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Becoming a Social Media Influencer

Becoming a Social Media Influencer

To become famous online is a great achievement. But to be an “influencer” online is even better. We’ve heard their names, seen them in action, and been awestruck with the overwhelming number of responses they get. We call them The Social Media Influencers or The New Influentials, and they are the ones who “drive the buzz” on the Web-the primary opinion leaders in the social media. Online influentials are now regarded with a kind of “celebrity” status. And their popularity is not just based on their wide knowledge, rather on their unique ability to attract and engage their audiences.

Technological advancements have given rise to limitless opportunities in the web, and this in turn has opened several doors for the average blogger, video-maker, social networker or discussion board denizen to expand their spheres of influence in cyberspace. These emerging new-age web personalities are having great impact both online and offline. They range from YouTube stars, social media companies, bloggers, specialists, web curators and gurus. As long as technology continues this rapid, upward movement, and as long as their content continues to proliferate, this celebrity status is likely to shoot up and increase exponentially in time.

Today, these “celebrities” are continuously building a following of their own through the various avenues available in the web, and more and more marketers are taking advantage of their widespread popularity to reach out to their consumers. Many marketers consider these influentials as an extension of their marketing efforts and they continue to recruit more online influencers to help them promote their brands.

However seemingly impossible it is to generate high amounts of views in just a few days, becoming a part of this elite group in the social media isn’t as much of a hefty task as you might think. You don’t even have to have a large network already set up. In fact, it can be easier to spread a message if you have a smaller, more concentrated network. Start with your existing network and then gradually branch out to friends of friends.

You have to know your audience and understand their interests. Have a keen eye and spot trends that are likely to recur. Participate in the community and engage your audience.

Take for instance Justine Ezarik, known in the web as iJustine, who, after posting a video on YouTube about her wanting to live a healthier life, generated over 2.1 million views. Her viewers are mainly girls aged between 13 and 24, and she has since earned the reputation of being the “nicest person on the Internet”. Big businesses like Intel, Nikon and Mattel have begun to tap on her network. Just recently, Ezarik was approached by GE to work with their project Healthymagination, which now has over 11 million views.

If you’re serious about the business of becoming an influencer, you need to choose subjects that you are truly interested in. Gary Vaynerchuk, who converted his father’s wineshop and wine expertise into a video blog titled WineLibraryTV created a following of about 150,000 viewers per episode over 4 years which earned him – appearances on TV shows like “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”.

You should also have a great sense of what is important to your following and what is worth their attention. You have to be able to sift through the many layers of information in the web and pinpoint the most interesting and captivating things. Remember, influence affects almost everything, online or offline, so having a sense of responsibility will definitely be to your advantage. It takes a lot of time and effort to become a Social Media Influencer, but the benefits far outweigh the work!