Have you tried posting something on Facebook and waiting for sales, and all you see is tumbleweed and all you hear is crickets? Sure posting stuff is supposed to be branding so you are not really expected to see an ROI immediately but even as branding you have a gut feeling you are talking to the trees right?
Social media the way we always did it, is changing fast, Facebook started it a while back and the ‘Free in Facebook’ is hardly worth bothering with anymore, unless you have hundreds of thousands of ‘organically grown’ followers on Facebook, and if you do you were probably very active on Facebook ten years already.
Facebook and other prominent social media sites are businesses and have greedy shareholders, and if you ever watch movies about business and read books on how shareholders are always depicted as cash hungry and heartless bastards who care not so much about the longevity and service offering of their businesses, but the return on the cash investments and the growth of profits.
If you have a business page on Facebook you will have by now seen the boost option and their ‘Advertise your page to thousands more’ options, they have been shoving it in your face of late, you may have even tried it and got excited by the likes a post received, but how much direct business did you get from it? Is the question I ask many disgruntled Business owners and the vast majority see it as more vanity than actually driving business direct to them.
Cue the Social Media Influencer.
There are people who have for the last decade been writing a blog or two week in week out and been altruistically sharing their blogs to their followers via their massive reach on social media.
‘Social Media Reach’ being; a lot of followers into the hundreds of thousands, this may be niche on one subject on one page or across many social media pages and groups, not just on Facebook but across Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other bookmarking sites and article sites like Stunmbleupon Quora and Steemit, as well as writing for online and offline magazines and not forgetting Online Press releases.
For most Influencers it was ‘a calling’ more than it was that we knew we would become notable in business one day, we mostly wrote for ourselves and kept a roof over our head managing our own brands, just about paying the bills with the sales the leads that our own blogging provided us.
Now however, the social media influencer is being called upon to help brand other businesses and endorse products, because they get to the people faster than the traditional method of write, publish and share to one’s own social media reach and pay a little to Facebook and or Google P.P.C. to drive the traffic in and hope there is a net profit at the end of the day.
Taking the lead from the Chinese model which is much more matured in business mainly because in China social media is paying off in monetary terms, a lot of business is done through apps like WeChat and Weibo is where the influencing is done.
Payment is fast and instant as the Chinese reader sees what a K.O.L.(Key Opinion Leader) has endorsed on Weibo and can immediately go to WeChat and make purchases over the app, China is well advanced when it comes to paying via QR codes on phones even in person in shops, and Billions of Yuan is done every month, so much so the West cannot ignore the success and is looking at the way Tencent (the company behind WeChat) and Jack Ma (of Alibaba) have engineered the B2C and B2B landscape, through social media and this will come to the western way of thinking sooner than you think.
Key Opinion leaders as they are called there are earning huge sums to endorse products and services from large companies as they know potential buyers see more posts from K.O.L.’s than standard business posts direct from the company themselves therefore the profit margin from sales is huge.
Therefore the social media influencers of tomorrow in the Western world will be the types of people who have been active on their own brand for many years and stayed the course and never stopped believing that the was a point to all this charitable, well that’s how it felt, writing.
We wrote consistently for our own blog websites and shared each time tenaciously including time spent growing social media pages and groups to a very respectable level whilst often struggling to meet the bills and telling our families ‘everything comes to those who work hard and have passion and most of all have total faith in our dreams.