media update’s Jenna Cook provides insights on how to develop your potential for influence on social media.

Take your social media strategy to the next level. With the rise of ad blockers, the need for you to become an effective marketer is now.

You (yes, you) can become an influencer on social media. Here’s how:

Step 1: Determine your social media niche

In order to become an influencer on social media, you need to determine what you’re passionate about. Find something – a topic, a cause, a brand, etc – and focus on it. Your passion doesn’t need to be something that fits in with already established markets. Something new or unique will do the trick.

In an article written by Forbes, YouTuber and entrepreneur Michelle Phan says, “The beauty of the Internet is there’s a niche market for everything, and if you can focus on it, you can build a sustainable and viable business [out] of it.”

The point is, establishing an individual identity will set you apart from other influencers on social media.

Step 2: Understand your social media audience

Once you have established your niche, it is critical to learn everything that you can about your target audience. These are the people who you want to follow you on social media, and the people that you want to influence.

Research the kind of things that your audience are interested in seeing. Do this by asking yourself the following questions about your target audience:
  • What kind of content do they share?
  • What social channels do they use to find content?
  • Why should they care about the things you engage with?
In order to have a clearer image on what you should offer your followers, you first need to understand what they really need and really want.

Step 3: Choose your social platform

Now that you know who you’re trying to reach, you need to choose the right social platforms. Engage with your audience on the platforms where they are already spending most of their time.

Not all social media platforms work the same way. And, not all of your content needs to be shared everywhere.

Focus your attention on the platforms where you’ll reach the majority of your audience, and then create content that suits those particular platforms. Remember that you can always use different social platforms to complement one another.

Step 4: Create your social media strategy

Your social media strategy needs to summarise everything you want to achieve with your social media accounts. Be sure to have a step-by-step plan written down so you can stay focused on the task at hand.

Have a schedule in place for the posts that you’ll share. This is for you to see if your posts are well spread out and posted at the optimal times for your followers. In the same way that content is suited to different platforms, there are certain times during the day that will boost post engagement.

Knowing when to share is just as important as knowing what to share. Simply organise the dates and times that you plan on publishing your content across each platform.

Step 5: Develop your marketing content

Now it’s time to implement your strategy. You know who you want to target, and where you can reach them. So focus your efforts on creating the kind of content that your followers will want to engage with.

The social media platform you are posting on will dictate the kind of content that you can produce. For example, Instagram is more image and video based, while LinkedIn is great for in-depth articles. The important thing is to be inspired and remain that way.

Step 6: Engage with your audience

Your audience will appreciate nothing more than mutual engagement. This means that when they leave a comment or ask a question on your social platform, you should take the time to respond and acknowledge them.

Keep in mind that not every engagement with your brand will be positive, so you should expect some negative feedback. Make an effort to respond quickly, politely and in the tone of your brand. It is never too late to win over a follower!

Step 7: Be consistent on social media

Your followers are going to develop an idea of who you are and what you stand for as a brand based on what you post on social media. And it is going to become a major responsibility to ensure that your content consistently matches the kind of brand identity you want to portray.

You can achieve this by:

  • Posting regularly: If you started sending your content out at 17:00 everyday, then make sure you keep on doing that.
  • Having on brand content: Make sure that all of your posts fit the tone, style and theme of your brand.
  • Referring back to your strategy often: By reminding yourself of your mission, you will be able to remain focused on your social media goals.

Step 8: Promote your marketing content

When organic posts on social media are not enough, you can promote your content by paying for it to be ‘boosted’. This will increase the number of people who see your posts and can even help create interest in your older posts.

Step 9: Collaborate with influencers 

This may be the fastest and simplest way to set up your brand as an influencer. You can collaborate by working with someone who is already a more successful social influencer than you are.

Finding these influencers may be tricky, but it’s important to look out for people who have similar values to your brand.

Securing a collaboration means that you’ll be able to increase the amount of authentic engagement that you have with your followers. It will also open you up to their audience.

Step 10: Check out your social media analytics

You’ve found your niche, determined your audience and made amazing content. But how well is it really doing? The best way to find out is by checking out your social media analytics. This is a great way for you to step back and see just how well you’re performing online.

Once you’ve had a look at the data, you’ll be able to figure out where you can improve your strategy. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not, who you’re connecting with and if you’re reaching the goals you’ve set.

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Are you looking for other ways to improve your brand’s social media strategy? Check out our marketing guide, 10 steps to the perfect social media marketing strategy.