Social media is so much more than just a place where people overshare about their lives. While plenty of that goes on (we all have that Facebook friend), social media is actually your gateway to become a thought leader in your industry. Here are some tips from Salesforce’s How to Become a Social Media Influencer in Your Industry for using social media to its full professional potential.
Create relevant and unique content … and keep it coming. That doesn’t mean create unique content … just like everyone else. Certainly, there are trends in your industry that everyone is blogging, posting and updating about – and so can you. Just put your spin on it. You have ideas and a brand that sets you apart from others. Use that to create content that answers questions, addresses challenges or entertains.
People need to know there is actually a real wizard behind the curtain. They want to feel a personal connection.
This is an age of information dodgeball, and your audience is expert at ducking information that doesn’t have immediate relevance. They have so much information whizzing by their heads, that just tossing out an update, tweet or blog once a week is not going to make contact. It is suggested to update content at least once a day, ideally several times (but not every minute – don’t go into overload mode), to keep your brand and information in front of the pack.
Have a consistent presence. There are tons of social media sites out there, as well as blogs. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs on your own website are just a few options out there. Find the ones that are most relevant and accessed by your industry and create a profile. Keep your branding and tone consistent and easily recognizable across all the social media platforms you choose to use. Salesforce suggest pumping up your content with industry terms to optimize exposure in search engines.
Network and Be Available. People need to know there is actually a real wizard behind the curtain. They want to feel a personal connection. You can do this several ways. First, take it offline. Attend conferences, conventions and meetings. Shake hands and kiss babies in real life. People will seek you out online if they have seen you in person. You can also consider hosting chat sessions or open up your Twitter feed to a question and answer session. Create a culture of real-time response with your audience.
You can also personalize your sites by actually responding to your audience. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Answer their questions, respond to their comments on your blogs and posts, provide links and other information that you think they can use.
And, as much as we all like to feel popular, it’s not all about who follows you! You need to be following influencers in your industry yourself, as well those that the influencers follow. Salesforce recommends checking out social site’s directories and suggestions, like Twitter’s “Who to Follow,” to find those that can keep you in the know. In addition, according to StartupNation, when you follow people, up to a third of them will likely follow you back – not a bad trade off!