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Social Influence: How to Use it to Increase Sales

Social influence. It’s a trendy term in advertising circles – but what does it actually mean for driving sales? In short, social influence takes place among non-celebrities who have engaged online followings through blogs, social media, YouTube channels, and more. In most cases, these influencers have built followings due to word of mouth recommendations, likes and shares.

The power of these social influencers is pretty well founded. Research has shown that brand engagement is 16x higher when using an influencer. Think your business could find value in engaging in the social influencer space? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Become an Influencer

Once your voice in your area of expertise is strong, start looking for ways to use your influence. You can do this through direct contact with brands, often called “brand ambassadorships,” or through social influencer networks like BlogHer or IZEA. You’ll want to make sure all your paid content with brands is properly disclosed through Federal Trade Commission guidelines. It’s also important to let your audience know what is paid content, and what is not, when taking on social influence tasks. This keeps your authenticity front and center.

Collaborate with Others

Have you come across content that your followers would find valuable? Since part of being considered a social influencer is being an expert, your readers will expect you to provide them with the most current information.  When you come across valuable articles or other relevant items related to your niche, make sure you share them with your viewers.  This is another way that you can provide quality content and ensuring your business is a valuable and interesting resource.

Studies have found that 50 percent of all purchase decisions are based on word of mouth recommendations. If you are a business looking for one of the quickest ways to grow your brand and make money, becoming a social influencer and including other reputable experts in your blog is the most effective route. Niche promoters and brand advocates produce the most powerful and lucrative content because their influence drives action. If you are not currently using social influence you could be missing out on arguably the most effective and powerful form of advertising out there – and brands will pay for it.

Find Your Niche

Most likely you and your blog have a niche, or an area that you are well versed on and have a considerable amount of expertise in.  Your niche could be a specific topic such as tips and tricks for online gaming or maybe applying makeup products and techniques, or possibly a more general topic such as parenting.  Whatever that area, make sure you stay immersed in it because readers more likely to stay engaged and take action if they are provided with excellent, up-to-date content.  Make sure you are constantly staying engaged and gaining even more experience in the industry or niche you have chosen – this will ensure you are reputable.

Becoming an influencer is about providing value to your followers. They in turn will reward you with driving traffic and sales to your business.

Have you dabbled in social influence? What tips would you add?

Tori Zinger

Yes, yes, yes! The power of brand influencers can not be overstated!

Scott Larrabee

Great post and so very true! 

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