5 Detailed Ways to become an Authority & Win on Social Media

Social Media is a great way to get initial traction for your E-book, video tutorials or self-publication. Too many times however I hear people say, “I know social media is powerful but I just haven’t been able to get that initial traction to help me grow!” and so they give up.

As a co-founder of a social media tool, this really saddens me. I have come across so many people with great knowledge in a subject that just get too frustrated starting their social media presence that they just say, “f@#$% it” and give up.

So I decided to write a blog post, as a resource, to help guide the countless people that have this issue. These tactics where used by Brian and I, less than one year ago to grow our niche software recruiting website to over 20K Linkedin group members and 20K Twitter followers and growing!

For your convenience I used examples that are a bit more relatable than social media geared toward programmers, enjoy 

#1 Twitter Growth Tactics for Initial Traction

Twitter is a great place to share information, arguably the best. So much so that Mark Cuban doesn’t use Google anymore for news, he just goes straight to Twitter. If you haven’t read his article on Is Search Changing? I would definitely recommend it.

If I want to know if anything note worthy happened in an NBA game, the last place I would search is Google. I would search twitter first.  If I want to know if anything interesting happened at an event, the last place I would search is Google. I would search Instagram. The list goes on.

Twitter is a great place for broadcasting news and information. It is easy to get started and easy to broadcast news and information. So easy that intrinsically there becomes a huge barrier to entry before you start seeing value from Twitter, initial traction.

The people that gain the most from Twitter are Influencers, the people that have an established audience of which they inform and engage with on Twitter. Find the Influencers in your niche subject, they will be important to you.

I know this may seem intimidating at first. No one likes seeing their competition seemingly light years away on social media, but remember that they can’t win over everyone!

Even if you think they have “better information” or are “more knowledgeable” than you, realize that some people might not like their teaching style. Some people might be turned off by the way they write or broadcast but have no other alternatives wink, wink!

Once you have identified your industry influencers, engage with their audience.

Post comments on popular tweets and engage with their audience. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh I see so just promote my E-book, video tutorials or blog on their tweets.

No, you do not want to rub the influencer the wrong way. Would you want someone else blatantly self-promoting on your social media?

Instead do the opposite. Spark conversions and add value to the influencers tweets; slowly become an Authority in your niche. You could provide articles you have read in the past about the subject of the tweet or maybe even comment about a real life example you have.

What is even better is that if the Influencer thinks your comment is awesome he could Retweet you to all his Followers! Sometimes it only takes one spark to really start growing and become an Authority.

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Focus on rubbing the influencer the right way; you may need them in the future, more on this later.

My last point highlights a problem with too many people on social media, when trying to get initial traction, blatant advertising.

They see the Influencers advertising on their social media and justify doing it themselves. What they don’t realize is that the Influencers have earned that right of passage with their Followers due to the Trust they have established.

Now I am not saying you should not advertise but I am saying you should not make it so blatantly obvious. Focus on helping and engaging Followers; the money will come with time.

Bonus: Favorite other people in popular tweets

1.) It lets them know that I think they are awesome and provided good information. Additionally they get a Twitter notification that I favorited their comment.

Think about when you share something awesome on social media. Don’t you feel like a winner inside when you get more “likes/favorites”? Social proof is a powerful thing.

2.) The reason I like to target people that comment on popular tweets is because the fact that they commented on a tweet means they are likely active on Twitter. When building initial traction on Twitter it is important to get the “Right Followers” not just “Any Followers”.

The “Right Followers” are not only more likely to follow you on Twitter but much more importantly they more likely to engage with you on Twitter. That means these “Right Followers” are more likely to retweet, share and comment on the awesome content you share on twitter.

#2 Linkedin Groups for engagement

Linkedin groups are another great way to engage with potential social media followers. Linkedin by nature is a social media route that helps you become an Authority on a subject. Why?

It is because you have a professional profile attached to every comment or post you make on Linkedin. So it goes without saying that before you start engaging people in groups make sure that your Linkedin profile is at an All-Star level.

Once your profile is looking so good your mother would print it out and put it on the fridge, go search for groups that pertain to your subject. Linkedin groups are an awesome way to engage with audience members that have common interests as you.

Can’t find a Linkedin Group for your niche? Lucky you! Start a Linkedin Group to become an even bigger authority on your subject.

#3 Subreddit’s help you become a Niche Authority

Reddit is very similar to Linkedin Groups except they are super geared toward community engagement. If you want to talk to your niche audience Reddit is the place. It’s a site focused on finding people with the same interests as you!

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Reddit, similar to Twitter and Linkedin, allows you to post anything from articles to videos. What you can post depends on the guidelines of the niche community, called the “SubReddit”. There are “SubReddits” for a host of subjects from Dungeons and Dragons to Personal Finance.

