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Whatever be the reason, personal or professional, the fact is that people do spend a lot of time on social media. Social media is an integral part of our lives as it can be accessed at any time through our smart phones. Social media marketing is the new buzz and indeed as a marketing tool needless to mention, it’s quite potent. In recognition of this fact, almost any business; big, medium or small has jumped on the bandwagon in the sense that they cannot even begin to think about formulating an effective marketing strategy without credence of social media.
A vital facet of social media is to be able to connect and engage with the people who are actually making an impact. In other words, any meaningful social media engagement in essence involves connecting with those who are influential on each social media platform.
Whether or not social media presence is truly influential is largely dependent on whether the presence prompts some sort of action. Mere awareness of presence isn’t effective at all. An influencer in the true sense of the term is someone who instigates a group of people to act. An influencer has the last word and buyers are inspired to act.
For a business, an influencer is vital as faith and trust is created instantly among potential buyers who may actually be inclined to buy. As a first step to have and keep influencers to promote a business is to be able to find them. That may not be as easy as it may seem.
There is no way of knowing whether or not a person actually has any influence on buyers. In other words, the degree or level of influence may or may not be measurable. Based on the social network though, the criteria or parameter may differ.
Do we know what Facebook Is?
On Facebook for example, the number of fans matter, but that criterion alone is just the tip of the iceberg as it were. At the bottom is a huge portion which in this context is about engagement. Facebook in particular, among other social networks has a significant level of conversation, the reason being the Edgerank algorithm this platform has been using to lessen spam, or click-baiting headlines. With people increasingly commenting and engaging on a post, the post is shown frequently. For an influencer to influence buyers, their message ought to be visible enough to be seen and heard.
Creating an “interests” list would ensure that posts of influencers are transparent and then add people who may be considered as influencers to the “Interests” list. When unsure about who to add, searching for hashtags would produce results of people talking about a particular industry that may be of interest for someone. With this list built, monitoring of the list for a week would reveal the frequency of posts which would eventually translate to the likelihood of people seen and heard. Maximum engagement from fans or the pages or people that gets the maximum number of likes and shares, all of these data can be seen.
A comparison could be made with the pool of potential influencers narrowed down into an interest list. Thereby, one would bypass the newsfeed to ensure that one does appear on every post. As a result a more realistic idea emerges about the type of posts and buyer engagement in relation to each post. It is also a reflection of who the potential customers are responding to on Facebook and who they’re not.
Twitter on the other hand doesn’t use an algorithm while showing tweets. They’re in queue in the order they’re tweeted, meaning each and every follower is equally as likely to see a tweet. Engagement on Twitter is essential too. Retweets are an indication that a message may have been engaging enough for a potential customer to share it with people following the customer.
Retweeting a tweet repeatedly extends the circle of influence causing an ever increasing number of people to see the tweet and perhaps engage with the tweet which would indicate follower’s level of interest in the influencer’s content.
Whether or not the people seeing the tweet are engaging in a conversation with the influencer and asking for an opinion or soliciting advice are a few of the indicators of the level of influence an influencer has on the audience. One has to be mindful of the way people converse with the influencer to have a notion of the extent of faith and trust that followers have on an influencer.
As majority of the Twitter conversations occur publicly, it’s rather easy to see how many people actually listen to and respond to potential influencers. While looking at a Twitter profile, rather than simply looking at the tweets, the “Tweets & Replies” tab is what one should be looking at for a more realistic view of the influencer’s conversations on this platform.
Google+ The New Member
Even though Google+ isn’t the social network that many people would opt for, nonetheless it does influence search engines and a select group of potential customers. If customers happen to be on this social network, then businesses can be in front of the customers with the influencer’s assisting them. Google+ is aware of this, and that is the reason behind their launching Ripples, a system that can identify and gauge the effectiveness of influencer engagement. Unfortunately, the feature was removed as it wasn’t utilized by the vast majority.
Quite a few queues remain that help designate an influencer though, and they are the number of comments that google+ receives. People leaving comments on google+ is one of the primary indicators that people are finding the content quite engaging.
People viewing profiles on google + however concocted the profiles might be at times, nonetheless are an excellent indicator of the visibility of profile updates both on or off of google+. As updates are viewed, the update views option on image updates shows how many times an update has been viewed. An understanding of the type of audience the influencer is getting is possible.
LinkedIn as a social media with a difference
For those who belong to the B2B industry, LinkedIn is a platform where thought leaders are found. Most people begin by searching for specific keywords in relation to the industry they are a part of. The result of the search can be overwhelming without much of an insight regarding the real influencers in a particular field.
While searching for keywords, articles ought to be the keyword so as to have a list of authors of articles as influencers on LinkedIn. Each article would have comments which would be a fair indication of the extent of audience engagement and more importantly, the faith and trust placed on the influencer. Further narrowing down the pool of influencers would help identify the influencers in turn influencing other influencers, which is rewarding after all the effort that was put in. Identifying the people influencing influencers is the key as the likelihood of their engaging with a business is greater initially as they have been influenced by the target influencer of business.