The cornerstones of social media success are being present, being visible and generating value. At Digital Leadership Associates we would define value from your social media efforts as either leads/meetings/revenue or cost/time savings…or both.
But getting “value” from your efforts may not aways be so obvious. So we usually describe the work you need to do in developing 4 cornerstones of social media:
Personal brand – how do you appear to people who look at your profile. Do you look like an expert? Do you look like a nice person? Are you helpful, supportive and kind? Is there no information for the visitor to arrive at any kind of conclusion?
Network size – this is not just how many connections you have but how many people are actually consuming you content. 1000 connections that never look twice at you obviously isn’t as valuable as 100 that read and comment on everything you do. So how “connected” you are is important but so is how many. 200 engaged connections is better than 100…obviously.
Engagement – the more people that comment on and like your content, the further it spreads. The further it spreads the more chance you have of being in the right place at the right time.
Publishing – this is crucial. I have written over 100 articles on Linkedin and countless blogs, videos and images and this is my “bank” of thinking and credibility. Every article (or video pr picture) I publish creates another potential place for you to see my name and my thinking and then see me as someone you should be noticing.
Striking a balance
Success will come from working on all of these 4 elements. You cannot do loads of work on one a hope that it will make up for inadequacies in another…because it won’t.
When I say “striking a balance” I don’t mean how much time you spend doing these things as opposed to doing other tasks as with 600,000,000 people on Linkedin alone, you can’t really spend too much time on social networks, but there needs to be a balance between each of these 4 cornerstones. Anyone who engages with your great content and follows that back to make contact with you will probably think twice about arranging a meeting if you either look like a fool or look like a spammer. There are too many instances of this on LinkedIn to actually name.
Having a great profile but sharing rubbish, spammy, or YOU-centric content with your audience means that it’s unlikely that people will click the link to see who has created the content.
Success is like putting together all the pieces of this jigsaw.
The biggest challenge
The biggest challenge though is working-out whether people are actually consuming your content or not. Too often people say “it’s good content and my audience like it” without any actual data to support this assertion. The best barometer for whether your content is being consumed by your audience is wether they are engaging and interacting with it. With most people, if they read something and it’s “meh” they will do nothing, if the read it and it’s “good” they will “like” it and if they read it and it’s “great” they will leave a comment or even share it. So when you publish something, look and see if gets a few likes, comments and shares…or nothing? This is the acid test.
A good example of having this all out of balance is a person I know on Linkedin. They proudly proclaim that they have “over 1000 recommendations” and they have a following of over 50,000 people, but despite this, they get at best half a dozen likes and comments on a post or article. Despite their huge audience and their boast about having so many recommendations they basically get NO interaction from an audience. Which means that their audience either don’t notice the content they publish, or don’t like the content they notice!
Clearly this person needs to work on how they engage their audience and the quality of what they publish.
So why is this important you may ask?
You will have seen in your newsfeed things such as “Adam Gray liked an article” or “Adam Gray commented on an article” then a link to that article. So the more times people comment on or like your content, the more times that happens…where people in their commenters/likers network sees your content. So for example if I have 500 followers and each of them has 500 followers and I manage to get 50 of my followers to interact with my content that means my content has the possibility of being seen by my 500 connections plus the 500 connections of 50 other people – 25500 in total…so that’s very powerful.
Serendipity is an amazing thing. Sometimes, the biggest befit of social media is simply happening to be in the tight place at the right time and having the largest number of people see your content is maximising that possibility.
People who read this article also read these: