If you’ve been posting your pictures and blog posts all over your social media channels, and are still confused about how it helps you, then you probably haven’t begun to measure social media influence.
Sure, all those bloggers and social media strategist keep telling you to post about your blog and push out content — and you’re doing it — but you might not know how to measure the return on investment. This article will help. You’ll learn about what a social media influencer is, how being one can help your business grow, how to measure social media influence, and even a few tips to increase your social influence.
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who knows how to push information into their social media handles and get people to do things — whether it’s read an article, watch a video, engage in conversation, retweet, buy something, or subscribe to some newsletter.
It’s not easy to influence people unless you can understand what people are interested in. Social media influencers take the time to curate content and build authority in their niche. This earns them the trust of their followers.
A social media influencer does research to understand their audience’s interests, their age range, their gender, and more. They use this information to bring in content that their audience will really engage with, and act on.
How can having social media influence help your business grow?
Having social media influence in your niche can tremendously help your business grow. Just having a social media account with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest doesn’t cut it.
You have to do something with your social media accounts in order to build a presence.
Not doing much or anything with your social media handles, well, it’s kind of like visiting a department store at the mall, and no clerk greets you or asks you about what you’re interested in. You probably went to that store because you heard it had something you were looking for, but you don’t know where to find it. The clerk is knowledgeable and hired to help you find what you need, even in the case you can’t quite put words to what you’re trying to find. They’re also there to let you know about in-store deals and how to get more information when you leave their store.
You can do the same exact thing as those clerks with your social media channels. You can use your social networks to:
- inform followers about information in your industry.
- educate them about your products.
- guide people to the answers they need in order to make informed buying decisions.
- make connections with other influencers, possibly to build strategic partnerships.
- Above all, social media influence builds trust. And social followers who trust you are more apt to spread the word about your business.
How do you measure social media influence?
It’s become a little easier to measure social media influence over the years. Measuring how many followers you have just doesn’t cut it. You have do more than that. And these tools can help.
Klout is a free platform to measure influence. It was built by Izea, a company that has been dedicated to attracting and paying bloggers and social media enthusiasts to do sponsored blog posts or share sponsored articles on their social media channels. Klout can measure social media influence on platforms including:
Also, Klout lets you know how well people have reacted to what you’ve published to your social networks. Because Klout has been around for quite some time, since 2008, it’s sometimes a statistic that bloggers are asked to share with advertisers. This is especially true when determining a sponsored opportunities, like sharing on a social network or writing a paid blog post.
Kred is a premium platform that you can use to measure social media influence and outreach. Influence is considered how likely it is that someone will engage with your post, and the outreach score is how likely you are to share other’s content. Kred bases its measurements primarily on your Twitter activity. As noted on the Kred site:
“We measure Influence by assessing how frequently you are Retweeted, Replied, Mentioned and Followed on Twitter. If you connect your Facebook account to your Kred profile, you get Influence points when people interact with your content on your wall and the walls of others who have registered their Facebook account with Kred. Facebook interactions counted towards your Kred include Posts, Mentions, Likes, Shares and Event Invitations.
Outreach reflects generosity in engaging with others and helping them spread their message.”
To calculate your Kred score, the platform analyzes billions of tweets over the past 1,000 days — and adds your Facebook actions if you connect your account.
Hootsuite is a unique platform that allows you to manage multiple social networks, and even multiple social media accounts. You can add your social media accounts from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress.com, Instagram and YouTube. The service has a free version, but the premium version gives you access to Hootsuite Analytics.
Hootsuite Analytics measures the impact of your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram presence.
Tips for increasing your social influence
So, now that you know what it is to be a social media influencer, how important it is for your business, and how you can measure social media influence, here are some tips for improving your social influence.
1. Use hashtags.
Hashtags are searchable terms that group together social media posts. It’s important to use hashtags that are actually being used.
2. Stay on top of trends.
Trending topics can help gain engagement if you plan to publish some of your content at the right time, using the right topics. Google Trends is a great (and free) tool for measuring trending topics.
3. Mention influencers in your niche.
Genuine mentioning of influencers can sometimes lead to you being mentioned to their followers, or even opportunities to partner with them.
4. Share more than just your content.
Try sharing related content from other bloggers and social media influencers, so you have an active channel that is not just about you. In doing so, it looks like you are trying to participate with other people and companies, rather than just push out your own content. In fact, you should try to adhere to the 80/20 rule, which means that 80 percent of your content is from other sources, while 20 percent is your own content.
5. Publish content that will engage your followers.
Ask questions, host contests, or put together events to attract people to your social media channels and your website. Also, use more than just links. Try audio, video, infographics and images to wow your followers, and get them to want to share, like, and even comment on your posts.
If you’re not measuring your social media influence, you’re missing out on being able to plan effective social media marketing campaigns. Don’t be that person who is flying by the seat of their pants when using social media. Hopefully this article has helped you understand what social media influence is, why it’s a good thing for your business, and how to measure social media influence. Good luck!
Also published on Medium.