How to Become a Social Media Influencer in 2019
The reason that influencer marketing has become such a major part of the business world these days can best be expressed in terms of numbers. According to several sources, there are approximately 3.2 billion people who currently are active on social media, and that accounts for roughly 42% of the entire global population. This is a staggering figure, when you consider that nearly half of all people in the world have an active presence on one or more of the social media platforms.
But there are some more numbers which help drive the point home. In terms of online shopping, it is known that 74% of people use social media to help them make decisions about purchases. That means that nearly three out of every four customers using social media will be influenced by friends, family, and other individuals on social media who attempt to influence them. Needless to say, active social media influencers can literally be worth their weight in gold, in terms of marketing and advertising in today’s business world.
So what exactly does the social media influencer do?
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who makes use of several social media platforms to reveal their opinions about specific products or specific brands, thereby influencing all those individuals who listen to them and follow them. You don’t have to be anyone special to be an influencer, because most of them are all normal people who simply represent a segment of the general population, providing candid reviews of products and attempting to establish relationships with a segment of the audience. By using their authority, authenticity, knowledge, and their position within the industry, they engage with members of the audience on a number of social media platforms, and influence their decision-making.
Becoming a social media influencer
By the year 2020, it is expected that social media influencer marketing will be a $10 billion industry. Many companies have already enjoyed significant increases in sales simply by aligning themselves with people who are influential on social media and have endorsed their products. Not only is the industry for social media influencers thriving today, but it is expected to become even more prominent in the coming years.
In effect, associating with a social media influencer acquires a brand-new audience of a significant number of individuals, without your company having to do anything to acquire that audience. Simply by being the beneficiary of endorsements from a popular social media personality, your company can reap all the benefits of having a suddenly much larger following.
All this being so, it’s not surprising to find that the social media influencer industry is becoming fairly crowded with would-be influencers and personalities. However, it is still possible to break into the influencer field and have an impact on large audiences. Below are identified some of the steps you should take if you are determined to become involved with social media influencing.
Find your particular strong suit
As mentioned previously, the field of social media influencing is already crowded, and figures to become more so in the coming years. That makes it very important that you stake out a claim to some specific segment of the general audience that you can call your own and put your mark on. This is where you should attempt to build your audience, among people who will form the foundation of your specific brand on social media.
Try to choose an area that isn’t already saturated with influencers. By the same token, you don’t really want to choose an area that is so sparse that no one has any interest in it, and which has no current popularity. Whatever it is that you choose to talk about when you’re online, give some thought to how you can make your message unique and different from what everyone else is saying.
Find something that you are truly interested in, so that you can talk about it with enthusiasm and intelligence, and which hopefully has strong appeal to at least some segment of the audience. Once you have identified your niche and your audience, stick with them and try to increase your following.
Choose your platforms
If necessary, do some research to find out where users who are interested in your specialty spend their time. Once you’ve identified these particular platforms, start to build your following as soon as possible. Make sure you have awareness of how often to post on your chosen platforms, and which times are the best to post content on.
You’re better off choosing just a few platforms, especially in the beginning, so that you can quickly get comfortable with your audience on these chosen sites. Later on, after you’ve become more comfortable, you can broaden out and establish a presence on more of the social networks. When you do that however, make sure to create a consistent persona and a consistent experience for all your users across all social media sites.
Truly engage with your followers
Probably the most important aspect of social media influencing is the part where you establish trust with your followers by truly engaging with them. If you’re not being sincere and genuine with people, many of them will realize it and abandon you fairly quickly. The whole foundation of a social media influencer depends on establishing strong relationships with an audience, and that means you have to go beyond posting content on the site, and just hoping that people will engage with it.
Any relationship always involves two or more people, and that means you have to establish an authentic exchange with all those individuals in your audience, if you’re going to become successful as an influencer. In order to do this, you’ll have to encourage discussions among your followers, respond to all comments as they come into you, and try to enjoy as many conversations as possible within your chosen community.
If you need to do some research before starting out on this, it will definitely be to your advantage to do so. For example, you could compile a list of keywords related to your topic of interest, and begin conversations which make liberal use of those keywords. In any case, you have to do whatever it takes to establish a legitimate two-way exchange between yourself and your chosen audience, and then work on building that audience over time.
If you do achieve a sizable audience, you will have become an influential person in your niche, and that’s when you may be sought out by companies who wish to take advantage of your social media influence.