Many businesses small and large who use social media to promote their brand or service are under the false impression that the more followers they have the more influential they are and therefore in a better position to leverage their “klout” to promote a new product, event or service. This is not necessarily always the case.
What is important is to have the right followers that are a mix of people who would be interested in your brand, product or service as well as people who are influential in social media that can help get the word out for you.
Influential people in social media have not got to where they are at by re-tweeting or ‘liking’ anyone and everyone they know or giving their stamp of approval on a product or service. They will do so only if they feel the person behind the brand has something genuinely valuable to offer that their followers/friends should know about.
Trust is also a very important factor to consider before someone of influence gives their endorsement. Trust is earned over time, via interesting and useful content, frequent interaction, generosity in giving advice and help. It allows people to get to know you first and then ultimately your brand. It’s important to give back to the community and not just focus on selling.
If you’re thinking of marketing your brand through social media do your research first. Find out who the influencers are and see who their friends and followers are. Are their friends/followers people who would be interested in what you have to say or your brand? If so, follow or ‘friend’ these influencers and get to know them through commenting on their posts or updates and sharing thoughts.
There are a lot of directories out there for Twitter that will give you insight to who’s who to get you started. A great public Twitter directory is Twellow. You can search Twellow through hundreds of categories and user bios to help you find people who matter to you.
Ultimately it’s not how many friends/followers you have but how well you know them and stay connected with them that will matter to your influence.