A lot of companies seek out, follow and engage influencers. If you have a powerful network with a lot of friends and contacts, that is worth something. However, it’s not all just who you know that matters, it’s also what you can bring to the table. What you know matters, too.
Knowing that the influencers can make or break a business based on favorable or unfavorable reviews, comments made, or through biased spotlights on products and services, some of the biggest companies in the world are now seeking and using social influencers to help them promote. For example, Disney often runs promotions to give influencers tickets and merchandise for new movie releases. American Express offers gift cards. Chevy handed a few lucky influencers the keys to a brand new Sonic for a three-day weekend.
Having Clout Equals Success
Why would they do this? Feedback, of course. Word of mouth referrals have long been the key to successful enterprises, even before the rush of social media became a big hit. From solo-preneurs to mom-and-pop businesses; to giant Fortune 500 companies, any smart business principal understands the value of good ‘old fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations. Count that on a widespread basis and before you know it, everyone who is anyone has heard about your product, service or invention. As a recent example, the “50 Shades of Grey” book was a recent phenomenon that began by a few happy readers who loved it and told others. Now it is a blockbuster movie, all started by a “buzz” of some avid readers.
Some influencers get formal invitations as “brand ambassadors” and get invited to special events. If rubbing elbows with band members, models or actors and getting VIP passes sounds like a cool gig, well… becoming an influencer is one way to do it. Would you like it if a big brand or ad agency courted your attention just for having a ton of friends, fans and followers on your multiple social platforms? Of course. Who wouldn’t?
How to Gain Online Social Popularity
Bearing this in mind, anyone can become "influential" in certain niches. There are communities for every type of interest, hobby, activity, personality. Examples such as tech communities, video gaming, reading/writing, cooking, crafting, etc. enable you to be part of the popular “in crowd” with those things you most enjoy, while also boosting your reputation as a person to know on that topic. Companies target people like you to help promote their products and services. Being known as an expert can also give you leverage in the job market within your chosen field.
This can also be done by helping them through reviews and advertising on your blog. If you have a popular blog with a lot of followers, the big companies will begin to notice. You’ll get subscribers from media (TV, magazine publishers, etc.) and more and more offers will pour in. It does take some effort. You have to blog about topics that people are interested in, while devoting your time to develop a niche. If you just write about a bunch of random stuff, it may not generate the results you seek.
With this in mind, you can move forward with more caution in what you choose to share or not share with your social circles. Leverage your influence by keeping the posts relevant, short, and related to your goals. Don’t promote capricious products you’re not familiar with because if they fail, this can decrease your credibility. Most importantly, keep your communications positive in their message and shy away from foul language, obscene cartoons, or anything offensive that could come back to haunt you later on.