Today, many superstar bloggers are making six-figure salaries and running their own companies. Armed with only a camera, a laptop and a few strategic props, they have managed to intrigue millions of followers and sign contracts with some of the largest brands in the world. Moreover, growing your audience on social media and improving your blog readership is no longer limited to bloggers. Businesses too have taken notice of the importance of social media and blogs and many are using their blog readers and social media followers to generate interest and drive sales. Here are five tips on how to increase your social media following and become an influencer in the digital space:
1. Strategy takes you to 2 million followers.
The biggest misconception is thinking that that writing great articles and taking countless of photos is enough to become a well-recognized blogger. Although content is crucial (see below), the most important part of winning an audience over is strategy. One strategy to use is the analytics tool on blog and social media; determine what type of content is most shared and liked, and start producing more of it. Another strategy is to study wording in the titles and images that accompany articles in order to determine what attracts audience the most.
2. Content is king.
If you expect to snap one blurry image, or write an article in five minutes so that it may be shared and admired by millions of readers and followers, think again. Before you take a photo, you can: Google the most photographed locations in the area, travel to picturesque settings, plan ensembles, props and layouts, and edit photos using various mobile apps. Studying beginner YouTube photography tutorials can help ensure great quality images. Each article or an image has to have the “wow” factor; otherwise, don’t publish it. Mediocre efforts will result in mediocre content, and your audience will leave. It is better to hold off publishing anything than to publish something that is just OK.
3. Originality wins.
Forget about what they taught you in school, and break all the rules when it comes to being different and getting creative in the digital space. The more unique the content, the more likely it will attract an audience. Polarizing content is ok too. You are not writing to be politically correct and please everyone; people want to hear and see something different. If you are not comfortable with others knowing your identity, invent a nickname. Reposting others’ images (unless they are “shout outs” -- see below) or articles on your own social media and blog is a big no. Your audience follows you on social media and reads your blog because they care about your voice/perspective. Posting personal, unique and original content is one trait that all superstar digital influencers have in common.
4. Collaborations are essential.
Don’t expect to become a rock star digital influencer overnight. It takes most bloggers at least a year before they see a real difference. Oftentimes, influencers collaborate on many projects for free in order to help get their brand out there. Offer your unique content free of charge to different websites, magazines, events and any other outlets that may need it. Ask only that they provide credit for your images and/or articles. Locate other bloggers and ask if you may exchange audiences -- in the world of Instagram, this is called “shout outs.” You will find that many bloggers/accounts of your size and larger will share your images and give you credit for content free of charge. This concept is incredibly effective and has allowed us to reach millions of new readers and followers.
5. Interns to employees.
“Scaling means doing less yourself” is a pearl of wisdom we received from our mentors. As your audience takes off, hire an intern to help manage your content and maintain/increase interaction with your audience. Providing publishing experience and knowledge to your intern will be invaluable, and you will be able to receive much needed assistance as you grow. As you grow your audience, your goal should be to become more of an editor and less of a blogger. This way, you will be able to focus more of your much-needed attention to creative and business side of things.
If becoming a social media maven has been your goal, these five tips will help you see an increase in your following. If you feel that your business could benefit from social media generated Web traffic, use these tips to drive additional sales. Leveraging our social media can provide us with an immense advantage and open a world of possibilities we never thought possible.