One of our very first posts on this blog was 3 Reasons you're looking for the wrong influencers. Influence is a keen subject to this team as we're constantly trying to redefine the concept based on the data we gather from and distribute to our customers.
Business-wise, regardless of the industry you’re in, if you want to be taken seriously by clients, colleagues, and new contacts, it’s important that you appear to be an expert in your field. For better or for worse, these connections will research your professional online profiles to determine if you’re an influencer in your field. They will do that by looking at your Twitter profile, among others.
In order to show new connections that you are as important to your industry as you want them to believe, it’s important that you establish yourself online as a thought leader.
For some, the title Thought Leader is assigned - either because they are publicly successful people like Mark Cuban or Richard Branson, or because they are very technically skilled like content marketer, Christopher Penn or like growth marketer, Sean Ellis.
The truth is that nearly anyone can build an online following by sharing genuinely helpful content with their audience. Here’s how:
Step 1: Find The Best #Hashtag For Your Industry
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to figure out what hashtag is used among people in your industry on Twitter. For those in marketing, popular hashtags include: #growthhacking, #marketing, and #branding. There are some pretty neat articles about finding the best hashtags.
Finding the proper hashtag is critical to building an audience of people who will be interested in the content you’re sharing. That’s because two groups of people will see the content you share on Twitter: people already following you and people searching for the hashtag(s) you choose to associate a tweet with. If you are using a hashtag that is not related to the content you’re sharing, you will notice that your tweets experience poor engagement, and that it is a slow process to grow Twitter followers.
Poor engagement means that it will be harder to attract new followers to your Twitter account.
Step 2: Understand What People In Your Industry Enjoy Reading
Once you’ve identified the best hashtags to use for your industry, it’s time to see what sort of content “influencers” in your industry are already sharing - that way, you’ll be able to share similar content and as a result, you’ll attract a similar following online.
Simply navigate to Twitter and search a popular industry hashtag. I’ll try searching for “#growthhacking.” Twitter will show me some of the top tweets, images and Twitter accounts associated with that hashtag. Right away, I know that a big Twitter account associated with this hashtag is @GrowthHackers and @SeanEllis.
If I scroll further down, I can see the sort of content that tends to do well. See the image below:
Now, when I go to search for content to share with my audience, I know it should relate to marketing. Specifically, content about retaining customers, email marketing, e-commerce optimization and new media are all good categories to share with people in my industry.
Step 3: Find And Share Valuable Content
To find valuable content, I’ll start by following the links in some of the popular Tweets associated with my industry hashtag. Then once I’ve found a piece of content I like, I’ll simply click on of the website’s social media share buttons to post it immediately on Twitter. Of course, I’ll be sure to include the hashtag I researched in step 1.
To create a stream of awesome content that can attract a massive audience on Twitter, it’s best if you use a social media scheduling platform like Hootsuite or Buffer. These free platforms allow users to schedule posts to social media in advance.
That way, all you need to do is set aside a bit of time each week to schedule your social media posts. Then you can simply periodically check Twitter to interact with your growing audience, and to follow back new followers who you find interesting.
Conclusion: How To Become An Influencer On Twitter
While it may seem like the title “influencer” is reserved for celebrities, or truly successful business people, that is a misnomer. By providing consistently thoughtful content to an audience of engaged Twitter followers, you can become an online influencer as well.
To do this, first you must figure out what hashtags are popular among people in your industry. Then search for Twitter users who are already influential around the hashtag you’ve chosen and analyze the type of content they share with their readers. Then simply find, produce & share similar content, and be sure to consistently engage with your growing audience.