Google is constantly updating its search algorithms. This leaves many entrepreneurs and businesses struggling to keep up with the latest SEO tactics. The latest change looks at social approval signals such as “Likes” and “Shares” to increase your page rank. This means your success in reaching the coveted first page of a Google search involves building your social media presence.
Social Media Influence is a marketing term used not only to improve your Google ranking but also to determine how affective you are on the most common social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can use this information to get your brand recognized and become a thought leader in your niche.
Klout is one source that is often used to check influence. Their ratings are based on the amount of “retweets” and “likes.” They claim that the more visible you are the better. However you must consider quality as well. Even if you have thousands of followers who retweet or like everything you post, it will not necessarily result in improved ROI (return on investment). You must also deliver quality content. In fact, many content marketing thought leaders are calling 2016 the year of quality content.
Your goal for each content piece is to convince the reader to take action. You need to encourage actual engagement and not just shares or retweets. No matter how many people know about you, if they don’t follow through with action all your hard work is useless.
Get people interested in what you offer and actually engage with you. Before you write (or speak) the first word, decide what your call to action is. What do you want to accomplish? Do you simply want to build credibility in your niche or do you want to make a sale? Another goal may be to engage in test marketing to get feedback on your services from your target market. You can actually use different social media outlets to get discussions started on your topic of interest.
Base your content on what you are trying to accomplish with it. Are you looking for people to create user generated content or another thought leader to endorse your work? The key to getting the best quality results is to target your marketing, find the most relevant influencers for your niche, and get people interested.
Social media influence, is fairly new and still being defined. It will be interesting to see how it changes over time. While one school of thought says you should saturate social media with your brand, and amass a large number of followers, another school of thought prefers a more tailored approach. The latter would council you to choose the most relevant influences with a laser focused audience. Your goal, then, would be to get your product or service in front of your ideal client or customer. Which approach do you prefer? So you know you need to build your social media influence, but how do you do it? Below are simple strategies you can use.
To become known as an expert in your niche you need to be present on social media networks. If you don’t know which social media platform to interact on, you need to do some research and find out where your target audience is.
80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. (State of Inbound Marketing)
This stat shows you your target audience actually prefers to connect via social media and they are looking for helpful information. When you provide them with solutions to their pain points, you will be recognized as an expert. You need to increase your social media engagement by responding to comments and offering expert insight to the questions posed by your followers. By doing this, you will build their confidence in you and they will become more engaged.
When you identify and address your target clients concerns, they will start to see as the “go-to” person in your niche. You need to uphold your part of the relationship by understanding your followers’ needs and publishing content that addresses those needs. When you do this consistently, you will hold the attention of your target audience and build a strong network.
Identify the top social influences in your niche and follow them. You need to actually engage with them, as you want your followers to engage with you. This will enhance your online reputation. It’s easy to discover what a person is about on the internet these days. Your target client may be looking to see who you follow and how you engage with them. When they see you actively engaged with industry leaders, they will be interested in being a part of your social media network. Your job is to find the leading influencers in your niche. To do this you can use online tools or search for groups in your niche that have a large following. You will also discover if you publish high quality content, the thought leaders in your niche will follow you.
You must use social analytics to see which of your efforts are producing the desired results and which ones need to be tweaked or stopped. Social analytics can also help you find the leading influencers in your niche as well as understand the behavior of your target audience. You can use the resulting information to implement new strategies that will win you social media influence.
As you can see, you build social media influence for many reasons. Your goal may be to send a message that will influence others to take action, or it may be to increase your site traffic and finally drive sales. Along with these goals, you should also strive to build credibility and establish yourself as a thought leader.