How to Become a Successful Twitter Influencer: Modern Day Trendsetting

In the last few years, Twitter has grown in significance not only online, but also outside of it. The platform had a huge impact on events like the Arab spring of 2011, and the 2016 US Presidential election. In these, Twitter influencers played a large role in mobilizing people to take action.

While you might not be out to change the political landscape, influencers can have an impact on the marketing of your business. Becoming an influencer can also yield incredible results for your business. Learn to become a successful twitter influencer use this power to your marketing advantage.

Why you should become a Twitter influencer

Enhanced online reputation

Whether you are selling shoes or offering home repairs, having a good reputation helps you market yourself. Becoming an influencer bolsters that reputation as people will see you as being trustworthy. This trust stems directly from your number of influencers, and your interactions with them.

Reebok has come to be trusted to share all kinds of fitness information. This is despite the fact that they do not sell fitness equipment, they sell shoes and clothing. Their reputation in the industry is so highly thought of they’re trusted to disseminate other types of information in their industry.

Increasing your own follower base

Having a huge following is also an important aspect of successful online marketing. Becoming an influencer also helps in increasing your base. In fact, people in your field will naturally be drawn to you even without you doing a lot to attract them.

Driving more traffic to your website

The goal of any online marketing effort is to drive more traffic to a specific website. These efforts often rely on influencers to get people moving towards their sites. With you being the one who does the influencing, you can also do this for your own marketing and increase your traffic significantly.

This is a good thing. We cannot always wait around for Dwayne Johnson to tweet out a link to our website:

Initiate and direct trends to your advantage

A common tactic in online marketing is to ride whatever is trending. This can be a tricky endeavor, as the trend might not even relate to your brand. Becoming an influencer gives you the power to steer trends towards what you want them to be.

You can go even further with this and actually create trends of your own that you can fully coordinate and lead your target audience to. Incorporate this into your hashtag strategy, and use Twitter Promoted Trends.

The types of Twitter influencers

When trying to turn yourself into an influencer on Twitter, you have to decide which type of influencer you want to be. This is crucial because it will dictate how you can take advantage of your newfound status later. While there are many different kinds of social media influencers, Social Media Examiner lists the three below as the ones you will commonly encounter.

The hub influencer

As the name says, the hub influencer is the one that starts the conversations within their network of influence. The hub influencer also often serves as the primary source of any new information about the topic being talked about, keeping the conversations going. This makes the hub very powerful as they are the Twitter accounts triggering virality, hashtags, and generating trends.

Media organizations and celebrities are the most common examples of hub influencers, largely due to their large following and access to first-hand information. CNN may just be the absolute hub for all things news on Twitter. They share all of their own original content to great numbers:

Becoming a hub influencer isn’t easy. You need to have a sizable amount of followers who are well within your target audience for them to readily retweet your content. The kind of content you produce is also crucial. You have to constantly come up with new, original material that is interesting enough to catch the attention of your followers, and those outside your network.

The bridge influencer

While the hub influencer starts a Twitter conversation by sending out primary content, the bridge is the one who keeps that conversation going by spreading that content, as well as other relevant content, further. They also serves as a connection between networks, bringing in a conversation from one group to another. This is the point where the topic of that conversation becomes viral, as you start to have diverse groups talking about it.

Katy Perry, for instance, has over 93 million followers on Twitter, making her the biggest hub influencers on the platform. Anything she shares from others has a tremendous opportunity to get retweets, replies, and link clicks:

It might seem easier to be a bridge than a hub, but it still does require a lot of effort. Not all content has the potential to become viral, even if shared to a large audience. Your job is to sift through everything and find the ones that do. Much like the hub, you also have to carefully select the followers you want to share it to. They should be solidly interested and engaged in the content for them to take action and propagate it further. Understanding the niche you are in and the related niches will help you accomplish this role.  

Professional influencers

The professional influencer is a more specific kind of influencer. It is their actual job to be an influencer, it is not just an offshoot of their work. Bloggers, teachers, and motivational speakers belong to this group, as it is their job to educate the audience. You can think of our @Deumi Gorilla as an example.Though he is not very professional…

Owing to their line of work, professional influencers have a keen knowledge of their target audience, and the knack for delivering the right content for that audience. They also have access to a large amount of information to share within their respective fields. Professional influencers can play either the role of either the hub, the bridge, or both.

