Thursday, September 5, 2013

Get More Bang In Your Social Media

Blazing FlowerAre you worried about how much time you're spending on social media platforms - without getting anything in return? You're probably engaging in a lot of shallow interactions, which do very little for building your presence and reputation. It's far more powerful to engage in fewer, more substantial, interactions.

Here are some examples of shallow interactions:

  • Liking a Facebook post.
  • Re-tweeting a tweet.
  • "+1'ing" a Google+ post.
  • Sharing somebody else's blog post.
  • Liking a LinkedIn group discussion.
  • Making a brief comment on any of these platforms.

There's nothing inherently wrong with these actions, except they take up your time, energy and focus; and generally don't give you much in return. To really get them to work, you have to do a lot of them.

More importantly, these activities don't do much to demonstrate your expertise. Although they might position you as somebody who's active on social media, they also position you as just "one of the crowd", who's happy to interact and engage but doesn't necessarily have any particular knowledge or expertise.

A far more effective way to boost your social media presence is to make more substantial contributions. These fall into four categories.

  1. Comment with value: Make comments on other people's material, but do it in a substantial way, such as making meaningful and useful comments on blogs, publishing book reviews on the Amazon Web site, or reviewing podcasts and apps in the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Curate with context: Share other people's material with your network, but do it in a way that explains why you're sharing it and why it's relevant to your network. This is called content curation, and its power comes from you being selective with what you share. You consume a lot of material, choose not to share 90% of it, and that way your readers know you're sharing the cream of the crop.
  3. Collate with perspective: Point out patterns in seemingly disparate areas, such as news and current affairs, behaviour in different fields and industries, or results of scientific research. By taking a "big picture" view of the individual data points, you can point out patterns that others don't see.
  4. Create unique material: Finally, you can generate and share your own ideas, models, metaphors, concepts and research. Publish them on your blog and YouTube, and then distribute them through social media platforms.

By commenting, curating, collating and creating in this way, you'll be building a powerful social media presence with a solid foundation based on your expertise and authority.