Sharing on social media in support of your company or brand can halt even the bravest executives in their tracks. Here are some pointers to get you started on the right path to participating on social media, your first stop on the road to being an influencer in your company’s influencer marketing strategy.

1. Start small. Comment on an influencer’s blog postings or write your own blog entry based on your reaction to their content. Then comment on other blogs, Facebook pages, tweets, and so on. 

2. Identify yourself. Give your name and, when relevant, role at your company when posting to external channels. If you publish, post, or tweet outside your company, and the subject involves the work you do, make it clear whom you represent: yourself, your company, or some combination. 

3. Respect rules. Pay close attention to copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws. Use quote marks when quoting and give credit where it’s due.

4. Keep confidences. Don’t provide confidential information about your company or customers. Take the time to learn what internal conversations and information need to stay private. When in doubt, ask. 

5. Be transparent. This is not that same as “air your dirty laundry.” Rather, transparency means admitting biases, being the first to correct your own mistakes, and never altering previous posts without indicating you have done so. 

6. Be nice. Don’t pick fights in a quest to spark conversation. Show proper consideration for privacy. And avoid inflammatory topics and language. 

7. Link often. Find out who else is blogging on the topic and cite them in hyperlinks. What goes around comes around. Connect with influencers as soon as you meet them at a conference or local event, e.g., follow them on Twitter or LinkedIn, tweet at them, and suggest follow-up conversations. 

8. Add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. Don’t merely summarize without insight into the subject. Respect influencers’ time and intelligence. 

9. Be yourself. Let your voice be heard, but if you’re engaging as your company’s employee, keep your company’s brand values and voice in mind.

For more information about engaging with and becoming an online influencer, download our ebook now: Influencer Relations Management Program.