8 tips for becoming an influencer on social media

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Successful YouTube channels take work across a broad spectrum of online platforms to develop. The creators behind big-name channels consistently produce video content for YouTube, but are also prolific on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook. It takes work to become an influencer on social media, but that work is what helps push moderately successful YouTubers into the million-subscriber stratosphere. 

Need to up your social media game? Here are eight tips for becoming an influencer.

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1. Pick two platforms

The first tip is simple: Don’t try to be a master of every social media platform. Be a specialist, not a generalist, because specializing is the first step to success. 

Pick two social media platforms that are best for you, your niche and your target audience. Developing consistency when multitasking on social media can be incredibly challenging, so learn the ropes and ease into it.

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2. Research and experiment

Next, you need to research and experiment with the two social media platforms that you’ve chosen. 30 minutes per platform should be enough. Try some Google searches like “best practices for Instagram” or “how to use Instagram for business.” 

Spending just 30 minutes learning about each platform might not seem like much, but it will place you in the top 10% of experts on those platforms. 

Few people take the time to really learn how social media works, and fewer still keep up with the changes and newest strategies. Do this, and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

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3. Create a content strategy

After you’ve spent some time studying and practicing on your chosen platforms, create a simple content strategy for making the most of them. 

Make your plan simple enough that you can sketch it out on a cocktail napkin. Here’s an example: 

I will post on Instagram at least once per day, eventually growing to two or three posts a day. These posts will be 80 percent business-related and 20 percent personal. 

That’s it. You can create a more complex and detailed strategy if you wish, but don’t hesitate to start very simple, take action and then adapt as you go.

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4. Use hashtags

Always utilize hashtags for every post so that you stay involved in ongoing conversations, making it easy to find and help you attract new viewers. 

Click on a hashtag, and you will see a list of other posts and pages that you can engage with. Reply to their posts, comment and start conversations. 

This process works on Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else you can find a hashtag. 

Even YouTube has a hashtag function now. 

The hashtag is one of the easiest ways to find specific groups, audiences and niches. It’s also one of the easiest ways for people to find you.

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5. Engage with other audiences

Frequently visit other influencers’ comments to engage with their audiences. One of the best ways to find your tribe is by looking at the tribes of influencers who are like you. 

Gary Vaynerchuk, a well-known authority on business and social media strategy, got his first start on his Wine Library TV YouTube channel back in the 2000’s. 

One of his early strategies was to go onto other people’s online forums and respond to comments about wine. He shared his opinions, offered advice and information, and engaged in conversation. He didn’t overtly promote his own business or videos; he just added value to ongoing conversations.

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6. Lead with value

Whether you’re engaging with your other influencers’ audiences or building your own community, remember to always lead with value, not selling. 

On your own videos or someone else’s, value-added engagement means responding to comments, interacting with their viewers and answering questions. 

That was Gary Vaynerchuk’s goal: Creating connections and adding real value just for the chance that they might discover his content. 

Ask yourself what value you add for others. Do you contribute to conversations in meaningful ways? Do you utilize the value you create to build relationships, gain attention for yourself and lead new faces to your channel?

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7. Leverage live video

Here’s a power tip: Utilize live video on social media. 

Instagram, Facebook and YouTube all actively promote live broadcasts, so it’s a good idea to ride that wave before it crashes. 

On Facebook, the algorithm favors live video. On Instagram, a small red banner appears over a user’s avatar to let people know when someone goes live. 

When you’re live, there’s a greater chance of viewer engagement. Additionally, when the YouTube algorithm sees higher engagement, that video moves up in the search results.

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8. Advertise with video

Advertising on social media is a great way to become an influencer and build your audience. If you’re going to run ads, remember that advertising with video makes a much more powerful impact than any other type of ad. 

You probably noticed that when YouTube moved from static ads to streaming ads. Streaming ads gain more attention from viewers and make a stronger impact. That’s why other platforms are beginning to embrace the same function, as video creates monetization opportunities on social media. Therefore, it’s another potential revenue generator. 

Since you’re already creating videos, making video ads shouldn’t be an issue.

This article was adapted from the book YouTube Secrets and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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