Instead of always trying to tap into the influence of others, why isn't your brand trying to take a strategic approach to increase your own digital influence? The benefits of doing so are plentiful, and influencers have already perfected the formula of what you need to do.
So what are you waiting for? Listen to this episode and build your own influence as a company or brand!
[03:15] Employee Advocacy
[03:56] How Can I Make My Business More Influential?
[04:26] Building Influence
[06:36] Other Approaches Where You Can Yield Influence
[09:30] Things People Look At When Collaborating
[10:43] Why Building A Large Following Is Better Than Small Following?
[11:28] The Funnel of Social Media Relationships
[14:36] How You Can Build Better Influence Than Your Competitor
[15:27] Leveraging Social Platforms
[16:49] Micro-targeting Options
[17:44] The Things You Should Be Looking At When Setting Up Social Media Dashboards
[19:25] Why Do You Need To Delineate Marketing From Your Social Media?
[19:59] Things You Can Do To Get Influencers Work With You
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Why are all the influencers people and not businesses? On the flip side? Why doesn't your business or brand try to become an influencer in social media? That is going to be the subject of today's solo episode. So stay tuned for the why, and the how. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here Welcome to another episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Last week, we had john Lee Dumas on I normally would have done a solo episode, I'm pretty passionate about sharing my story experience advice together with those of my guests in a 5050 trade off. So I felt kind of bad. And I wanted to be back at you this week with a solo episode. And it's really a topic that is top of mind for a variety of reasons. I guess the first reason is, as you heard, in a previous episode of why I am launching a membership community, I feel that having a digital product can help me build more influence for my brand than not having one. And I'm really excited to announce I'm going to be recording a whole separate episode about the experience. But I did recruit founding members, and I have had a number of people apply. And I am just building the infrastructure literally, as we speak, learning a lot about payment gateways, and Zapier and the different automations and integrations that you know, allow you to have a subscription payment and a customer portal and make sure they get access to this community that I'm building. The good news is that I'm getting more and more confident that this is going to be launched. Hopefully by the next time you hear this podcast. And this first continent, the digital first group coaching members of communities first group of founding members, I'm going to work with them to really sculpt this program so that for those of you who haven't joined, but one two in the future, it's going to be an even better place for you. So I'll let you know when I go through my next round of opening it up for applications. But that is one way I felt that I could build influence. Now, I've been in situations with my fractional cmo clients over the last several weeks to different very large enterprises. And both of these enterprises want to build more influence. Now, for both of them have given them pretty similar advice. And the advice is yes, you know, building more influence, a lot of it is tapping into other influencers and influencer marketing for both of these companies has been an important part of what we've talked about now. Because they're enterprises that influencer marketing has an intersection if you know how I define influencer marketing, it also includes employee advocacy or what I would call employee influencer. So based on that the employees do play a role. But it's really about leveraging other people to get the word out about your company, right? Whether it's employees or whether it's customers, or whether in you know, one of these companies as b2b one is b2c. So it could be industry influences for the b2b for the b2b. b2c, it's more of an ecosystem partners that we could consider to tap into as well. But here's the thing, that, and for some for both of these companies, it's also leveraging subsidiary companies and leveraging their influence. But here's the thing. If your business wants to become more influential, you need to build your influence in it, it shocks me when more companies don't try to build their influence. Now, when a company has more influence, and when I say a company or a branded, corporate channel, has more influence in social media, everything that you want to do with influencers becomes easier to do. When you reach out to influencers, they're going to be more inclined to work with you. Or if they charge anything or if they have certain conditions. They're going to lower those because they're people and influencers are attracted by other influencers. influencers are always trying to raise their influence. And they know from their own experience, the best way to do that is to collaborate with other influencers. We see this in the podcasting space. We see this with YouTubers. We see it with bloggers and companies have been left out of the party? And I don't think they have to be. That's the thing, right? But in order to get into the party, you need to build influence. And for companies to build influence, they need to do it just like people do. Right? How do you build influence, you have a platform. And for some, it's podcasting. For others. It's, you know, YouTube videos, for someone's blogging. And for others, it's more of like photography or dancing with with Tick Tock or Instagram reels, whatever it is, you need to you need to platform. And then you need to, obviously publish content that's relevant for that platform. Now, the funny thing is, businesses have platforms, they have websites, right. And more and more businesses are publishing content in the form of blog content. But they're not taking the