Have you every wondered how to become a social media influencer? Influential people get free things all the time. Here’s the best news: you don’t have to be a celebrity or have a huge social media following to get free things in exchange for social media posts. That’s right, you may be more influential than you think!
I don’t considered myself to be a hugely influential person, but I do get a lot of things for free in exchange for social media coverage. I also routinely get paid to tweet, Instagram, update my Facebook profile and post content of my blog. Sometimes I get free stuff just to share with my friends, no social media updates required!
Since I’ve had such great success with freebies through social media marketing, I’ve decided to share some of my tips with you. There are a million and one ways to become influential on social media. Here is the process I used to help you figure out how to become a social media influencer.
ONE: Set up your social media accounts
This is a no brainer!
You can use your personal accounts or set up new ones. Most companies want to see you with a personal Facebook, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, and YouTube. If you want to go the extra mile, set up a Periscope, Snapchat, and Tumblr account too. Snapchat is quickly becoming popular for social media marketing.
I’ve found that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are my biggest sources of income with social media marketing. I rarely do much sponsored or reviewed content on other channels. It’s still good to have them though!
TWO: Start a blog
You don’t have to have a blog to be an influencer, however some companies won’t even consider you as an influencer unless you have a blog. Why not start one, right? Check out my tips for starting a blog here.
THREE: Get followers
Even though many companies will work with you if you have a small following, it behooves (word of the day, amiright?) you to keep growing your following. The more followers you have the more likely you are to get the really big social media influencer jobs that actually pay.
Follow these tips to grow your following and increase your influence:
Grow your Twitter following (I swear by this one- it works for Instagram too).
FOUR: Sign up for word of mouth marketing companies
Word of mouth marketing companies are the best places to start if you have a small social media following. These companies give out free things in exchange for reviews. Get the list of my favorite WOMM companies here.
Moms Meet is another one that was great when I was starting out. I still work with all of these companies for free even though I routinely get paid by bigger companies.
FIVE: Increase your followers
Keep interacting with people in your niche and your social media following will organically grow. Never stop trying to grow your following.
SIX: Move from free marketing to paid marketing
You can find a huge list of ambassador programs here. If you don’t want to comb through the gigantic list, trust me and sign up for my favorite ones listed below that work well for mom and women influencers. In a fashion niche instead? Don’t worry, you can find plenty of ways to make money there too. Check out this post for more info.
SEVEN: Be honest
Research has found that consumers trust only 33% of ads they see, while they trust 90% of what influencers post. This is because most influencers only post what they truly trust. Let’s keep this number high! Don’t try to be an influencer for every niche. Find yours and stick with it. Only work with brands that you would normally purchase yourself. This will help your audience trust you and in turn you’ll make more money.
EIGHT: Follow industry best practices
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors endorsements. If you get something for free or are paid to promote it, you are supposed to make that clear to your social media followers. A simple #gotitfree or #review or #sponsored or #ad will suffice. To learn more about FTC guidelines and endorsements head here.
Generally speaking sponsored/ paid content is where you are being paid to say a certain thing. A review is where you got something for free and you are free to give your own opinion.
NINE: Contact companies yourself
Don’t wait for companies to contact you. Reach out to them directly and introduce yourself as a social media influencer. Make a media kit (learn how to make one here) and email them your information when you ask to work together.
Instagram is a great place to look for companies that want to work together. Etsy shop and small business owners are constantly looking for brand representatives and brand ambassadors. Find them by search #brandrepsearch #brandambassador or #brandrep.
Do you have anything else to add? Let me know if I’m missing anything!