With over 2.3 billion active social media users across the globe, you can, in theory, get your content to reach a huge amount of people online. Compare that to the days when all we had was printed media – even with maximum exposure, your content would only be able to reach the people who bought a physical copy of that magazine or newspaper.
So, social media-friendly content is clearly a great way of getting your messages in front of a (potentially) huge number of people who will engage with your product and brand.
However, not all social media users are equal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a few hundred views of your blog a day, and it’s great if Joe Bloggs with his 32 followers shares your article. But…it’s not really what you’re looking for is it? When you’ve spent hours working on your blog, editing it to perfection and cutting out any jargon, you want it to get maximum exposure. So how do you do this? How do you go about attracting those big shares, how do you get your content to go ‘viral.’
Well, according to Science News it’s all about influence…
A key reason some ideas are so successful, conventional wisdom has held, is that a few highly influential people espouse them.
That seems pretty straightforward. We’ve probably all, at some point, considered buying a product or chosen to do something because some famous person has been seen doing the same thing. In social media, where a lot of powerful and important people share their ideas and beliefs, the same principle stands. So, making sure your content reaches those important people and getting them to share it, is perhaps the ultimate goal of content marketing.
In B2C marketing, it’s often very obvious who you’d want sharing your content. However, when it comes to a niche like enterprise technology marketing, the influencers are far less often world famous names (OK, Bill Gates rings a bell…). So, how do you find those people and get them to share your content?
The top social media influencers
A social media influencer is someone with a large following. Yet, like with most things, it’s about quality, not quantity. The top social media influencers, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, they’ve built their followers and reputation organically. Forbes describes influencers as those in a “specific niche based on their reach, resonance, and relevance to a specific topic.” Once you’ve found those people, you can make a plan of action to enhance your social influencer strategy.
Really, all engagement starts with not just listening but actual research. It’s about learning what people are talking about, who’s leading the conversation and answering most questions – (HubSpot)
So you need to actually sit down and find those people who are tweeting the talk, and walking the walk (virtually across a number of platforms).
In this post, I’ll introduce BuzzSumo, the online platform that helps you to create an amplify your content, and find the most shared content & influencers. I’ll focus on two particular features of BuzzSumo that can really help you to find those top social media influencers: content research and influencer research.
#1. The content research tool
So, you’ve found the keyword that you think you want to focus on, or perhaps you want to do some research and see what your competition looks like. Using BuzzSumo with the content research tool you can search particular words and phrases to see which sites are ranking highest, how many sharers there are (across social platform) and when posts were posted.
So I’m going to use ‘Inbound Marketing’ for this example. We can see that HubSpot, EventBrite and TechCrunch articles are the most valuable and interesting for those interested in Inbound Marketing. You can also narrow this down based on date, content type, country, etc.
So now you know what the competition looks like, great! But you still need to figure out who you want to read your content, and who are those top social media influencers you want promoting it to their tens-of-thousands of followers.
#2. The influencer research tool
The next major feature of BuzzSumo is the influencer research tool. Using this tool, searching your keyword, you can find those talking about and sharing content related to the keyword based on their page and domain authority, followers, and Twitter ratio.
Going back to my example of Inbound Marketing as the keyword, we can see the top people talking about inbound marketing, their band of merry followers, and social media stats. Now I’ve got an even better idea of the people we want sharing our content. BuzzSumo allows you to create lists, so you can easily find out what your top social media influencers are talking about.
Keeping up with the Conversation in BuzzSumo
Now you’ve got your list of top social media influencers, but it doesn’t stop there. Start using this list to build interactions with the right people. Make use of the outreach list, and keep up with the conversation and see what your influencers are talking about. Begin engaging with them:
- Respond to their questions
- Share popular conversations
- Retweet and react to their latest posts
- Ask them questions
- Share your content directly with them
By engaging with those influencers, by answering their questions and contributing to discussions, you begin to build a foundation for a virtual relationship with them. This is the perfect means to get you ‘on their radar’ – making them far more likely to share your content with their thousands of followers. And those followers are more inclined to pay closer attention to the content they broadcast – getting your brand in the eyes of an exponentially larger audience.
However, not all social media users are equal. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have a few hundred views of your blog a day, and it’s great if Joe Bloggs with his 32 followers shares your article. But…it’s not really what you’re looking for, is it? When you’ve spent hours editing your blog to perfection and cutting out the unnecessary jargon, you want it to get maximum exposure. So how do you do this? How do you go about attracting those big shares, how do you get your content to go ‘viral’?