How Social Media Managers Can Leverage Personal Influence Into Brand Success
You run your brand’s social media campaigns, but you’ve got your own extracurricular social media activities going on, too. You’re into early-90’s hip-hop, startup culture, home improvement, and fashion – and Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram know all about it thanks to your lushly updated accounts. You’re a multi-faceted being. Your kind refuses to be pigeon-holed. No one puts baby in the corner…But how can that help your brand?
Well, your job is to be the voice for your company, plan content, and build relationships with influencers, correct?
By focusing your personal social media energies on growing your own authority and personal brand in your field as a social media manager, content marketer, or community manager, you make yourself a destination for news and thought leadership.
This will lead people right towards your brand – which is right where you want them to be. Here are some tips to help you make your own brand more prominent, and your business brand more successful.
Focus on Your Followers
Take good stock of who your followers are on Twitter, Facebook, and whatever other social media channels you’re active on with your personal, non-brand accounts. What are your audience’s major interests? Which categories do your followers shake out into? What kind of content are they posting about and likely to engage with?
Running a Twitter Audience Analysis on your personal Twitter account can speed up this process, and give you a head start on producing an Excel doc of who’s paying attention to you and grabs their attention. These people follow you for a reason.
Once you have this information, you have choices. Choose to focus on one content category mentioned a lot in your audience’s profile.
Or focus on Tweeting out content that’s attractive to your top influencers, who in turn will drive a lot of eyes towards your posts whenever they Retweet or Favorite ’em.
Bottom line is, turn your personal social media presence towards an intersection of your personal interests and your professional endeavors. You can even work with your content team to plan blog content or on-site campaigns that address the overlap, if it’s significant enough. And if it’s not, you’re still getting new eyes on your brand by repping it in a way your followers are attracted to.
Get Involved in Twitter Chats
Show off that #winning personality! Don’t sound just like any ol’ dutiful social media manager – forge a memorable, authentic voice, and direct users towards your brand inadvertently by maintaining a presence that’s entertaining and steers clear of sales-speak. The more “genuine” interactions folks have with you (or, as I put it, the more face-to-name), the more likely they are to look further into your brand.
Introduce Yourself to Influencers
Who are the influencers in your industry? Take a look at your Who’s Who of What list, and introduce yourself on social media with an expertise-related question (indirect praise and dialogue-building), pat on the back for a specific job well done (direct praise), or an informative link to a post with a “Have you seen this yet?” query (providing value via new information).
There is no shame in reaching out to more established brands and influencers using these methods – you’re simply building a bridge between respected folks in the field and yourself and, by association, your brand. With any luck, a sizable portion of their audience will walk over that bridge and spend some time on your island of content and/or product.
Write About ‘Em
When in doubt, blog it out. That’s my motto, anyway.
By blogging about a company or mentioning an influencer, then promoting that content on all your social media channels, you can gain traction with brands/people you never had access to before.
For instance, we recently wrote this post about Coca-Cola’s social strategy. He wrote it because he’s genuinely interested in all the rad stuff they’re doing for the World Cup, and because it fits into our company’s scope of expertise and our audience’s realm of interest. Today we got the following Tweet from Coca-Cola:
@simplymeasured Hey- thanks for the love! ^LN
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) May 29, 2014
The first step to forging relationships and expertise is getting on the radar of your target audience. The first step to getting on their radar is by sharing something valuable with them.
Speaking of Blogs…
Guest blogging is a phenomenal way to get your name and your brand’s name into the eyes and minds of folks who otherwise wouldn’t have a clue.
Send out a slew of personal (see also, non-spammy) emails to the bloggers, community managers, and social media managers of other companies in your sphere. Compliment their work genuinely, citing specific examples. If you have even a Facebook friend in common, consider mentioning it. Anything to get your target fish to bite and connect with you.
Also: remember that you don’t necessarily need to start with major influencers if your brand is still in a growth stage – you might find more success by making lateral asks from brands of a similar size.
The ultimate ask is: Would they like to trade posts? It’s a win-win situation. That brand/social media manager gets your audience’s eyes on their/her content, and vice versa. And, of course, both of your audiences win by receiving fresh insight from different perspectives.
Activate Yourself in LinkedIn Groups
Become a recognized member of the advice pantheon and professional knowledge-sharing forums that are LinkedIn groups. People active in LinkedIn groups tend to have more meaningful, thoughtful discussions than on other social networks – and it’s time for you to mine that richness.
Join the LinkedIn groups in your field and ask for advice. People love giving advice. Or link to a piece of content (not yours, that would be a little too spammy), and ask a thought-provoking question around it. Once you’re an active part of the community, folks will organically look your profile up on LinkedIn and then get curious about your organization – you don’t have to order them around to get the end result you want.
How do your personal brand and your company’s brand make beautiful music together?
And what are the challenges in translating your personal social media success to your brand’s? Don’t be shy. Drop us a line in the comments below.
I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.