Category Archives: Influence

How to become an Influencer

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular, but not all influencers can be considered equal. In most cases celebrity influencers don’t have as much influence over your consumer decisions as you think. A new wave of influencers are equally important. Micro-influencers – like you and me, are just as likely to influence our peers as celebrities.

So how easy is it to become an influencer?  Here are my top tips for becoming recognised as a credible voice in your industry.

Be a consistent  influencer across platforms:.

Whether Facebook or YouTube, Twitter or Instagram, have a consistent voice. Influencers talk about the same topics, use the same hashtag, post similar pictures. You will start to become recognised for your knowledge in that topic. Whether it is icing cakes, fixing phones, or top-notch welding, the same message reinforces that you are the go-to person for that topic.

Use the same hashtags:

You will be able to use analytics tools to measure the success of a particular hashtag, or campaign across all platforms that you use if you use the same hashtag across Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for example.  You will then be able to get a fuller picture of your breadth reach as an influencer you see your hashtag propagate.

Focus on a few credible platforms.

Try to stick to two or three main channels to broadcast. People will tend to follow influencers across two or three platforms. If Instagram and YouTube are the channels of choice, then make sure you add quality content to them on a regular basis. Frantic bursts of activity followed by long periods of silence don’t tend to work well with media followers.

Influencers use followers and fans to deliver their message for them:

92 percent of people trust word of mouth recommendations  so make sure that your existing followers get fabulous content that they would be happy to propagate further to their network.

Be  an authentic influencer:

Authenticity is a really important part of the news we want to receive from our influencer connections. Facebook has recognised this for a long time, and has honed its algorithm to make sure that you get the news that is most relevant to  what you want to see in your life.

Avoid the single point of failure:

Try not to rely on one channel to get the word out. Google stopped focusing on Hangouts, Facebook has throttled organic reach for brands, and there is no longer any guarantee what your fans will see. Try to spread your message across different channels, so that if your message fails to deliver on one site, then it might get through on another

Get your followers to a place that you own.

Point people to your own blog, your own newsletter, encourage signups on your own site. Then if your chosen site disappears, restricts visibility of your posts or goes behind a paywall, then you have a list of loyal followers that you can move to another platform.

Keep at it. over time, your fans will come. If they like what they see, they will stay…

7 other uses for Twitter if ‘social’ isn’t your thing

imageJack Dorsey, creator of Twitter doesn’t think that Twitter is ‘social’

Well if he does, he missed it from his speech at the conference in Munich yesterday.  The three words he used were ‘public’, real-time’ and ‘simplicity’ according to Business Insider.

We definitely see social as just one part of what people do on Twitter,” Dorsey said. “We think of it as an information utility and a communications network.”

I think he might be right.

Even though ‘social’ is just one aspect of Twitter, there are many more ways that people use the site.

Trend setting: Discover trends and themes bubbling up from the stream at a local, national and global level.  When news breaks it starts out slowly and gets passed around by more and more people.  What can seem initially insignificant, can become a trend

Data gathering: people chat about their interests, watch TV and comment on news.  This brings valuable insights to the TV companies, brands and influencers.  A million people discussing the change in chocolate taste for a brand might seem boring but to the data mining analysts its gold dust.

Bookmarking: Interesting information can be saved using favourites for later review and reporting.  I use favourites to link similar posts together when I’m creating a blog post and want to see opinions of those I follow.  I also like to mine the favourites list of influencers to see what influences them

Link-sharing: Passing along information and news to friends and followers.  This could be information from your own blog – or other interesting articles, blog posts and links.  However, in a study conducted in 2010, 50% of all links were forwarded by only 20,000 users. Wow.

Selling: Time-limited offers can work well if marketed properly on Twitter. Remember that you’re dealing in a global market so order fulfilment should be taken into account before embarking on an offer. Using promoted tweets you can ensure that your tweet is at the top of the list when someone searches for a phrase or a brand name.  Paid for, promoted Tweets get your noticed.

Influencer identification: Tracking who influences news.Tech journalists, fashion bloggers, foodies, political leaders, rumour mongers brands and Educators are all influencers in their own right.  Knowing who your influencers are will help you with your strategy.

