What Does It Really Take To Become An Influencer?

From talented make-up artists on Instagram, to celebrities with a passion for human rights, the internet is alive with prominent figures who have established credibility within a specific industry. Known as ‘influencers’ these individuals can be highly persuasive thanks to their authenticity and outreach, but what does it really take to become an influener with a loyal and dedicated following?

Become An Influencer

There’s a lot of white noise out there. It’s quite literally impossible to read every single tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn article or Instagram caption, so how do social media influencers – a breed of confident, opinionated internet enthusiasts with an extensive fan base – make people listen without shouting from a loud speaker in the middle of the street or parading around in a costume hoping to get noticed?

The social media strategies of top influencers will give us a clue.

Bill Gates: Business magnate turned social butterfly

He might be one of the richest and most respected man in the world, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is putting his feet up and binge watching his favourite Netflix shows (well, not all the time anyway). Oh no, this entrepreneur is one of the biggest online influencers in the world with a complex social and content strategy that reveals his inner philanthropist and is fuelled largely by his work for the Bill Gates Foundation.

With close to 40 million Twitter followers and almost 20 million on Facebook, Bill Gates has a significant audience, but what’s interesting about his social approach is that it’s not a parade of self-importance. Instead of beating his own drum, Gates uses social networking platforms to promote causes, issues and innovations he feels strongly about.

So what’s he doing right?

  • Blogging

Blogging is a great way to drum up interest around a particular topic and Bill Gates is using this tool to his advantage. Gates Notes lies at the epicentre of his social strategy and focuses in on some of his main interests including: saving lives, energy innovation, improving education and book reviews.

  • Sharing content

As well as writing about his latest passions, Gates also promotes his blog via other social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. This integrated content marketing strategy extends his outreach and allows for maximum exposure.

  • LinkedIn Influencer

As an active LinkedIn Influencer, Bill Gates uses this social gateway to voice his opinion on many important subjects. One of his recent articles: “Fight Back Against Mosquitos” not only touches on humanitarian issues such as malaria but it directs readers to gatesnotes.com where they can find similar content.

  • Engaging and relevant

Posting sporadically just won’t do. To engage your followers you must be proactive and be part of the social media hype. The good news is; Bill Gates posts regularly on many of the social media platforms he has joined. He has also recently joined the Instagram crew and is already posting visual content.

DJ Khaled: The King of Snapchat

Being a celebrity isn’t enough to become an influencer. In order to have influence over people online you must first be great at what you do and be active via social networking channels.

DJ Khaled, for instance, is a brand’s dream. Why? Well, because he has released some chart-topping music of late and has over 6 million Snapchat followers. He is therefore an obvious choice for companies who may not yet have a strong social presence of their own.

Indeed, when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority debuted on the social network, they hired the renowned DJ (who has collaborated with the likes of Justin Bieber) for an account takeover that brought in more than 350,000 views in its first two days alone!

The importance of social responsibility

Of course, if you have a significant number of followers you have to take responsibility for your actions. It would not be right for celebrities with a child fan base to promote the use of drugs or alcohol for instance. Similarly, if companies use celebrities for brand endorsement, the celebrity should represent the essence of their brand to avoid miscommunication.  Companies need to therefore think extremely carefully to ensure they choose the right social media influencers.

Public speaking and the importance of the press

As we live in an increasingly tech-centric world, online and social influencers have power. That said, as well as virtual communication, influencers need the confidence and eloquence to stand up and voice their opinions to a live audience.

Take Ellen DeGeneres, for instance. As well as actively campaigning for equal rights for the LGBT community online via Twitter and other social channels, she also regularly gives empowering speeches filled with truth and emotion that help increase her popularity.

Becoming an influencer takes time and patience but by utilising all channels and being good at what you do it can be possible. If you want to improve your online reputation and get your voice heard in the media, talk to the Contentworks team today.

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