What type of influencer to become?

Which type of influencer you choose to become depends not only on the goals you have in mind, but also on the amount of time and effort you can give. Professional influencers, in particular, make it their career. Bridge influencers may just use Twitter as an offshoot of their main activity.

Turning yourself into an influencer

One thing to remember when trying to establish yourself as an influencer is that it is not easy. You can’t jump on Twitter and declare yourself as one. Instead, you have to gradually build that distinction.

Creating your Twitter profile

Your journey to become an influencer actually starts at the most basic level: creating your Twitter profile. Your profile should evoke a sense of professionalism and credibility even from a quick glance.

The first thing you want to work on here is your profile image. Upload a professionally shot photo of yourself. This gives your would-be followers a face to relate to.

Another area you want to work on is your Twitter bio:

  • Use all the space: You only have 160 characters, make the most of all of it.
  • Tell what you believe in: This makes you more relatable to followers.
  • Build your social proof: Mention relevant honors and achievements.
  • Add a dash of humor: This helps present you as an easy-to-approach source.

All of these not only provides the basic information your audience needs to know about you, but also establishes the online persona that they will be interacting with. Don’t stick to just one bio. Test several bios with different information to see which ones your audience responds to better.

Your chosen Twitter handle also surprisingly contributes to the chances of turning yourself into an influencer. In most cases, you can use your full name, or a nickname that you are widely recognized for. You can also include your job title/industry name to aid in searchability.

Understanding your audience’s interests

One of the hallmarks of a successful influencer on Twitter is that the are able to find and share content that their industry members are interested in reading and sharing. This is where having a keen understanding not only of the audience, but also of your industry becomes important. While that comes with experience, you can also get a good grasp of what the audience wants by studying conversations.

Doing this is fairly easy, with Twitter itself becoming one of your tools. All you need to do is input popular industry hashtags and it will give you all the conversations centering on it. From there, you will be able to see the kind of content is being shared. As an example, is there anything that you can say about #NFLPlayoffs? That is a very important trend at this time of year:

There are tools which can make it easier for you to find Twitter trends. Here are a few that you can try. Start entering keywords which you think will relate to your audience’s interests:

These tools are all a variation on the general theme of finding trends, they just do it in slightly different ways.

Establishing your credibility

Another important aspect of becoming an effective Twitter influencer is establishing your credibility. This is, in fact, more significant than being able to constantly share new content. After all, you won’t really be able to influence anyone if they don’t trust you.

As has been mentioned above, establishing credibility starts with a professional-looking profile. It certainly goes beyond that, as you want to make good on that image.

Factuality is vital in presenting yourself as a credible source of information. Ensure that all the information you share via tweets are correct. The quality of your links is also important. In a study made by researchers from Microsoft listing 31 elements that affect how credible a tweet is perceived, people tend to favor sites that they have already visited. Making sure that these sites are themselves reliable and credible helps maintain your own positive image as an influencer.

Greta Van Susteren is seen as a trustworthy news influencer. This is because he shares content and information from reliable sources, not conspiracy websites:

Being on topic is also a must. You want to be seen as an expert in your field, after all. That doesn’t mean you totally drop casual tweets. In fact, indulging in these from time to time also helps build your credibility, as you will appear more approachable by your audience.

Even the grammar of your tweets play a role in building credibility. And with just 140 character to write it, any mistake you make here would be seen by all of your followers. Be sure to review every tweet for grammatical and spelling correctness before posting them. In case you do end up with a major grammatical slip, own to it immediately and correct. Truthfully, twitter users are a bit forgiving. You are not writing for the New York Times here, everyone on twitter makes mistakes. Most people are writing with their thumbs…

Expanding your follower base

As you already know, Twitter influencers enjoy a large following. They did not get those instantly. They have to gradually build their follower base from the ground up.

Twitter follower engagement is one the most important keys to expanding your influence on Twitter and attracting more people to your fold. The most direct way of creating that engagement is by responding to their mentions. Answer their questions and guide them to useful resources, both your own and others. This will develop your current followers’ trust of you enough that they will want to recommend you to their peers and colleagues. This engagement is so important brands are even starting their own dedicated support accounts:

You can go further than just answering questions and providing them with links to resources and engage on more personal level. For instance, Social Media Examiner says that you can create personalized words of encouragement for 20 to 60 of your followers for their milestones. Be candid with these to better endear yourself to them.