Fan following:Track celebrity activities without resorting to newspapers or other sources.  They don’t need to follow you back either.  They might just retweet your message – or respond to you.

 

So perhaps Twitter isn’t just ‘social’.  it’s a heck of a lot more than that

Image credit: sylvrilyn

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Does Facebook peer influence really work?

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Is Facebook really the be all and end all of social marketing? 

Is peer influence all that it’s cracked up to be?

Is interaction and friendship forming about learning about things that really don’t interest us?  Is it a numbers game about getting likes, followers and +1’s.  Peer influence tends to move along channels of similar interest.  You are more likely to buy some wine if you know that the person you follow or are friends with, is also interested and knowledgeable on wine.

If you write boring stuff, you will get unfriended.

If you spam your users with useless posts, you’ll get unfriended.

If you lurk silently and don’t contribute to the conversation, you’ll get unfriended..

You are less likely to be influenced by people with different interests to you – no matter what they say on Facebook.  Peer influencers want to have an emotional connection to the brands they follow

As a brand, you will need to create influencer programs, and offer incentives to your influencers. You need to find your social network influencers and you need to scale your online network in other ways than just on Facebook. 

It’s not about Google+ either. Or Twitter. Or YouTube. It’s not about brands either. It’s about people. People want to interact with people, with the same interests and same goals as them.

If you can achieve this – you’re an influencer- whatever your job title may be.  And you’ll be an influencer on whatever social platform you happen to use…

Image credit: Tambako

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Weak tie connections link to new business

My Facebook Network is an app that visualises how your Facebook friends are connected to one another.  Here’s mine:

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The graph is interesting in two ways.

The white lines in the graph indicate the people that are connected to most other people in my Facebook friends group. They’re my ex-colleagues from Microsoft so it’s natural that they will be connected to lots of other friends in my network.

But it’s the friends, marked in red that are the most interesting people in my graph.  These people are my weak ties.  And weak ties matter.

Your weak ties are your link to new networks and new opportunities

My weak ties are connected to me, but, more importantly they are connected to other networks that could become important to me. They are my connection to my local networks, my diving buddies, my friends from my work with women in technology and my techy geeks

My book reinforces the need to maintain relationships with your influencers and how weak ties can help you do this.  Maintaining connections, no matter how strong can link you to other networks to benefit you and your business.  If you use Facebook for your business connections then its good to understand your social graph, but LinkedIn also has the ability to map your business social graph with its InMaps feature.

Knowing your social graph is just the start of discovering how best you can use your new networks.  Managing your relationships with these key connections to your influencers in these external networks takes an investment of time and effort.  Your online influence has a huge effect on engagement and relationships

Making them reap appropriate rewards is entirely down to you…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Followers and Fans: Why Quality, not quantity matters

Do you follow people who follow thousands of people on Twitter and claim to be Twitter gurus? Do you wonder why celebrities and other ‘famous’ people never respond to your comments?

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This screen shot is an example of someone I follow who’s profile says “You follow me, I’ll follow you back”.  Can you really have an intelligent conversation on Twitter if you follow this many people?  Even if you have carefully sorted people you follow into meaningful columns on Tweetdeck, you’re going to miss something.  Twitter is a sliding window of information, if you follow this many people, you’re bound to regularly miss messages intended for you.  Information will be flowing too quickly for you to keep up..

Can you really be classified as an influencer because you have this many followers?  Do people REALLY listen when you talk to them?  Can you influence people without following thousands? The Dalai Lama offers wise words and inspirational messages and yet he doesn’t follow anyone at all. Bill Gates follows a few but influences many, and the Queen only follows updates from Clarence House – presumably to see what her offspring are up to.

How would you feel if you know that Bill Gates Read your posts?  Michael Dell?  Barak Obama?

Its not about the value of your Klout score, it’s not about your score on peer index. It’s not about the quantity of your followers, its about the quality of your interaction with your connections.

And if one of your connections turns into a happy customer, a customer that give you on-going business and talks about you to all their connections, then you have achieved your goal.  That’s a much better result than buying followers which is a heck of a lot better than trying to communicate with people who are following thousands of people – and who will give you no quality of interaction at all…

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.