approach to yield more influence on all these other channels. In fact, the only channel where most companies really focus on increasing influence is in SEO in the eyes of Google. And even then, they're not really trying to tap into other influencers. They're really just trying to create more content, or maybe in terms of backlinking, there might be some influencer relations, although they probably see that more as a pure SEO approach, giving a lot of money to agencies to do that on their behalf. And therefore, even though they might be generating backlinks from other companies or influencers, they haven't really developed relationships with those people. So it doesn't really carry the full value that it might be able to carry. But for all of the other channels that I talked about, why aren't more businesses podcasting? why don't more businesses have a bonafide YouTube channel? Where they're actually giving valuable, resourceful advice to their community or inspiring them or entertaining them on a regular basis that YouTubers do right? Why aren't they more active in social media, not just publishing their own content, but actually engaging and, and teaching and networking and collaborating with other people. And here's the thing, I like to use my own book. When I published the age of influence, and I reached out to people, I have a lot of companies I work with, they dream of being able to be invited to speak on podcast, for instance, right? So I recorded an episode here where I said, Hey, here is why I wanted to be interviewed on 100 different podcasts, I ended up getting over that 100 number took a few months, but I got there. But the thing is that when I reached out to other podcasters, I had some credibility because I had a new book. And it was a physical object that I was able to send them. Now you might be able to do the same with corporate swag if you don't have a book, right? Hey out, and I do you have a client and and Hey, Mark, if you're listening, I'm gonna give you a shout out that uses swag very, very well. That's what his company does. And whether it is backlink requests, or, you know, podcast, what have you, he can leverage that right, I could leverage a book. But I think more importantly, I could leverage the fact when I reached out to other podcasters, that I also had a podcast. And for a lot of podcasters, right, they wanted to be on my podcast, they wanted to be exposed to a new audience, as I was being exposed to new audience through them. So when your business is reaching out to people, we have a higher domain authority blog, and we accept guest blog posts. We have our own podcast, which by the way, ranks in the top 250. on Apple, iTunes, United States for you know, fill in your category here. Yes, we have a YouTube account we just started but we already have 1000 subscribers, we'd love to collaborate with you. Or, yeah, we do weekly Instagram lives. Let's get you on our next one. And by the way, we have 10,000 followers, 20,000 followers. So you know, it's funny, because I think in the early days of social media marketing, companies spent money to buy fans and followers. I think we saw this a lot on Facebook, have these Facebook fan like campaigns, and sometimes they did giveaways, hey, like our page and win an iPad, and over the years, companies have stopped doing that. Now, obviously, we have to attach an ROI to everything we do. And we may not see that ROI immediately. But clearly, Now, I'm not saying you should go out and buy fake followers, I would never ever, ever recommend you do that. But human beings, when they look at your company, or when they look at a person, inevitably they're gonna see if they've never heard of you, they're gonna see how many followers you have. Do you have 100 followers, do you have 1000 followers? Do you have 10,000 50,000 100,000 and based on that number count, they are going to perceive you differently this is this is sort of the the branding of your follower account right. So in the people that look at it most are influencers you know A lot of people reach out to me, hey, I'd love to be on your podcast, and I will go to their Apple iTunes page. And I'll see like, they haven't even published the episodes yet. So it's like, Hey, why don't you get back to me after a few episodes under your belt? Right? So, you know, I can't see the number of followers, or you know, they have 350 episodes, yet they have zero reviews. So this is telling me that there's something wrong there. They seem influential, but are they really influential? Is it someone I really want to collaborate with? Am I gonna get the ROI. And there's more to ROI and collaborate and just follower count and in popularity, believe me, but it is one thing that we all look at, because our time is limited influencers can't help everyone they love to they, they have their own life, their own family, their own work, and their own customers. So based on all of this, it is recommended that you build a larger rather than smaller following. And the beautiful thing, the beautiful thing, if you haven't done this in a while, but it's okay, I want to get started, I want to build up my following and build more influence businesses have the money to do this, you have the advertising budgets to do this. And doing this actually, I look at it. Originally, I was going to talk about funnels for this episode. And Tony, that gives you the case study of this membership community and, and the funnel and how it broke down and how I'm tweaking it for future iterations. I'm going to talk about that, maybe my next one. But you know, I love the funnel analogy. And I try to use it very often when I work with clients in any of my teachings. So one of my funnels is very simple. It's the funnel of social media relationships, right? You begin at the very top with the general public, you don't know anyone they don't know you. And then you build out a following where you get some people to start following you and engaging with you, these people you are beginning