Small Businesses Looking for Marketing Influencers – Start with Yourself!
If you are active in the small business/marketing realm of Twitter, your timeline is more than likely populated by Tweets from Hubspot, Ad Age, Jeff Bullas, and similar accounts. These people and companies, each boasting at least half a million followers, are the movers and shakers of the industry today. They are what marketing geeks like us like to call “the influencers.” In fact, if you follow any of them, which is a very likely possibility, you’ve probably seen the term tweeted alongside a hashtag: #influencermarketing. Influencer marketing is the idea of engaging key individuals to leverage their influence to grow your brand. The online inbound marketers with the most success are those who can effectively engage these individuals, or optimally, become one themselves.
Starting social media as a small business can be a daunting task. You’ve probably sat there looking at your Twitter followers wondering how you could EVER get the reach of someone like HubSpot. I mean, they have more followers than the country of Guyana’s population. The first fact of the matter is, without people sharing your content, you have no way of ever growing or being stumbled upon. In order to grow your influence, the first step is putting out quality content. By writing your own blog posts, sharing articles from industry leaders, and creating appealing graphics with free programs like Canva, you can take your formerly bland social media to an interesting, sharable presence.
Aside from compelling content, these influencers all share several other key characteristics that make them stand out. Authors Edward Keller and Jon Berry, authors of “The Influentials,” identify the following traits in industry influencers:
Activism: Influencers get involved, with their communities, industries, etc. You too can capitalize on this by giving back, whether it be sharing relevant news to your followers, supporting other local small businesses, and even expressing support for charities and worthy causes.
Connection: Influencers often have have large social networks and interact with others. In the case of social media, this means replying to followers, sharing others’ content, and keeping up to date in the industry. In addition, connecting with the other influencers across several platforms increases your reach online.
Authority: Influencers are looked up to and are trusted by others. As mentioned earlier, the best way to gain authority as a social media presence is quality content. If you are producing content that is honest, original, and eye-catching, people will notice. With this, your authority in the industry grows, as does your influence.
Active mindedness: Influencers have multiple and diverse interests. Even with a niche social media area like marketing, you can be sharing info on all sorts of topics within the topic. You can discuss automation, CRM integration, social media, advertising, sales, lead generation and more. Just because your bio says #Marketer, doesn’t mean everything else is off limits. Spread your wings, no one wants to follow someone who tweets the same jargon every day.
Trendsetting: Influencers tend to be early adopters in new trends. You see this one big time with brands like Salesforce sharing funny gifs and quotes from TV and movies that tie into their post. Gifs are a growing trend, and those who are knocking it out of the park are on board. Keep an eye out on the current influencers and watch as they pick up on the next big social media trend. You can hop on board and ride the train out to social media success.
At the end of the day, a sales consultant from Timbuktu with 9 followers and a marketing Guru like Jeff Bullas with half a million followers are on the same playing field. People like Jeff have just found the right formula to grow their influence. Of course, you can always tilt the odds in your favor through marketing automation. Even if you don’t have a team of social media gurus at your disposal, you can still make waves by yourself through marketing automation services to bring your social media to the next level.
Platforms like our very own366 Degreesallow you to pre-schedule tweets in advance, shorten links, and track interactions. Then, as you go throughout your day, all that is left is to sit back and watch your follower base (and influence) grow. Keep up the social media work, it will pay off. We’ll see you at the top.