If a tree falls in an empty forest does it make a sound? Sure it does, but who cares? If you don’t want your content to suffer the same fate as a dying tree, you need social media influencers to promote it.
But how do you get social media influencers to promote you when you’re just starting out?
It seems there is a certain formula for success. Here it is, broken into its various components:
- Establish yourself as a social media influencer
- Publish your own content on a blog/ guest posts
- Find influencers in your industry
My goal is to provide you with a step-by-step guide to reference when trying to get social media influencers to promote your content.
How to Get Promoted by Social Media Influencers When You’re a Newbie
1. Establish your own brand identity as a social media influencer
The first thing you’ll want to do is establish your digital brand. Without a strong online presence how do you expect social media influencers to notice you in the first place?
But what makes for a strong social media brand identity?
I like what Neil Patel, of KissMetrics, said on this topic:
“There are millions of people who have a nice profile pic, a good bio and an area of concentration! But, value is something different. When you give value, you are making meaningful connections with other people.”
So you should aim to create value-oriented profiles. But how do you that?
Here’s how to create a value-oriented Facebook profile page:
- Note before beginning — This will not be like the personal FB page I’m assuming you already have, this one should be a brand or personality page.
- Go to Create Pages on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/create.
- Click “Artist, Band, or Public Figure.”
- Select your category (If you can’t find one that matches you perfectly, don’t sweat it and simply choose “public figure”).
- Type your name into the name field.
6. Click Get Started.
7. Now, fill out all of the details for your page.
8. Save all the info.
9. If you have a professional headshot, you can add it now (whatever you do, don’t take a selfie and upload it).
10. Click “Next.”
11. Add to Favorites, so you can easily check the status of your personal brand page anytime you’re on Facebook.
12. Define your preferred page audience — awesome.
13. Add a cover photo.
14. Invite people to your Facebook brand page.
15. Link page to other social media accounts and add the link to your brand page in your emails.
16. Diversify your social media efforts by creating a value-oriented LinkedIn profile — LinkedIn sends about four-times as many people to your website as Facebook or Twitter, according to Econsultancy.
17. Share valuable content and post regularly.
2. Publish your own content on a blog/ guest posts
After sharing others’ content, it’s time for you to start producing your own. While, sharing is great, to truly connect with other social media influencers, you must position yourself as a fellow content creator and thought leader.
But remember, your content must be valuable to others. If it’s not, you’re wasting your reader’s time as well as your own.
So ask yourself, “What could someone do with this information?” If you can answer this question easily then you’re probably in pretty good shape.
While having your own blog is a great way to position yourself as a social media influencer and content creator, it is not the only way.
Writing for guest blogs allows you to position yourself as someone in the industry, with the added perk of contributing to an already established blog. This increases the chances of getting noticed.
Guest posting is great, as many social media influencers will see the content, link to and share it.
Here’s how guest posting works:
- Use Google to search for your industry or topic and next to that word (say it’s Hotels) type in phrases like, “submit a guest post,” “guest post,” “guest post by,” “accepting guest posts” and “guest post guidelines.”
Here’s what turns up after running a Google search for “Hotels submit a guest post.”
- Check to make sure the guest post opportunity is legit — I just clicked on the first result, but you’ll want to be a little more discerning.
- Make sure you are qualified — some of these guest post opportunities have pretty strict requirements for contributors.
- Pitch/write article — this is where you actually start creating original content
- Find more guest post opportunities and contribute again and again!
3. Find influencers in your industry
So far, we’ve laid the groundwork for connecting with powerful social media influencers.
The first steps to building strong alliances with social media influencers is building a strong digital brand.
But now it’s time to actually find the social media influencers in your industry. The big kahunas.
For this, you’ll want to log into BuzzSumo. If you are using the free version, you’ll want to upgrade to the paid for these next steps (if not, still follow along it’s good general info):
- Click on the Influencers tab in the top navigation bar.
- Next, specify that the filter only selects “influencers” and “ignore broadcasters.”
Note: In the above screenshot Active Influencers is selected. Don’t do this, only Influencers and Ignore Broadcasters.
- In the search bar, type in keywords associated with your industry. In the above example the keyword is SEO.
- Now you’ll have a list of SEO influencers, ranked by a BuzzSumo algorithm that pulls relevant information from Twitter and people’s websites.
- Organize your list of influencers by relevancy.
- Click the check box to the left of the first influencer and a toolbar will appear at the bottom of the page.
- Next, click “Save All Selected Influencers.”
- Crete a new influencer list titled “SEO” or whatever your original search term/phrase was.
Creating an influencer list allows you to readily access your previous search results, while you move on to your next query.
After searching for “SEO” influencers, you might use the search term “content marketing.” In this case, you would want to create another list to house the content marketing influencers you’ve selected.
- After you’ve used all possible keywords for your industry, then you can apply different filters, such as expanding the search to bloggers and journalists. But until you’ve used all the keywords you can think of, stick to “Influencers” and “Ignore Broadcasters.”
“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” — Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
I think something so many of us take for granted today is the fact that social media didn’t exist just 20 years ago. As such, we’ve forgotten a few key precepts of interpersonal communication — ideas that — ironically — would increase influencer outreach success.
Here’s how to reach out to the influencers from our BuzzSumo search results:
- Follow the influencer on Twitter. BuzzSumo makes this easy, actually placing the Twitter “follow” button next to the influencer’s profile information.Ah, but if only gaining influential friends were as easy as following them on social media….Unfortunately, merely following an influencer is unlikely to get you noticed.
- Provide value, provide value, provide value.Find out where the influencers are publishing content and try to get yours on the same platform. If they have their own site, or blog, maybe now would be a good time to see about a guest post opportunity.
- Write an article relevant to your influencer’s industry.If you’re unsure of what content is relevant, click the “view links shared” button, next to their BuzzSumo influencer profile — this will give you an idea of the kind of content the influencer publishes.
Within your article, you should mention the influencer by name, as well as reference their work. And after your article’s published you’ll want to send a message to the influencer, letting them know about it.
- Messaging the influencer on Twitter and getting “paid.”So I don’t really mean getting paid in any cash-exchange since of the word. What I’m talking about here is reaching out to the influencers after providing value and seeing that they reciprocate with a few happy words in the form of a blurb.You can do this in a message reminding them of the value you brought:”The article I wrote discussing your ideas has 1,200 shares on LinkedIn. Would you be willing to tweet the article to your followers?”
If you’re new to online marketing and you’re struggling with getting social media influencers to promote your content, don’t be discouraged. It’s an art and it requires time and experience before you really get into the swing of things.
But if you can remember to first establish yourself as a social media influencer, to publish your own content on a blog (or someone else’s), then to find influencers in your industry and reach out to them in meaningful ways, you’ll be armed with a powerful strategy any novice would envy. And you’ll be well on your way to becoming a social media influencer yourself.
How do you get social media influencers to promote your content? Let me know in the comments.