9 Secrets of Top Performing Social Media Influencers

Simon Orgulan
8 min
January 12, 2024

So many people dream of becoming a social media influencer. Commanding the respect of your peers and having your opinion move the needle in a world that refuses to listen is more than a badge of honor; it’s a lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want to live a life of adoration like this?

There’s no doubt that so many talented individuals have made it, but what is the recipe behind their success? Is it their personality? Their unique perspective? Their looks? While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to become a top performing social media influencer, there are key takeaways you can learn from the very best.

Since everyone is fighting tooth and nail to captivate the audience on various social media platforms, your task is not going to be easy. But there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of standing out and having the content you put out be noticed. If you ask 9 out of 10 social media influencers, they will tell you something akin to the following:

1. Slow and steady wins the race

Unless you were born into a royal family or something along these lines, you’re going to have to build your recognition from the ground up. Therefore, you have no other way of going at it than to accept that what you’re trying to accomplish is bound to take a while.

In other words, you won’t get famous overnight, but you absolutely can increase your follower count bit by bit every day. There’s no shame in starting as a no-name social media user. We’ve all been there! While there are no specifically defined social media influencer requirements as to what makes one successful in the first place, your success can be measured not only in how many people follow you, but how they respond to (and interact with) your posts. And that’s how you know you must be doing something right.

Long story short, you can think of your social media growth as a test of faith (in yourself, that is). There will be days when your doubts will be eating away at you, so in times like these, allow yourself to stop, take a breather, and look at the steady progress you’ve made throughout the months. This will give you an objective perspective on the situation and allow you to see things as they are – reminding you that you are climbing a humongous mountain and doing a great job at it!

2. Growth is a habit

As you learn how to become a social media influencer, you will start realizing that what you put in is what you get out. To draw some inspiration from your school years, remember how diligent day-to-day studies usually tend to outperform a one-night cram session, almost as an unspoken rule? It’s the same thing with growing your social media presence.

Yes, sometimes we’re all tired or feeling uninspired. But what’s truly eating you from the inside out is your inner critic you should learn to silence. With perfectionists, what often happens is that their own overly-demanding and unforgiving inner voice stops them from moving a muscle, so they would rather not do anything than suffer the consequences of (perceived) failure. A perfect excuse, isn’t it?

What you need to do is switch your mindset from “I have to give it my absolute best” to “I will give it the best of this moment/day (as opposed to my all-time best)”. This accomplishes multiple things. Firstly, it will get you in the mindset of showing up every day, even if you’re underslept, stressed out, or if you have a lot on your plate, thus forming a content creation habit that sticks. And secondly, it will let you practice and experiment without feeling like the next move will determine your fate and either make or break you on social media.

3. Know your target audience

As Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, his greatest work:

If you know yourself and you know your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

To put it into a suitable context, it’s crucial to know who you’re trying to address on social media. Are you speaking their language? For example, let’s say your target audience is gamers. Their lingo consists of words like “noob”, “pwned”, “free” and others you’ve surely heard. If this doesn’t align with who you are, don’t force it - the last thing you’d want to do is to pretend like you’re someone you’re not. But if you’re artificially holding yourself back and not speaking your mind, this is an example where you can let loose without restraints.

Another great quote by Sun Tzu:

He who sends reinforcements everywhere will be weak everywhere.”

This is very much relevant to your social media influencer training. What it means is that you should focus on what you do best and not try to please everyone (as it often happens, you will end up pleasing no one in the end). Not only does it mean to be authentic, but also to accept the fact that there will inevitably be people who don’t like you for whatever reason and that’s okay!

If anything, it probably means you’re doing something right. Remember that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s indifference. In the world of social media, you’re happy to take all the spotlight you can get (even if it’s coming from a weird angle).

4. Keep your ego in check

As the world is waking up to the concept of narcissism, it will be harder and harder to get away with actions that fall under the umbrella of toxicity, self-absorption, and a lack of regard for others. Although you may have seen famous internet celebrities behave like this on numerous occasions, don’t try to copy this facet of their personality. It won’t work and you’ll end up losing your followers.

Whenever you feel the urge to fling dirt at someone, are you truly criticizing that particular person or is it their deeds and actions that have earned them your scorn? If it’s the latter, what you should be doing is addressing the concept rather than the person and standing up for your principles. Even if you’re 100% in the right to say what’s coming to them, in the end, will getting in the proverbial mud with them make you look any better or potentially even cast a dim light on you?

Part of the reason why your followers love you is your philosophy and values, so don’t be afraid to vocalize them. However, the way in which you do so will certainly make a difference, either for the better or for the worse.

5. Build upon what works

Experimentation is one part of the equation, the other is building on a solid foundation (aka. what has been proven to work). That way, you get to replicate your success over and over again while ditching the losing strategies.

