Creating new content requires time and resources and depending on who you ask, it can be very hard work. If you have limited time and a limited budget the fastest way to get traffic and followers from your social media marketing efforts is by finding prominent people that already have a big following, similar to that which you would like to attract, and piggyback off of their content and followers. In the process, you will be strengthening and promoting their brand.
This article is a look at some of the principles and tactics that we learned from an interview with Mark Lerner from Oktopost on how to increase your social following.
Finding the Right Influencers
Established influencers, or what we like to call niche celebrities, can benefit your marketing efforts in many ways. By promoting their quality, helpful content you will become a valuable source of information to your audience and will attract new followers. This strategy works even if you don’t have any of your content yet.
The people whose content you would like to promote and ultimately reach out to need to have the same following and ideal customer profile as you would like to have. At the same time, they need to serve a different aspect of the market. In other words, they shouldn’t be your direct competition.
If you run a social media software company then obviously you don’t want to go around promoting another company that has the same basic product as you do. There may be a little overlap with what you have to offer but not someone that is meeting the same need as you do with your product or service.
Remember that their content needs to be beneficial and exciting to your target customer. That is the key here. Not necessarily exciting to you.
If you are struggling with who the top influencers are, create a Klout account and then you can easily search experts by topic.
Finding Popular Content
BuzzSumo.com is an awesome tool that you can use to find the most popular content. You can search for any given topic and even find out what content is working well or not so well for your competition. The results are given based on how many shares a piece of content gets in each social media platform. So if you don’t have a lot of time to spend to find quality content in your niche you can use this tool and all the work is done for you.
Another tool that Groove recently discovered for research is the ClearVoice Idea Lab. The layout and information it returns are a bit different from BuzzSumo, so it is another good place to go for inspiration.
You can “search for topics, authors and publications to discover trending content and fresh perspectives”. @ClearVoice
The best part about ClearVoice is that you can perform unlimited searches with a free account.
Curating Other People’s Content
When you are promoting someone else’s content, you need to add your opinion to it. You can even put a spin on it in the headline but make sure that you give the author the credit.
Don’t misunderstand this, you are only linking to their posts, not copying it and claiming it as your work. A good example would be the title of this post as a tweet.
We are crediting Mark because he was part of the original interview.
When you post something through Twitter, make sure that you add the proper hashtags so that people that are interested in particular topics can find your tweets. And ensure that you add the influencer’s @ Twitter handle so that they can start noticing you and see that you are promoting their brand.
Using Other People’s Influence
Getting established influencers to endorse or even just talk about your brand can give you an enormous boost in traffic and trust. To get to such a stage, you need to have a relationship with these influencers. They need to like and trust you and for that to happen you need to earn their trust.
The first step of getting influencers to like and trust you is by promoting their content. The win-win plan we just discussed.
The second part of it is to strike up an online conversation with them before you start asking for any favors. After you have tweeted about their content to your followers a couple of times, you can also make intelligent comments or ask intelligent questions on their blog. Be visible to them.
By now they know who you are because you have boosted their ego through social media and added value to their blog. When you reach out by email now, the chances are good that they will respond.
Remember that the goal is to get a conversation started first before you are going to ask for any favors. You do that by asking simple but interesting questions.
You have a better chance of them saying yes if the favor you ask for is mutually beneficial. Examples of mutually beneficial favors are:
- Writing a guest post on their blog
- Giving them a sizable share of the profit when they promote one of your products.
An example of a selfish favor to ask is for them to tweet out an endorsement of one of your blog posts. There is no benefit to them in doing that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t.
Whatever you ask of them, keep it simple and to the point. Make it as easy as possible for them to do it. For example, if you would like them to tweet something suggest the exact tweet you would like them to send so that they can just copy and paste it.
Are You Ready to Increase Your Social Following with Other People’s Content?
Is every influencer going to say yes to you, even if it is mutually beneficial? Of course not. Don’t take it personally. They are busy just like you.
This whole process WILL help you grow your social following, but it’s not just about you. If you are always selfish, try changing your perspective. A win-win basis is the only way an economy can function, and we encourage you to keep win-win the basis of all your relationships.
Whenever you ask anyone to do something for you in business, it has to be an absolute no-brainer. It has to be easy for them to see the benefit of it. Win-win always wins. It might be corny, but it’s true.
Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?
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