This article was written by Jay Adams and originally published on Smedio.
It’s not enough to simply have a social media presence. You need influence and reach to make sure your message reaches the optimum number of people. But how do you get those things? With a little time and patience, and these 10 things, you could be on your way to building social media clout.
1. Find evangelists
One of the best ways to gain influence is to find people who believe in what you do. This takes some networking skill, but the payoff is incredible. I have a great crew of evangelists who retweet nearly every shred of content I create here at Smedio. It’s tough to beat that kind of influence and reach. Find some influential people in your niche and start up a conversation with them. It could lead to you working your way up to their level of influence.
2. Put your time in
You can’t expect to build influence if you tweet once or twice per day or leave your Facebook profile vacant for days on end. You need to make sure you give your social media presence the time it needs to grow into an influential component of your business. My best advice, if you are a business, is to hire someone to do this. Using an intern or piling it on to another person’s job responsibilities is not the way to go. Hire someone who can give your social media the attention it needs.
3. Be active everywhere
Don’t just confine yourself to one social media channel. Facebook and Twitter are definite musts. But be on the lookout for other less popular social media channels you can make a firm mark in. Especially look out for social networks in your niche. In order to gain influence across the board, you need to spread yourself out.
4. Interact with everyone
Social media is not a one-way street, so don’t treat it like one. You need to interact with people, especially those who initiate contact with you first. Don’t ignore anyone ever — even if they’re providing negative feedback. Always respond to every contact as soon as you possibly can. The more you do it, the more you gain a reputation for your interaction skills. And that’s a good thing.
5. Blog your fingers off
If you’re not blogging right now, shame on you. Get on it as soon as possible. If you’re creating your own content, you’re providing value. If you’re providing value, you’ll be retweeted or have your content shared. If that happens, you’re building your influence. I can’t begin to convey to you how important blogging is to building influence and reach. If you’ve been putting it off, please stop and start a blog.
6. Ask for guest posts
Remember that crew of evangelists you formed? Remember my rant on how important blogging is? It’s time to merge those two things together. Chances are, a few of your evangelists have influential blogs of their own. Ask them — politely — if you can provide a guest post. Have an idea of what to write about ahead of time, but most bloggers are very open to guest posts because it means they have one less idea to come up with. Just make sure the blog you’re posting for promotes your content properly.
7. Monitor your influence
It’s tough to gauge your influence on your own. Sure, you can get an idea of it from your interactions, replies to your posts and retweets, but some third-party applications have made judging your clout easy. Some of my favorites are Klout.com, Twitter.Grader.com and Twinfluence.com. Try those sites and see where you stand now. Then, do some work and check back in about a week or so. Your numbers should grow. It’s always easier to grow influence if you know the areas you need to focus on.
8. Monitor conversations
If you’ve read many of my posts, you know I’m a big fan of Twitter search and other conversation monitoring devices. How do you use conversation monitoring to build influence? By interacting with people. Search for your niche and see what people are saying. Then, jump in the conversation where you can. People will begin to notice your interaction skills, and your influence will definitely be affected. But please don’t spam people. That doesn’t help anyone.
9. Follow influential people
It’s important to learn from people who have been in your position before. Find influential people in your niche using a service like WeFollow.com — think of it as the Yellow Pages for Twitter. Watch what they tweet and see how they’ve built up their influence. Always be willing to learn from people who have accomplished the goals you’ve set for yourself. Which leads me to my next point…
10. Never stop learning
You should commit yourself to reading new information about social media daily. You’re here now, so that’s a great start. There are lots of sites and blogs that are committed to new social media methods and practices, and you should never stop trying to soak in as much of that information as you possibly can. Being knowledgeable about social media and its innerworkings can prove to be valuable for building your clout.
What practices do you find are great for building your social media influences?