Influence is key to social media genius, whether you are a person or a business. Advertising is increasingly ignored and consumers ignore or block brands who broadcast at them on social media. This coupled with the noise and speed of social media means that most brands are effectively invisible online. In order to become visible as a brand and be able to sell your products or services, you need to know how to build a community where you are valued and where they trust you, which we discuss in more depth on In You We Trust.
Research from SB Insights shows us that not having an audience is an extinction event for brands. So how do you build a community if you haven’t got one? And what happens if you had one but it is suddenly taken away, as is the case for many brands at the moment.
We decided to ask two heavyweights in this niche for their insights: Mark Masters, founder of the marketing and media training community You Are the Media, and Bella Rareworld, international networking queen, podcaster and speaker.
Mark Masters – You Are The Media
As Mark says, he is ‘The hands that made You Are The Media’ and that is probably the best way ever to describe the patient process of building a solid and beneficial community and creating influence. It’s a long slow process of building trust and influence, and not something that can be rushed or bought. It has to be made.
Mark’s genius is the way he connects people. He inspires, shares, spotlights, and puts a huge amount of effort into making other people into trusted voices. And we – his community – return this in spades.
Mark said in his interview with our MD Claire Burdett: “Most content goes into the digital dustbin“, which is true for most brands, but not for YATM. His weekly emails are enhanced by podcasts and LinkedIn live broadcasts from Bournemouth beach – and are among the few we know of that people consistently say they look forward to receiving.
Traditionally relying on events and conferences, when COVID hit You Are The Media swiftly pivoted online and Mark’s insights into how this has changed the business for the better and in a way that has benefited the community are fascinating.
Bella doesn’t just network, she NETWORKS, and has built a whole decade-long career around networking, training businesses, charities and public sector (including universities, Houses of Parliament, and the Bronx Chamber), and speaking at countless events.
So it’s safe to say there isn’t anything she doesn’t know about networking, building connections, and creating a supportive community. While most of her business was obviously in person until March this year, she pivoted quickly in to the digital space, and has great insights for networking online, which are very useful for all brands but perhaps particularly for those B2B brands that have traditionally relied on events to create leads and sales opportunities.