Who is a social media influencer? As the term indicates, that’s someone who has gained a lot of credibility and influence in the world of social media. This could be a celebrity, a brand or a business, but—more interestingly—these are people who have a ginormous following across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as beauty bloggers, fitness gurus, gaming addicts, fashionistas, and more.

These ‘social media celebs’ and ‘digital creators’ not only have a huge impact on the choices and purchase decisions of their loyal followers, but a new research has found that they trump even celebrities (though they have a bigger following) and brands in driving purchase decisions among 18-34 year olds.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that partnering with influencers can be a powerful way to reach your audience and generate awareness about your brand and product. But there’s also a lot you can learn from successful social media influencers, which can help you build and improve the social media presence for your business. Here are some tips to steal from them.

1. Find your niche

The key ingredient is to become an expert in a particular industry, or a specific topic. This will, over the time, help build your brand’s authority.

Aesthetically, remember to maintain a theme. That’s what helps a lot of social media influencers establish an identity. Whether it’s the niche you post about, or a unique voice that you’ve adapted, stick to it. This will help you keep your branding consistent and build your brand image.

2. Know your audience

A social media influencer has mapped out who their audience is — their age, gender, likes and dislikes, as well as demographic segments. Even if they haven’t mapped all of this out, they engage with their audience and spend enough time to know what sits well with them. You need to do the same so that your posts remain relevant to your audience.

3. Engage with your community

You need to be seen as someone who is accessible and actively engages with their audience. Reply to all posts, even if someone is critical of you and keep the conversations on your page going.

Audiences like to hear from the people they are following and individual interactions have a lot of value. This will help personalize and humanize your brand, as well as help you build your social media community.

4. Publish fresh, valuable content consistently

You must keep updating your content. The more often you post, the more chances there are of your posts coming up in your audience’s feed. Perhaps you could follow a few influencers that you look up to, to see how often they post and try to follow that. You can use software like HootSuite or SproutSocial that allow you to schedule posts across different social media platforms.

Remember to share valuable and authentic content that you think will genuinely be meaningful to your audience.

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment

If your gut tells you to post on a topic you’ve never dealt with before but feel strongly about, or try a new method of engaging with your audience, just go for it. You can set up polls or simply ask your audience if they liked the new topic or technique. Successful social media influencers always push the envelope to keep things interesting for their audience and ask for their feedback — which is also a great way to build a two-way conversation. The key here is to deliver your posts with confidence.

6. Keep up with algorithm trends

Do a bit of research on how Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms work. These are updated constantly, so you need to keep doing your homework. Keep abreast with all algorithm changes, new analytics and new features. For this, you will want to read platform blogs of these social media giants regularly: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Remember to also read blogs of social media influencers to keep up with their tips.

7. Engage outside your primary networks

Be active on networks apart from your own. What this means is that you should visit websites and blogs of other businesses and influencers and be active there. Try guest blogging on different websites and on LinkedIn. Become active on Q&A forms like Quora and Reddit. Your brand needs to be visible in spaces different from your own to be able to get new followers and to build your reputation.

If you want to your business to shine bright on social media, these tips and tricks will help you get started in the right direction. But don’t just blindly follow influencers. Remember to be yourself and try to develop a recognizable brand voice because at the end of the day, it is your authenticity that will appeal to your audience.

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