We have talked to so many influencers over the years, and through our talks we’ve come to know about their secrets. Many of these people have become our friends, and because of our relationships with them, they don’t mind sharing a few truths and tips about what it’s like to work on social media.
Social media is huge.
Perhaps the most daunting fact about the social media is its vastness. It’s so vast that a lot of companies don’t know what to do about it or where to begin. The number of social media sites you need to be on can be intimidating. No one can handle multiple channels at once. In addition, each of these channels has hundreds of millions of users. You think just putting up a Facebook page gives you access to nearly 2 billion active users? You think just because you post content regularly, you’re already set up for influencer marketing. Instagram and Facebook celebrities may not notice you on these huge channels.
It’s like a world of its own.
Social networks are like cities, towns, and villages. You have social influencers with exceptionally large networks of a million followers, thousands of whom actively engage with their daily posts. Then you have smaller networks with several dedicated followers. And you have the common users. They’re like the citizens of these micro-worlds, these varied networks. It’s fun to think of these online communities run by influencers of all walks of life.
This social media anatomy is worth noting because businesses that want to reach their supposed audiences usually don’t know what to do. They stay in the outskirts of these networks. Worse, they stay detached from them and try as hard as they can to start their own networks only to fail. It’s almost impossible to build your own empire when there are already so many empires on social media. You, instead, have to join the networks and work your way to get the attention of people running these networks. It doesn’t matter whether you call it influencer marketing or making friends.
Not all social media sites are built the same.
Instagram has younger people. Facebook has a more diverse audience. If your brand has a specific demographic, then you have to pay attention to the demographics of different social media sites and put your marketing budget on places where your audience are. Influencers who share women’s fashion tips do best on Pinterest, where 83% of the users are women. Corporate brands do well on LinkedIn.
Social media demographics is important in influencer outreach. Before we commence influencer targeting we have to predict where influencers in particular niches possibly are. They are where their audience are. Fashion bloggers generally have Pinterest accounts. Millennial influencers mostly have Instagram. Vloggers are usually found on active video sharing sites, like YouTube.
Selling on social media is a bad idea.
One of the things that influencers will not do is sell brands online. We have to distinguish between influencers and sellers. Sellers and advertisers have their place on social media, but hardly people pay attention to them. It’s easy to sell on Facebook, for instance. It’s, however, hard to sell well without help. That’s one of the reasons why we do influencer marketing, because we know it’s so hard to get followers without external help. And it’s not just about getting followers, but getting followers who engage.
Consumers don’t think of social media as an online store. Very few people go to social media to buy stuff. Most of us spend time on social media to interact with other people. So when you, a business entity, look at Twitter or Instagram as business platforms, you’re looking at them the wrong way. To reach consumers, you have to be on the same page as they are. Since they’re looking to interact, communicate with them. Moreover, share interesting stories. People talk about experiences. They rarely ever talk about brands.
Being social is what social media is about.
This should be obvious, but a lot of our clients don’t realize this until they start wondering why they’re not gaining followers or why their followers are too quiet. Influencers don’t put up pages and share posts and videos of their experiences and expect people to just keep liking and commenting. One thing inexperienced entrepreneurs and marketers should learn from social influencers is their interpersonal skills. They talk and respond to their audience.
Part of interpersonal skills is knowing how to build rapport with other authority figures. We have seen influencers collaborating with other influencers and driving traffic to each other’s pages. Working with big people in your niche is only possible through initiating a connection. You’ll be relying on your interpersonal skills once you start implementing influencer outreach.
Being personal makes you more relatable.
One of the important practices we should adapt from influencers is sharing personal stories. People on social media love personal posts, photos, and videos. They want you to share your experiences with them because it makes you more familiar, more likable. Your experiences humanize you and bring you closer to your audience.
There is a crucial distinction between influencers and advertisers. Whereas influencers usually share their personal experiences and start conversations around these experiences, advertisers simply push brands down people’s throats. The first type of content sparks engagements. It gets people sharing their own similar experiences. It gets people talking on social media. The second type of content doesn’t resonate with audiences and is, thus, not effective in driving brand awareness and customer acquisition.
Not talking about your brand seems counterintuitive. If you want people to know your brand, it seems logical to talk about your brand. But data already shows that doesn’t work.
Negative feedback is part of the game.
Influencers get lots of negative comments and bad criticisms all the time. Social media admins getting terrible comments from random people online are sometimes perturbed. Knee-jerk reactions to unfriendly remarks can be devastating to your business page. So you have to be careful to neither lash back nor ignore them. This is your opportunity to thank them and assure them you’re improving.
Strategy is everything.
There is a reason why influencer marketing rests on sound tactics and approaches. We can’t spend money implementing an initiative through random steps. Every measure has to be well planned and well positioned. An influencer marketing strategy begins with careful targeting and outreach. Ideally, you reach a point where you market through your influencers. Social media is collectively the ideal influencer marketing platform.
Whether you’re looking for advocates or ambassadors or you’re just looking to increase your following, it’s important to have a solid strategy based on your goals. The mistake is to rely on random luck, in which case you’re only shooting in the dark and missing your targets almost all of the time.