How to Become a Certified Social Media Influencer
4 Steps on How to Become a Certified Social Media Influencer
Social media influencer is all the buzz right now. It is the buzzword in advertising and marketing today. We have decided to use our knowledge and guide potential people on what mistakes to avoid while building up their full potential.
Social media influencers, or influencers in short, are ordinary people who have earned a considerable following because of their knowledge and transparency in the product/services. Following a few social media trends, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to become an influencer. It’s about how bold you are.
People are increasingly turning to influencers for more solid opinions on products, movies, services, and just about anything out there. They seek opinions from people like themselves before finalising their commitments. The public no longer actively follow celebrities who endorse products on their social media accounts. It may seem over-exaggerated. Influencers, on the other hand, get to where they are because of the valuable information they provide their followers.
The influencer marketing has immensely increased in numbers and popularity since it broke into the world stage. People’s purchasing decisions have drastically changed over the years may have given rise to this influencer market.
A news report says that women no longer rely on celebrity endorsements to make purchases. The report shows that most consumers look for product and service recommendations from those who know it very well.
Being a social media influencer can be a rewarding “job”, as it may help bring you side income on top of your day job. It is even some people’s full-time job as it brings them really good money. If you aspire to be one, here are ways how you can become one.
1. Find your forte, be an expert
To get yourself started, find your niche and be a known expert in your area choice. Find something that you genuinely are interested in. Something in the industry that you are very passionate about. This way you can tell your followers something new, fresh, and/or extraordinary about it. Be an expert here and earn it.
Besides finding your niche, determine who your target audience is. It helps you to develop your content faster and effortlessly. Determining who your target audience also helps you establish your distinctive persona. Establish a semi-fictional depiction of who you are to your followers.
2. Choosing Social Media Platforms to Establish yourself
After you have established your niche and online persona, your next step is to choose which social media to work on. Remember how you need to establish who your target audience is. Find out which social media platform is the most popular among your followers.
Instagram may be the best platform for influencers to focus their contents on as it gives them the best results. Although it may yield the best results does not mean it is the perfect choice for what you are pushing for. Your followers may not spend all their time there.
Pew research has found that 73% of the American population uses YouTube, and 68% uses Facebook. Only 35% of the American population uses Instagram, a far cry from social media giants YouTube and Facebook. Pew Research Centre has also found that, as of 2016, 95% of people who uses Instagram also uses Facebook. It has also been found no less than 89% of users who peruse social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn uses Facebook too.
In Malaysia, GlobalStat found that nearly 78% of the Malaysian population uses Facebook. It has also found that the Malaysian population spends over 90% of their time on the social media giant. Facebook has proven it is the leading social media giant in the South East Asian nation.
As the statistics given by Pew Research has shown, although Instagram may be a popular social media platform, it does not command the biggest amount of users. In fact, in both countries, Facebook commands more users than Instagram in some countries. This is proven by nations such as Malaysia and the United States of America.
Pew Research’s results also prove just because Instagram yields the best result does not mean you stubbornly have to stick to it. Diversify your platforms. You may give more attention to one platform at a time. But remember as an influencer it is best to spread your contents across several social media sites.
What you can do as an influencer is not just meet your followers at where it’s the most popular. Since each social media platforms have their strengths, take advantage of it. Use Instagram for picture posts with messages. YouTube, although challenging but very promising if you are good at videography, for your video contents. Facebook for various types of media.
3. Developing a content strategy
According to Kristina Halvorson, content strategy is the “creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content”. For beginners, influencers are known for being able to provide precious content for their followers. Contents that include materials by fellow influencers and experts who believe their followers will find useful.
Part of developing an effective content strategy is the format and quality of what you are presenting. Give your audience the right amount of information and personal take on the topic. Present your information by expressing your personality and voice, which may help add uniqueness to the content you produced. Remember, one reason why people trust influencers is how followers can relate to them.
Also, don’t forget to share contents by other influencers who are doing the same contents you are doing. It will slowly help you get their attention. In due time, it may be easier for you to ask them to do the same for you in the near future. It must have a value!
Keep in mind the format and quality of the content you publish will take you to new heights as a social media influencer, or it may leave you in the dark.
Continuously do what you do. The content you produced must attract people, be considered and regular. You know the message you want to present, so stick to it, and at the same time look for fresh contents to add to what you are doing.
4. Take note of cultural, religious, moral sensitivities
This is very important. As trivial as it may sound, it may drive your social media influencer stint to ground zero very quickly. Avoid posting controversial material to your channels regarding anyone’s religion, culture, sexuality, and even politics and world leaders. Do avoid talking about “hot topics” on their channels, and channels associated with them too!
You may think this makes you look “cool” when it isn’t! Most times it makes you look like a fool.
For example, alcohol advertising alcohol is not allowed in the UAE. Social media influencers need to be extremely careful when they post content that may include a glass of grape juice in their hand. It may seem they are advertising alcoholic products.
“This could include content that is un-Islamic, blasphemous, lewd, that encourages sinful activity, or that is aimed at corrupting minors, etc. It can also extend to content that might negatively impact on social cohesion and peace, such as content that that stirs sedition or sectarianism, mocks the leaders of the nation, or that hurts national unity or social peace,” Anita Siassios said, on her article for Al Tamimi & Co.
Remember that if something does not feel right, have adverse lash backs and affect you in the long term, it is then best to avoid it. It pays to be sensible.
Your followers may increase over time. Ask your friends and family to share your contents around. Rub shoulders with similar people if you have to. It’s all about getting you and your content out there. As long as you get your boat floating and sailing, you’re good.