Identify and Follow
If you really want to build your business, follow influential people in your geographic area and in your industry. It is a key tenant of social media marketing strategy development.
Begin by making a list of 15- 20 contacts you would like to build a business relationship with. Spend some time looking at social media profiles. Identify organizations, trend- and thought-leaders who are regarded as influential in your industry who have an active social media strategy. Do an online search and search within the social channel. (Most social media channels will recommend or suggest accounts to follow based on your interests and industry.)
Things to consider when determining social media influentials are their number of followers, how often they post, and whether they are engaging with their followers. If all these are present, follow them and begin fostering an online relationship.
Influentials and Promoters
Influence plays a big role in business and the same holds true in social media. Partnerships are a timeless and successful marketing strategy. Businesses have been teaming up and building relationships with key influencers in their industry for decades.
Big brands often use famous and well-known celebrities as spokes persons. This isn’t just because they’re popular and attractive, it’s because they understand influence marketing. If a brand has someone people admire sharing their message, the message becomes that much more powerful.
Sharing the content of others from within your industry is very similar to an online partnership. Interacting with highly regarded organizations creates a positive relationship with the influencers. Top industry influencers can amplify your reach to your target audience. If a well-known and recognized organization shares your content, this makes you appear more influential.
Also, it’s important to follow your heaviest users and biggest customers. The more you interact with your current and loyal customers, the more they will talk about your business and share their satisfaction. Your happy customers will help promote your brand by word of mouth. A buyer is more likely to trust a recommendation from their peers, before they will believe you.
As your online social influence continues to grow, trust will begin to form. You will gain more followers and see more engagement. Ideally, your new followers will turn into customers and promoters for your brand.
Stay informed about what’s happening in your industry. Search specific keywords, people, places, and much more. Discover topics of importance and interest. See what your customers are saying and what your competitors are doing.
Monitor hashtags of relevant brands, services, and specialties. Hashtags are clickable links to keywords and phrases in social media. When preceded by the pound sign or hash symbol, the entire post will be displayed in a real-time live feed with every other post using the same hashtag. Searching for hashtags with keywords and topics of interest can reveal a world of information.
Once you identify key influencers and topics to follow, you can create a filter that allows you to easily monitor the content. This will help you stay on top of industry trends and in the know on current issues.
These are just a few ingredients of social media strategy development. Having a comprehensive social media strategy for your organization can help you gain new customers and turn existing ones into your brand evangelists. We offer more tips in our introduction to social media marketing.
To help with your social media marketing needs, we created this handy social media planning template below: