You have probably heard the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.”
On the internet, and especially social media, that is very true and building credibility should be one of those “To Do” items that never really leaves the list. Why credibility? It helps to draw people to you so that you can get more bang for the buck. Yes, you have to work at networking, but it also helps to have something working for you -> your credibility.
You might have a wonderful message to share, but if your audience is small, then your scope will be limited.
Regardless of platform, or social platform/network, there are three key steps to take your message from the sidelines to center stage.
If you are in a room alone, you are not likely to start talking. Well, not unless you like to talk to yourself (nothing wrong with that, eh?) Anyway, generally speaking, with the idea that we don’t sit in a room alone and talk to ourselves (unless we are planning something or practicing something), in the same way, before you start sharing your message across social media, you should start building your audience, so that you are actually “talking to someone.” Here are the tips to “Connect:”
- Search for similar accounts on social media (people who like the same things as you; people to whom you are likely to talk; people to whom you are likely to listen).
- “Friend” people who are likely to enjoy your message.
- Read what’s been published already.
In interpersonal communication, we all know that a conversation is equal parts talking and listening. In social media, the same holds true. Before you simply begin “talking” in the virtual world, it’s important that you listen as well. And, listen well!
True story: I once “friended” this guy on Twitter because I liked his messages. It seemed that he tweeted often enough, but not too often, and tweeted really valuable information. So, I tweeted a “thank you” for his wonderful content. I never heard anything from him. I then discovered that basically his content was on automation. Now, before I look like I’m judging, I need to look in the mirror (and that isn’t a bad idea for all of us to do sometimes). There is that possibility of getting so wrapped up in figuring out ways to automate our message that we forget that simple word: engage. Makes a person think, including myself!
- If you are using Twitter, follow similar accounts. Read their tweets. Retweet. Add favorites.
- If you are using Facebook, follow groups and pages with common interests. Like and share.
- If you are using WordPress, read other bloggers. Search for tags that you have used, and follow your fellow bloggers. Ping and link often, offer attribution, and comment willingly.
Sidebar: If you are using WordPress, don’t forget to add those tags to your post. It doesn’t seem like they do anything, but they do!
The single best way to ensure people hear your message is to first listen to theirs.
Consistency is key. If you post irregularly, or inconsistently, you will lose followers. True story and some of us know from experience! If a more tenured and extensive account glances at yours, and you have intermittent content, they won’t follow you, so they won’t see any subsequent messages (regardless of how great they are). If you stop listening, so will they. Keep you posts current, consistent, and regular.
If you feel overwhelmed, change the interval. Maybe it is too much to post daily, but what about every other week? It doesn’t sound like much, but it is better than annually. And, yes, some of us could listen to our own advice!
Anyone can be a star, but in order to gain the spotlight, it’s important that you first have an audience. By connecting, engaging, and repeating the process, you can ensure an enthralled audience (or, at least the potential for one) for years to come.