to build, like know and trust with, then at some point, you want to get them on your website. So you end up having this funnel in terms of digital relationships, that often begins either with Google search, or with social media, social media, we measure with the followers and engagements, what have you. And then together with Google search, you might get profile views on social media. So once again, this is like a mini website. But at some point, they come to your website, because that's where your businesses, and this is the next stage of the funnel. Now if they come from Google searches, direct, if it's from social media, it's sort of indirect, because you need to get them to follow you and, and you know, get interest from you on social media, and then they come and then from the website, if you want to keep them better touch give me did you need their email address? You need to be doing email marketing to marketing automation. I was on a podcast today. And then like, Neil, you've you really been blogging about the value of email marketing? I go, Yeah, because how else do you keep in touch with people? How else do you get those multiple touches that you need to convert someone, they're not going to see every time you post on social media, you may post every day, they may only see one post a month. But if they subscribe to your newsletter, that you send that every week, because it's really valuable. Now you're getting four touches a month instead of one. And then when you have something special to say, and you want to send them a dedicated message, you could try to dm them on social media if they're following you. But certain networks like Facebook pages, LinkedIn company pages, don't give us the ability to do that. Right? So that's where the power of email comes in. But at the end of the day of the funnel, right, the general public, then people who have some know like and trust, they follow, engage, they're, they've come to our website, they've they're on our email list. Obviously, the next stage is they become a customer, and then they become our advocate and our influencer. So when we look at it that way, okay, we want to be doing the same thing. And it's the social media follower piece that we can do. Now, the way that I frame it with my clients is look, who are your competitors, and we should have as many followers as they do, pure and simple. Now, I have one company and their competitors, one client, I should say their competitors have, on average on Twitter, like between 507 100,000 Twitter followers in my recommendations, because they don't have they have a LinkedIn account, they don't have a Twitter account is let's launch a Twitter account. Let's build influence there. And unfortunately, although we can get people from our subsidiaries, our employees from our LinkedIn company page, we can promote our Twitter page. But in order to get to that influence, it's going to take time, and it's going to take a paid budget, but it's gonna be worth it. When people check you out. The difference between having 100 followers compared to your competitors, or having 100,000 followers is huge. One of their seven primary competitors only has 33,000 followers. So let's that's the first step is we should be able to equal them right? And we should be able to my, my mission is, Hey, 12 months from now, let's get to having 250,000 followers, so at least it's respectable, may not be as as much as six of the seven competitors. But it puts us in a range that says Okay, one more year from now in two years, we can equate them and obviously if you have a lot more money to throw at this, you can accelerate it right but if you want to be conservative, Even conservative, it's going to cost them money. That's what I would do. So look around in your industry and look at your competitors, look at their follower count, see where you rank and consider a paid campaign to get you to rank a little bit better. Now, I'm not talking about blindly buying followers, I'm not talking about buying fake followers, I'm not even talking about giveaways and contests, which a lot of companies and influencers do use very, very effectively. What I am talking about is leveraging the micro targeting capabilities of these paid social platforms to handpick those ideal people that you think if they were exposed to you, they would not only be interested in following you, but they would also be interested in becoming your customer. So you are generating new ROI from this marketing spend, that goes above and beyond the fact that not only are you going to increase that perceived influence by follower count, but it will help you with all of the other influencer marketing you're doing, it's going to help you with employee influencers, you want them to tell their story on social media, you want them to write blog posts that you can share, whatever it is, and when you have 10 2050 100,000 followers, and you have more than they do, they want to work with you trust me, right, they want to get that that promotion. And instead of you having to reach out to podcasters YouTubers, they're going to reach out to you because they see your influence. So that's why you have an email database, you have website visitors, we can leverage this data now you can reach back out to the people that have been to your website, get them to follow you on the any given social network, you can upload that email database, get them to follow you on any given social network. And these are going to be obviously extremely relevant. And it should be very cost effective because there's already some like no interest. And we can use the micro targeting options. Once again, to find other ways we can you can look use look alike audiences right now the time has passed, since those original Facebook like campaigns, it's actually a lot easier. And there's probably less companies that are doing follow campaigns, meaning that it might be a lot more cost effective than you think. So then when you reach out to the influencer, instead