategy. What's popular one day can be completely the opposite the next.
But it’s also important not to react too quickly to change. Some trends burn fast and bright like stars, but then quickly fizzle out.
Impact your audience
Randy highlights that as an influencer, the most important factor is your audience. You need to understand their needs, their wants, and their biggest influences.
Once you’ve figured all of these things out, you can start to be the person who can provide them. In summary, you have to understand your audience to impact your audience.
You’ve got all the content, all the pizzazz, but nobody cares. Sound familiar? Taylor Loren shows you how to build an account that grabs the attention of your audience and holds it.
You don’t need a million followers
If there’s one thing you take away from all of this it should be this: You don’t need a million followers or likes to be successful.
Nano and Micro influencers - people with hundreds or a couple thousand followers - are increasingly in demand from big brands such as Amazon or Nike. Why? Because they appear more trustworthy and authentic to their followers.
Identify your identity
When someone visits your page, they should instantly know who you are and what you’re about.
Are you promoting a brand, a lifestyle, an idea, an activity? If you want people to know and follow you, you need to know yourself.
Curate your content
You should never be complacent as a content creator. If you suddenly reach X amount of followers, that doesn’t mean the day is done. You should always be striving to reach new heights and goals.
Use your Instagram analytics to identify what content is getting the most attention and then focus your time and energy on creating more of it.
Deirdre Breakenridge points us more towards social media marketing and how to capture your audience’s attention.
Get a competitive edge
If you’re diving into the land of TikTok and Instagram, then having a competitive edge is vital. You’re taking a step into an incredibly competitive environment, so you have to bring something unique to the table.
Breakenridge recommends analyzing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, what they offer that you don’t. How can you learn from this and get that edge over them?
Promoting is presence
It can be difficult to promote yourself. You want to be present but not pushy - reliable but not repetitive.
One of the best ways to promote yourself is by optimizing your media platform with a good content plan. Releasing content on a schedule will make sure that you are constantly present and relevant and your audience will know what to expect from you.
Collaboration is key
Establishing a connection with other bloggers and influencers can be a great way to get your product across to a wider audience.
Make sure you do your researcher so you know what kind of blogger or influencer suits the message you’re trying to promote. You can then build a rapport with other content creators and start to collaborate.
The relationship between an audience and a creator plays a decisive role when it comes to building your brand. Brain Honigman breaks it all down for us.
It’s incredibly rare to be able to offer something that literally nobody else offers. But according to Brian, that doesn’t matter.
You can offer a similar product but differentiate yourself through your personality and your brand. Your social media is your digital visual identity - so make sure it reflects you.
Control the narrative
It’s a fact of life that things sometimes go wrong. You could inadvertently say or do the wrong thing, promote something that later becomes controversial, it’s one of the hazards that come with being in the public eye.
But if there ever is a need to issue a public apology, you can control your narrative through social media. In fact, Brian suggests always issuing a video apology as it can help to connect with people on an emotional level.
Reputation takes time
When building a reputation, consistency is key. Your audience needs to see you consistently deliver over time before they will properly form an opinion of who you are and what you can do for them.
This is where your social media plan comes into play. You can’t have consistency without a plan so make sure you take the time to make one.