Becoming a follower yourself also surprisingly helps in expanding your audience base on Twitter. Forbes’ Dorie Clark says that this is where you can take advantage of the recommendations given by the site on who to follow. Not only can you find potential new followers, you can also get insights into how these accounts maintain and increase their following. You can then use this information for your own efforts.

A big challenge with the above strategies, though, is that they take time. If you are looking to set yourself up as a Twitter influencer faster, then you need some help. This is when bought followers come in handy. The idea here is to boost your account’s social proof by making it appear like you have a larger following. People will be more intrigued and follow you, increasing your reach. Everyone knows that the number of followers you have matters:

Do note that this strategy is only intended to boost your presence. Once you establish yourself on the site, transition from bought followers to genuine ones. This will help maintain your credibility and influence.

Making the most out of your new status as a Twitter influencer

Once your tweets start becoming more prominent and your status as an influencer has been firmly established, the next question is “What now?” How do you use that newfound prestige to your advantage?

Engaging your new followers

As much as your influence is built up through engaging your followers, it is also maintained in the same way. If you have already implemented a successful follower engagement strategy, there is no need to deviate from it significantly. You can use the same tactics to keep new followers interested.

One thing that to bear in mind, though, is that you will be doing this in front of a much larger audience now. Any mistakes made here will be magnified significantly. As such, exercise more caution when responding to your followers.

At this point, you might also want to let someone else handle the account when you are not available. This also helps in maintaining engagement with followers who might be from across the globe. Be sure that the one assigned to the task is competent and will not end up ruining your hard-earned reputation. Also, keep in mind that it is not full control. Since it’s your name on the Twitter handle, your personal involvement, for the most part, is a must.

Initiating and driving trends

Trends an hashtags are considered as some of the biggest shapers of opinion on Twitter. Being an influencer gives you the power to not only steer those, but also make your own. Trying to pull this off does require careful use of that status.

The first key in generating your own trends on Twitter is choosing the right hashtag for it. Your chosen hashtag should be:

  • Short: This not only for easier recall, but also to give you more room when inserting it into your tweets.
  • Unique: This helps it stand out, as well as makes it easier for people to find related tweets about it.
  • Focused: Your hashtag should be about a very specific topic, such as a particular campaign slogan, to make conversations around it more relevant to your target audience.

All of these helps create a hashtag that sticks on your followers’ consciousness that can be used to influence them.

Joining up with other influencers can also help propel your hashtags into the trending section of Twitter. The key here is to choose which of the people in your influencer network to connect with. You want those who will naturally talk about the topic, so that they can get conversations around it going. To get them talking, you also need to give them compelling content to start with.

An example of influencers working together is the television show @midnight. This comedy show popularizes hashtags on a nightly basis. It does so using the main account TV show, the accounts of the television network, and the accounts of the guest on the show:

The show manages to seem to trend on a nightly basis, right around midnight.

Increasing sales

Many businesses connect to influencers like you to gain leverage and increase their sales. You yourself can enjoy that advantage and drive your own sales using your influence online.

This is where the above two come together. Get your followers moving to promote your products or services via your own created trends. From there, you can then leverage your own influence to convince new customers to make the purchase.

Your influence can also be used to create customer retention. By keeping conversations about your brand going, you get to retain it on the public’s consciousness longer. This can be used to persuade them to make return purchases, boosting sales further.  

Become a Twitter influencer and make your presence felt

Turning yourself into an influencer on Twitter can bring in a lot of benefits to you and your company. But pulling this off is by no means easy. To earn that status, you have to:

  • Know which type of influencer you want to be: This not only guides how to build yourself into one, but also how you make use of that status.
  • Properly establish a following: This goes all the way from creating your Twitter profile, to engaging people and bringing them into your fold. Using our Auto Engagements Service to drive consistent retweet and engagement numbers is an option here.
  • Make good use of your influencer status: By strategically exerting your influence on your followers and the larger Twitter community, you can promote your business and leverage it to increase sales.

Do all this and you will establish yourself as an effective Twitter influencer. From there, it’s all a matter of making the Twitter-sphere move to your tune.