Reddit, unlike Twitter and Linkedin, uses a system where you “up vote” and “down vote” the things that are shared in each “SubReddit”. The “up vote” system allows the community members in the “SubReddits” to decide which articles are awesome, which ultimately get pushed to the Top of the “SubReddit”.

Do not feel too discouraged if your articles do not get to the Top initially. Reddit uses a hierarchy for each user depending on how active they are on Reddit.

That is the reason it is important to be active on Reddit for your niche!

So how do I find my subject on Reddit? You can simply go to Reddit and they will have plenty of suggestions where to start.

#4 Unconventional Social Media

So what do I mean by unconventional social media? Well think about it like this, if my niche is Photoshop then it is likely I use Youtube to promote my Photoshop tutorials.

When I post a Photoshop tutorial on Youtube I am competing with millions of other Photoshop tutorials, because Youtube is a common place to find…Photoshop tutorials!

Imagine if I got creative and in addition to posting Photoshop tutorials on a saturated medium like Youtube I posted on an unconventional medium for Photoshop content, like Instagram.

Example:
I could post an example of my latest work and describe some tools I used to accomplish the effects in the artwork. Maybe even tell people that I have a Photoshop tutorial on Youtube for a step-by-step.

Now, instead of competing with millions of other Photoshop related content I am only competing with thousands. It’s really hard to get noticed in a crowded city, unless you’re already a big shot in your industry.

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That is not to say you should not post on the saturated mediums but having a balanced social media distribution strategy is always a good idea.

Here are some examples of less saturated mediums:
(Keep in mind you must find sites that make sense for your potential customers)

  • Dribble – a site dedicated to sharing awesome designs and art
  • Colourlovers – a community that shares different color schemes and pallets
  • Shelfari – a site where you can share your favorite books, provide book reviews and share what you are currently reading

#5 Reach out to Influencers for Help

Now that you have created some initial traction on social media and are slowly becoming an influencer reach out the Influencers for help.

Earlier we talked about their popular tweets and engaging discussions. Now this becomes very important because Influencers love to see Followers discussing topics, it makes the tweets better!

The more they see you helping them the more receptive they will be to help you.

People that have an established social media audience are not very worried about losing members to someone else. What they are concerned about is continuing to provide their audience members with value.

They know that if they continue to provide value to their Followers then they will continue to be customers. This is because they worked hard to gain that initial Trust with their Followers. They have established themselves in their Industry and are not going anywhere.

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When you are not credible or established it is hard for influencers to take you seriously. Think about their situation, they stand to loose a lot more from sharing bad content then you do, they have their reputation on the line.

That is why it is important to get some social authority before you reach out for help, it will make the task a lot easier, hell they might even contact you!

Influencers sometimes have a hard time constantly coming up with great content week after week. They will often reach out to other influencers and share their content, knowing that it is of high quality.

Here are 2 ways to contact influencers:

  1. Direct message them on Twitter after commenting on a topic they shared that is relevant to an article, E-book, video tutorial or blog post you know the Influencers audience would love.
  2. Find the Influencers email on their website or use a tool like Rapportive, which allows you to find any ones email. Reach out to them about something you feel their audience would love.

    Example:
    {Twitter Influencer} I loved that article you shared about creative ways to use Photoshop’s Flair Tool! It’s so funny how using a little creativity we can use Photoshop CS6 to render some crazy effects.

    I wrote a similar article about creative ways to use the New Perspective Tool that I think your Followers would really enjoy.

    I attached a copy if it sounds Interesting and would love to know what you think about it!

    Keep up the awesome job!

Now don’t think that you will be the first one to ever contact influencers in hopes of building your brand.

Many times you will contact them and get no response, however you can increase your chances by focusing on one thing, Value.

Focus on how you can provide the Influencers Followers value and they will be a lot more receptive to help you out, because you are offering to help them out.

#6 Bonus Tools to Become an Authority

  1. Hootsuite.com – This popular social media tool not only helps you manage your social media more effectively but recently they added a suggested content section where they generate content for you depending on your industry.
  2. Twitterfeed.com – This is actually a tool created by bit.ly that allows you to connect to news sources in your industry so you tweet trending news about your industry automatically. This is a good Supplement to your awesome content! I wrote a Detailed Infographic on how to use this tool.
  3. LinkPlugapp.com – Awesome so now with Hootsuite and Twitterfeed I have some additional content about my industry to share but won’t that be detrimental to the content I make or share? LinkPlug was created to make sure you become an Authority in your Industry every time you share anything on social media! By using LinkPlug everyone will not only see your Brand when you share anything but you can also suggest them to check out some of your best past content or even allow them to signup to your newsletter if they really want more!
Written by: Edwin
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