of having 100 followers, you have 1000, you have 5000, you have 10,000, the response is going to be very different. Now, the follower count is just one piece. And even with a lot of followers, if they look and you haven't published content over the last year, it has little meaning. If they look at you publish content, and it's gotten zero engagement, it loses meaning as well. So you got to be like an influence, you got to be tapped in your community, you got to be publishing content there that is truly resourceful, relevant, and you have to be proactively engaging with others. So businesses are good at setting up their social media dashboards and, and putting content and cues and publishing it out there. What they're not good is measuring the performance of the content, getting into more conversations with their followers, and trying to figure out what their followers want, even if it is, even if it's not related to a product or service that they have. It's the one of my fortune 500 clients in the past. I helped them on a campaign. It was more of an influencer marketing campaign. And it was all about dev ops software. So this really niche b2b software. So yeah, we posted a lot about the product and stuff. But the content that got the most engagement was a retweet from a DevOps influencer on the 10 best books that every DevOps software engineers read. So it's truly providing resource and value. We're not trying to promote our company, we're not trying to promote our product, we're not trying to get people back to our website, we're doing it for the community. And therefore, as I've been saying, if you've heard previous episodes, or heard me speak recently, social media is less about your promotion, and more about developing the relationships, developing relationships with influencers, among others. And when you begin to look at your social channels, not as promotion channels, but as channels that truly provide that valuable resourceful content, curating content from others, photos, videos, you know, interactive, engaging content, live streaming, this is the content that people want on social media, the algorithm show it and there's other survey data that shows it as well. So when you completely delineate your marketing from your social media, and social media becomes this pure relationship play. It is truly a game changer, because you're going to be now on the same level of the same playing field as influencers are you're not doing anything differently, right. But you got to be publishing, I mean, obviously, you have to have your own content. And ideally, your own content would be similar to that resourceful content that isn't necessarily about trying to push your brand and your products and service at any given moment. So if you're with this far, you know, there's some very, very easy things you can do to get influencers to work with you. And as you build more influence, you can leverage influence ORS to help you build that influence by inviting them by launching a podcast and inviting them to speak by launching a YouTube channel and inviting them to come on by using more of their content in your social media and or inviting them to participate in your blogs in your webinars, your content marketing. And obviously, this is influencer marketing one on one. But if you take this approach to using social media as an influencer would, and you take a similar approach, which is we want to build our influence in social media, it's going to make all this other stuff a lot easier to do. And as I said, over time, it's going to be less need for outreach, and more inbound of influencers, and maybe even other companies that want to become part of your platform. I hope you enjoyed this episode, I welcome your feedback, whether you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear from you. tag me Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever you are, I am you know, obviously my username Neal Schaffer, NDA, CH FF, er, wherever you are one of these platforms. And I look forward to serving you on future episodes, I really want to thank you. I know that, you know, the, the things that I talked about can be quite varied, but how digital influence manifests itself. And the things that we can do in marketing, primarily digital marketing is is very broad. And I really want to give everybody a sense of that broad perspective, so that you can find, you know, it's okay, if you don't listen to every episode. I mean, I when I listen to podcasts, I will tend to skip some episodes. And that's okay. But I want to stick true to my mission as to why you are actually subscribing to this podcast. So So thank you again, I know that specifically the United States, we've been jumping up the charts here. I'm grateful for that. But also, I see you in Ireland. I see you in Hong Kong, I see you in Finland, as well as other European countries, Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, as well as New Zealand and Mexico. I want to thank you all. I really appreciate, you know, everyone you're listening. Hopefully you're also sharing this with your communities with your networks. If you have time to leave a comment, I'd really appreciate it as well. If not, you know, I get it. I feel that you are there. I feel that when I speak it is going into the earbuds or through the speakers, and that you are absorbing and you are growing. And just to give you a hint, my whole thought process behind this podcast, and this group coaching membership community. It's all about bringing innovative marketing to the masses. And you're probably going to hear me change the intro music using that tagline. But that's what it is. I want you to be innovative. I want you to be able to cut through the noise, yield more digital influence, and at the end of the day be successful in growing your business. This is Neal Schaffer signing off from Irvine, California in sunny Orange County, wishing you all a great virtual social day. Until next time, everybody. Bye bye. And SEO nada