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Very few people truly understand what online influence really is. For instance, most people believe that if you have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers while you are not following many makes you influential. Does it really? If you are not putting out Tweet-worthy content and none of your followers are retweeting what you put out, or commenting on any of it- regardless of how many followers you may have then how does that make you influential? The number of followers you have on Twitter, Google Plus or friends you have on Facebook only make up a component of online influence. If they are not interacting with you, then it means absolutely nothing.

How Can Someone be Influential Online?

Here are six easy tips to become influential online in whatever niche you choose.

  • Make your Profiles Stand Out– The first thing that you must do in order to attract followers and friends (I know this sounds contradicting to what I just said however just read on) is to create optimized profiles. Upload a clean picture of yourself to use as your avatar. What I mean by optimized is be sure to fill out your “about me” sections as much as you can by stating your interests, your profession, your education and organizations you are part of, if there are any. You will have to crunch it up to 160 characters for your Twitter profile however, be sure to add what you want others to associate you with- in fact use it as the first word to describe yourself. For instance, you want to be known as an SEO expert, call yourself that at first and then find other words that best describe who you are.
  • Dish Out Good Content– The second thing to do is to put out useful content that is related to your niche, especially in Twitter. Find other people’s blog posts that are related to your area of influence. Put it out there! Create a Facebook fan page as well that is all about an area of your influence and update it with relevant content. Not to mention, if you tweet out a blog post that was written by someone else who is also influential in a field you are, he or she will appreciate it and follow you- and may even recommend his or her followers to follow you too!
  • Cook Up your Own Good Content and Dish that Out– Even though more often than not it is best to share other people’s content that is related to your niche, it is very important to get a blog and create posts that are relevant to the niche you want to be influential in- at least once a week and tweet it out, put it on Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn! Make it compelling to the point that others will share or retweet your content. Make this a habit!
  • Do Not be a Social Snob– If you connect with someone new in your networks, say hello to that individual. If someone retweets something you put out, thank that individual. It may be difficult to do if too many people retweet you (and if they do that is a sign right there that your online influence is increasing)- do your best with it. Interact with those in your networks as often as you can!
  • Dish Out Some Eye Candy– Even though I said it is a good idea to put out niche related material often through Twitter and your Facebook Page (profile not necessarily unless you want to and those on your friends list would be interested)- it is recommended to add positive, uplifting, attractive and inspirational content every now and then. For instance, it is okay to post pictures of beautiful scenery, animals, desserts, inspirational texts and images, etc every now and then. People love that and that is a sure way to grow your networks. If you post everything niche related, it actually can be a turn off to even those who are interested. Mix it up a bit with some eye candy.
  • Hook Up your Active Networks to Klout– Oh yes, you probably knew I was going to get to Klout (and hook it up to Kred and PeerIndex as well). Believe it or not, your Klout score does matter because it is an indicator of how engaging and interactive you are online! Your scores are being looked at more and more. The score may not be the end all, however if it is high- it is definitely an attention grabber. However, what determines the true influence is what kind of content you are putting out and how much of a response it receives and that is what Klout and the other scoring platforms measure. The score may be the attention grabber however, the next thing that is looked at is the kind of stuff you are dishing out to your networks. You want to be sure that not only is it all clean, attractive, tasteful however relevant to your areas of influence.

To sum up, focus on creating an optimized and attractive profile. Start putting out relevant and tasteful content, and create your own and put that out as well. Interact with others, show interest in what they are putting out and they will reciprocate. True engaging friends, fans and followers will come, and your Klout score will rise- if you do this correctly, that is how to build online influence.

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