Top 3 social media giants investing in future tech

TechList The List
By: Jared Cotter | Todd Covelli Posted: 5:53 PM, Mar 21, 2017

Do remember your first Tweet, Facebook post or Instagram selfie? What seemed so novel and high-tech at the time is just part of everyday life nowadays, but the big social networks aren't about now, they're looking forward. Jared Cotter and social media expert Tami Brehse have more on how these companies are investing in the future.

1.  Facebook

They are diving head first into the future with virtual reality with their brand-new Facebook 360 app, With a VR headset you to explore virtual reality pictures and videos on Facebook. They aren’t thinking the short game, they're thinking five years to 10 years down the road because they know that virtual reality is going to be the next big thing that everybody uses every day.

2.  Snapchat

Now known as Snap Inc. and fresh off a $24 billion initial public offering, they are now a camera company. They want to take photography to new heights and they have the money and motivation to do so. The first product is their wildly popular video recording sunglasses Spectacles that go for around $130.

3.  Instagram

They are turning clicks into cash. It is the future in advertising — turning everyday people into mini media moguls, or influencers. An influencer is a person on Instagram that has a large following of loyal, dedicated and engaged followers. Companies market their products to those loyal followers. It is really about taking your personality, what you're into and building a persona around that.

WEB BONUS:

So You Want To Become an Influencer… Here Are 4 Steps To Do It!

The way brands reach new fans and followers is changing.

Only a few short years ago, companies had to rely on expensive forms of marketing like magazine and TV ads to reach consumers. Now, brands use social media influencers to get in front of the audience they want to reach—without the sleazy feeling of advertising!

An influencer is someone on social media with a significant number of dedicated, engaged followers interested in what they have to say. Usually these followers are all within a certain demographic, like “25-45 year old women interested in yoga” or “18-25 year old male skateboarders.”

Brands pay influencers a pretty penny to share their products or talk about their services. It’s still cheaper than traditional advertising, though, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

The cool thing about influencers? Anyone can be one, so long as you have the followers to back it up! If you think you’re influencer material, here are 4 steps to build your following and start working with brands.

1. Carve out a niche

It’s a common saying in marketing: the riches are in the niches.

What this means is that it’s much more profitable to focus on a smaller, die-hard audience than a massive one that’s only lukewarm. Those die-hard fans are the ones who are going to spend money!

So, you have to settle on a niche and make it yours.

Whether it’s cooking or kiteboarding, pick something you’d post about whether you were getting paid or not. That way, you’ll never have a shortage of material. Plus, your passion obviously shines through and makes for great content when you’re posting about something you truly love.

2. Post strategically

The everyday Instagram user posts random snapshots from their life: the smoothie they had for breakfast. That cute pose their dog fell asleep in. And so on.

If you want to be a serious influencer, you have to cut the random posts and instead post strategically.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be the “real you”—far from it! Instead, it just means each post should tie back to the niche you picked out in step one. It’s helpful if your feed has a cohesive theme, like using the same filter for each photo or focusing on a primary color group.

Many influencers choose to keep a personal feed for friends and family (let the cat memes shine!), while maintaining their professional feed on a separate handle where they build their public following.

3. Build your tribe

Alright, now it’s time to build an audience. This is what the brands pay for!

But first, say it with me: I WILL NOT BUY FOLLOWERS.

Buying followers may inflate your numbers on the surface, but if you don’t have the engagement to match (i.e. likes and comments on your posts, tags from other high-profile accounts, etc.), brands will see right through it and you just end up looking silly.

Instead of trying to take a shortcut, focus on building a real, highly engaged tribe of people who love what you post about.

One way to do this is by using the right hashtags. You want to use the obvious ones, like #fashion or #fitness, but you should also do a little digging to see what other hashtags are popular among your target audience.

I like to do this by finding a few awesome feeds on topics similar to my clients’, then browsing through their posts and making a spreadsheet of the most common hashtags they use.

Finally, build your tribe by putting in the work! Be present on your account. If someone leaves you a comment, respond to them. Engage with others in your niche and like their posts. A little effort goes a long way to making real connections.

4. Cast your line

Once you’ve got an established following and are displaying solid engagement with each post, you’re ready to start reaching out to brands about working together.

You might be intimidated by the big, popular influencers with over a million followers. Don’t be!

Brands today like to diversify by using a mix of small and large influencers. Sometimes, working with a smaller influencer gives a more intimate, personal connection with a brand.

I’d say 5,000 followers is a good threshold to begin approaching brands about paid posts. Once you’re bigger, brands will start approaching you. At first, though, you’ll have to do most of the legwork.

Create a media kit or one-sheet (literally a one-page PDF document) that explains in a nutshell why a brand would want to work with you.

This document should give an overview of your follower demographics, why they’re a valuable audience for a brand to reach, your average engagement per post, and your rates for working with brands. Research to find the marketing or PR contact for brands you’d like to work with, and make contact with a warm introduction email.

Now, the million-dollar question: how much will you make?

What you charge is entirely up to you, but it’s a great idea to start small at first and work your way up. A good rule of thumb for influencers with fewer than 20K followers is $10 per every 1,000 followers.

So, if you’ve got an audience of around 8,000 people, you could realistically expect to make about $80 for one post featuring a brand. Not too shabby for a picture and and a caption, huh?

Ready to get in on the influence game? Set up your account and start posting!

If you liked this post, you’ll find a ton more content on all things social media and marketing on my blog.

Tami Brehse is the COO of Reboot Marketing, a digital marketing agency for retail brands. Say hello Twitter @TamiBrehse!

Which social media platform is your favorite? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.