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How to Become a Successful Social Media Influencer

Rule the social kingdom with these expert tips.


It Takes a Village

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no matter how big a deal you think you are, nobody in this world succeeds entirely on their own. Social media is by definition about people, and therein lies your most valuable tool for success.

My buddy Gary Vaynerchuk turned his family’s small liquor store business into a major online wine retailer by being an early web video pioneer with his Wine Library TV show. Gary is an early adopter of virtually every network out there, including dozens you’ve probably never heard of, and he sets the bar high by trying to respond to every tweet or comment he gets and doing his best to help everyone who comes to him on social. Just ask anyone he’s personally helped with a business problem on Facebook. Or ask those who received a free bottle of wine from him because they asked him what it tastes like. But while Gary is just one person, he makes an around-the-clock impact because his followers are more like advocates; they love to amplify his content.

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If you’re just beginning to take your social media to the next level, it’s easy to get discouraged when you’re posting to a small following. While everyone wants to be friends with someone who has a million followers, what you need to do instead is build relationships with people in your league. Ten people with 10,000 active followers who retweet you can make a piece of content go viral in a single day.

Just don’t be an annoying brat constantly trying to get someone’s attention, because nobody likes a court jester. Other kings want to feel as if they’re at least dealing with a prince.

Hit Your Targets

Sometimes it pays to try and buy up the land before attempting to win it in battle. Similarly, you shouldn’t be afraid to spend some money to win big in the social media game. I don’t mean buying fake followers, because that trick can give the wrong impression, especially when you’re caught. Instead, spend some money to attract exactly the followers you want. On Facebook, running a paid social campaign is the perfect way to target exactly the kinds of followers you want. Facebook knows so much about its users that if you want to target male fixed-gear bicycle fanatics in Austin, TX, between the ages of 25 and 40, you can promote a post, picture, or story directly to that audience. On Twitter, while you don’t have the same level of analytics available, you can easily gain like-minded followers or insert and amplify your opinion into a trending conversation with a promoted tweet.

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