The term Social Media Influence is heavily used in the social scene and everyone seems to understand what it means, but the how part is not as clear. This article will offer a practical explanation of how to boost your social media influence in 5 easy steps. Enjoy!
Social Influence Step 1: K.I.S.S. Keep It “Similar” Sweetie
Like 99.99% of social media users, you are probably present in several social networking websites. It’s a clever idea to unify the look and feel of your profiles across these sites so that people who liked your Facebook page wouldn’t have to do a lot of guesswork to realize that you are the same owner of your Twitter profile. The easiest way to unify your social presence is to use the same username across all networks (whenever applicable), include the same photo(s) and the same contact information. This is social branding 101 in action!
Social Influence Step 2: Know Where to Say What…
While it is perfectly ok (in fact recommended) that you share personal stories and add the fun factor to your tweets, that wouldn’t be a very sound idea in a purely professional site like LinkedIn. That’s why; it is essential that you understand the nature of each social media site in order to intelligently decide where to say what. In fact, this separation is required within the same site. That’s why; Facebook new privacy model introduced privacy options to help you hide personal information from your business page fans. Why would you want your prospects to see your silly Halloween costume? Makes sense, huh?
Social Influence Step 3: Be Engaging, Responsive yet Selective!
Some people rely on the number of fans/followers as an indication of brand popularity, but that’s a false alarm! I would say the number of questions/retweets is a better indication that users are actually interested in your brand. If your time is limited, I would say that answering the questions you get on your Facebook page should be your number one priority. Next, check out those who retweeted your tweets. These are the real diamonds in the rough or what I like to call “hot” prospects. It goes without saying that identifying hot prospects on social media will vary depending on the nature of each site. In fact, it is a 3-step process:
Fully grasp the nature of each social site
Determine who would seem like a hot prospect for that particular site (“retweeters” for Twitter and active page fans on Facebook, to name just a few!)
Give these people top priority and effectively engage with them
Now, you may ask me a logical question: What is the relationship between attending to hot prospects and boosting social influence? At a first glance, the two issues, though equally needed, would seem rather irrelevant, but they are not. People who show genuine interest in your brand are not only potential customers, but they are also ideal candidates for giving testimonials and positive reviews of your brand in the future. In other words, they are excellent social influence boosters and certainly deserve enough time and dedication on your behalf.
Social Influence Step 4: Take the Time to be Personal
There are so many auto-syndication tools that would sound like time savers while in fact they may cause more harm than good. For example, seasoned Twitter users came to the realization that sending automatic direct messages to every new follower is a big mistake and the quickest way to get unfollowed! Why? Because people know it’s an auto message which would raise many red flags! You wouldn’t want that indeed. If you cared to take less than a minute of your time to write a personal ”Thank you for following me” message, the results will be far very effective because you added the “personal” touch which is the heart and soul of SMM.
The same applies to auto-syndicating blog posts and ezine articles, though I am not 100% against auto-syndicating content especially if your articles/posts titles are compelling. Yes, users will know it’s automatic, but would still read it anyway. Sending automatic messages means killing your social influence! Simply don’t do it!
Social Influence Step 5: Brag Your Social Presence
Here is a great tip that many small businesses tend to overlook: create a landing page linking to all of your social profiles and include it in your email signature. This is a very effective technique to brag your social influence and show the world that you are present where the hot action is. I wouldn’t recommend creating this page, however, unless you have at least 5 social media accounts. Most of us do! Right? And Hey! You can also use About.Me for that purpose.
What other tips do you have for boosting social influence? It would be great if we, thanks to your help, could come up with 101 social influence boosters! These are my first 5. Thanks in advance for adding to the list.
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