To put it another way, looking at the example of social media influencer vs content creator – what do they have in common? The answer is analytics. No matter what social media network you’re set out to conquer, most, if not all of them should give you some form of performance insights, allowing you to track your performance on social media and determine as well as learn from your top performing posts, whether it be through:

- Likes

- Follows

- Comments

- Shares

- etc.

The idea is to have the option of dishing out a post that has a high likelihood of performing well, because you’ll be constructing it based on the performance metrics you’ve observed in similar posts you’ve published in the past. Will this guarantee you success? Nothing is guaranteed in life. However, you’ll be positioning yourself for success by adjusting your content strategy in a way that takes your followers’ feedback into consideration.

6. Partner with other influencers

Let’s start by giving you a well-known real-life example of how powerful it can be to ride on the waves of success produced by others. Remember how Dr. Oz skyrocketed his rise to fame when appearing on Oprah? While his personal brand can certainly stand on its own two legs right now, his show wasn’t always such a hit. The key thing to remember is that it had all the fundamentals in place – all it took to get a massive ball rolling was to get other influencers talking about him and his work.

To address the elephant in the room; no, you’re probably not going to get a tweet from big names like Oprah unless you have deep pockets. The good news is, there’s no need to if you can simply strike a deal with a smaller social media influencer for hire! Not only will you get a much better deal targeting some of the small-time influencers in your niche, their audience will also be more targeted and thus likely to be interested in checking out your profile.

If you’re monetizing your social media presence by selling your own merchandise and services, you can also pay other influencers to promote them (be sure to do your homework and partner with the right people).

7. Boost your visibility with ads

While the vast majority of your social media content strategy will be based on organic growth, don’t close your mind to the idea of running paid promotions just yet! As you strive to make the transition from ‘barely noticeable’ to ‘moderately known’ in your niche, a slight ad-driven boost can take you there much faster.

Keep in mind that this tactic is best used when you’ve already got something going on your social media channel and you’re looking to make a breakthrough. Another thing to note is that paid advertising can vaporize your budget before you know it, so meditate long and hard on how to tweak and optimize your campaigns.

8. Work as a social media manager

Growing and managing your social media channels is an art and a science. You could clock in the miles, trying to study and decipher it all on your own, or you could apply for one of the social media influencer jobs and work as a social media manager. Yes, we understand that you’re probably not as motivated to work for others as you are to eventually become your own boss, but hold on just for a bit and give it a try regardless. Honing your craft on a daily basis as a social media manager will not only let you get some valuable experience, you will also be able to tap into a goldmine of data that will tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t.

While you’re at it, who’s to say that you can’t work a stable job as a social media manager while working on your own social media channels on the side? This way, you’ll start making money from day 1 doing something that’s closely related to your dream. Plus, you’ll have a backup plan to count on if you fall short of reaching your primary goal of becoming an influencer yourself (sometimes it can take years of hard work and dedication).

9. Schedule your content in advance

We’ve established countless times before that writer’s block is real and it happens to social media influencers too. In essence, this means you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that you will feel more inspired on certain days than on others. On days like these, content ideas will be raining like no tomorrow, but don’t expect every day will be like this.

Perseverance is key, but what the top performing social media influencers won’t tell you is that they sometimes use content creation and scheduling tools for social media to queue their content well in advance (sometimes even for weeks or months), thereby capitalizing on the days when they are feeling inspired.

Is this cheating? Hardly. As long as you make your best effort to produce quality content, no one will be the wiser. But doesn’t this require you to use complex tools with usage manuals that stretch pages long? Not if you use Ocoya, a powerful Swiss Army Knife content media management and scheduling tool that knows how to keep it simple.

Let us demonstrate its user friendliness by walking you through the process step-by-step.

As always, the first step is to navigate to Ocoya's main page. Find the Posts section to the left.

Schedule a post with Ocoya to become an influencer

From here, you can edit one of your existing posts or create a new one. Let's create a new one in this case.

Ocoya makes it easy to scheule new posts for influencers

Enter the meat and potatoes of your post and get your creative juices flowing!

Describe what your post is about

Choose what social media channels you'd like to post to (it can be either one or more).

Choose any number of social media networks to post

Schedule your post to the right.

Schedule your next influencer post

Pick the time and date you'd like your post to go out. This can be weeks or months in advance.

Ocoya lets you pick the time and date when you want your post to go live

Confim your post and you're done!

Become a top social media influencer by scheduling your posts with Ocoya

You can achieve anything you set your mind to, but unless you’re a famous athlete, celebrity, or royal figure, you won’t become a social media influencer overnight. Instead, what you should focus on is growth over time. So do what you can to keep your spirits up and stay motivated! Hopefully, the secrets we’ve shared will make your journey to the top as streamlined as it can be.

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