The 4-I Approach to Maximizing Social Media Influence


Anyone interested in growing their online platform or just getting started with social media always asks 3 questions:

  • What do I post?
  • Where do I post?
  • When do I post?

There are plenty of experts, tools and services to answer where and when to post.** What to post takes a little finesse, but it’s not complicated.

The 4-I Approach


After interviewing many social media professionals who support major corporate brands and large church organizations I discovered a 4-prong online marketing strategy.

1. Inspire

Share content that will inspire your audience. It can be a quote, bible verse, original thought or encouraging word. Your tribe is looking to you for shared purpose, vision, and motivation. This is the “why” behind your brand or cause. Give your tribe a reason to believe what you believe.

2. Inform

Share content that will inform your audience. Statistics, tips, how-to guides, breaking industry news and such. Your tribe is looking to you for shared resources, data, and education. Keep them in the loop about information they care about. Don’t be afraid to recommend stuff that you didn’t create.

3. Interact

Share content that invites your audience to interact. Share stories, struggles, and successes. Be human and transparent. Your tribe is looking to you for shared relationships and community. Engage in conversation with followers and fans as if they were real people. Because they are. (Hope you aren’t surprised.)

4. Inquire

Share content that inquires your audience to respond. Post thought provoking questions. Ask them about their dreams and destiny. Your tribe is looking to you to care about their needs and wants. Dig beyond the surface and discover what drives your tribe. You won’t know unless you ask.

In return for this investment your audience will grant you the final “I” every leader, writer and artist desires.


By engaging your tribe with the 4-I approach you are gaining trust. Nurturing this trust grants you the permission to ask for something. Because your tribe trusts you, success is an eventuality instead of a dream.

In his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk champions the “4-I” philosophy.

Gary, a successful entrepreneur and marketing maven, uses the boxing metaphor to explain how marketers (artist, authors, etc) can leverage social media to give, give, give, ask. With repeated giving/jabbing (the 4-I approach) you create trust and earn the permission to make a bold ask/right hook.


This game plan isn’t limited to social media. It works just as well offline as online and across industries.

Are you part of a tribe? What does the leader/brand do well? How can you incorporate the 4-I strategy to increase your influence?

**I use Buffer (so does ChurchMag) to schedule social media content. They’ve also got an incredible blog with data-rich resources for bloggers and online marketers.

[Image via Instant Vantage via Compfight cc]


KC Procter

I'm a Mac fanboy, social media abuser, blogging addict and part-time Superman doppelgänger.

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