Posted: 07 Feb 2018 Contributor: Therese Palmere
5 Actionable Takeaways from Top Social Media Influencers
There are over 3.03 billion social media users ready to follow, like, share and comment on new content. 2.07 billion of those users are on Facebook, 800 million on Instagram, 330 million on Twitter, over 200 million on Pinterest, and last but definitely not least, 178 million on Snapchat. These enormous user bases are the reason advertisers and brands seek to engage on these platforms, and one of the most popular ways to do this is through social media influencer marketing.
Who are Influencers?
Influencers are people who have the ability to impact the opinions and decisions of others because of their skills, knowledge, or experience. In the digital space, influencers usually take the form of users who have gained massive followings through their social profile. From YouTube to Snapchat, from beauty gurus to gamers, there’s a social platform with influencers for all industries.
One of the biggest reasons brands choose to collaborate with social influencers is because of their audience — influencers have the ability to reach and interact with users on a level that brands can’t imitate. At the other end of the screen is a human being, not a giant corporation. Users are fed up with seeing ads and promos everywhere, what they want now is authenticity. This is the whole reason why Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook’s newsfeed will be catered more towards meaningful interactions between people.
While the announcement Zuckerberg made may be intimidating to some, it’s actually a great opportunity for your brand to rethink your social media marketing strategy. Start finding social media influencers in your industry and create relationships with them. Many brands have already started cultivating their social media influencers 2017 group and believed the same people would be great for the new year, but with this recent change on Facebook, you may want to rethink your chosen ones.
If you’re not sure where to start or how to even begin the search, these five actionable takeaways from social media influencers are great pieces of advice you can integrate into your social media marketing strategy for 2018.
1: Zoe Suggs
Zoe Suggs has been named as one of Forbes top influencers, is a YouTube beauty sensation with over 12 million subscribers and counting, created her own beauty line, and is a New York Times bestselling author. In her book, Girl Online, Zoe writes:
Every time you post something online, you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away. I tried to add something by starting Girl Online. And for a while, it really seemed to be working. So, next time you go to post a comment or an update or share a link, ask yourself: is this going to add to the happiness in the world? And if the answer is no, then please delete. There is enough sadness in the world already. You don’t need to add to it.
This can be applied to your social branding. Create real content that adds to the bigger picture: happiness. Have fun and be silly! Make your audience laugh. Post content on social media that adds to the positivity in someone’s day. Associate your brand with good vibes and great times by posting motivational quotes or sharing fluffy dogs. Keep everything within your brand identity, of course, but have a little fun with it! And take it from Zoe, who started getting noticed because of her cheerful personality, when you have fun your audience will too.
2: Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, internet personality and best selling author. And believe it or not, he turned his family’s $3 million wine business into a $60 million enterprise. Best known for his skills as a digital marketing wizard, he is the co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia and his advice for your brand is to produce quality content.
No amount of paid media is going to turn bad creative into good content. It’s the same way that no amount of VC money is going to save a bad product. That’s why you need to invest in the long-game of improving your brand’s content (and you do that by creating a lot of it).
Place more focus on the types of articles and images you share on your social channels. Would your audience find this interesting? Is this something they can relate to? Does this image match my branding efforts? While social media posts and engagements can seem fleeting, your team needs to be thinking about the long term. Sit down with your team at the beginning of the year and plan out your goals and KPIs so you have something to strive for. Remember, this race is slow and steady.
3: Simeon Panda
With a social following of over 9 million people, Simeon Panda is one of the most influential fitness professionals worldwide. He has his own website, sportsline, eBooks and gym accessories. While his specialty may be physical fitness, his advice for getting the best body can also be applied to your social media strategy.
If you’ve just started at the gym, you need to track your progress. Tracking your progress is important to know how well you’re doing. You should record the number of reps you’re able to perform at specific weights (usually close to your maximum), record one rep maxes on the big 3 – Squat, Deadlift and Bench press and record your stats and measurements including body fat percentage.
From a marketing standpoint, the advice is simple — you need to track your metrics. Social media analytics are a huge portion of the trade. Your team should know what kind of content your followers are engaging with and which they’re not. By making note of those details, your team can better prepare and plan your next steps. Continue doing more of what your followers like and stop doing what they don’t. Social media is very user-centric and if you just listen to the data, it will guide you.
4: Lily Singh
Like Zoe, Lily Singh also gained her influence through her YouTube channel. She is one of the highest paid YouTube stars and is listed as a Forbes top influencer for 2017. She has over 13 million subscribers on YouTube, plus her view count is over 2 billion. That’s right, 2 billion! Her advice for your social strategy is to stick with Plan A.
To you I want to ask – really dig deep, and ask – what do you want to do? Where do you want to work? Who do you want to be? What do you want to stand for? – that should be your Plan A. You shouldn’t clutter your brain with a Plan B and Plan C. Your energy, your body, your soul, your mind should all unite for a Plan A. Don’t be scared. Have a Plan A. Focus on your Plan A
Be persistent! If your team has set a goal, don’t settle for anything less except achieving it. While your hopes can be high, make objectives that are realistic. Plan out what you need to do in order to achieve those 1,000 views on your video or 100 likes on your recent Facebook post. Consider paid versus unpaid media and strategize your way to success.
5: Melinda Emerson
Making her fortune by helping small businesses grow, Melinda Emerson is a coach, speaker and author. Better known as SmallBizLady, she interacts with businesses through her Twitter account and talk show, #SmallBizChat. She is named as a Forbes top influential woman for entrepreneurs and her advice is to utilize Pinterest and be a good friend.
Pinterest is a social network. That means sharing is caring and “friendraising” too. Repin other business pins, comment on them, and tag them to engage in relationship-building. The idea is that you’ll pique their interest and they’ll come see what you’re doing on your own boards and support your marketing efforts too.
While curating strong content is a large part of social media, it’s still social media, so be social! Say hello to your followers; like their posts; share their imagery (if it’s relevant to your business or industry) and interact with them. Like Melinda says, once you go to them, they will come to you.
Hopefully this list of social media influencers and their advice will help hone your social media skills. But don’t limit yourself to just these guys! Broaden your horizons and look for more influencers who may be able to advise your social strategy in different ways. Identifying social media influencers takes time because you want to be sure they’re the right person who can help elevate your business. Here are some tips from the top thought leaders in social media one more time:
- Create content that speaks to a bigger picture: your user’s happiness
- Produce and focus on quality content
- Track your metrics so you can direct the direction your team will be going with your social strategy
- Be persistent and relentless when it comes to realizing your social media goals
- It’s still social media, so be social!
Good luck and let us know how it goes!