There are a several kinds of people in social media. There are the people that enjoy a nice, quiet existence with their family and close friends.
There are the bots. There are the people that have a massive following on one network, but you really don’t see them anywhere else. And then there are the people that no matter where you find them, they have (or are currently building) a massive audience. The latter are social media rock stars. Just like any other rock star or celebrity, once they announce they have a profile on XYZ network, their audience come running to join them there.
Chances are, if you are promoting a blog, building a business, or simply want to share your thoughts with the masses, you want to be a social media rock star. And not just any rock star, but one with an audience who really cares about what you have to say!
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you my top tips for building an audience and becoming influential on social media. The first set of tips apply to almost any social network, and the rest focus specifically on the top three. Or the ones I consider the top three at least.
General Tips for Building an Audience
No matter what social network you are targeting, the following are tips that will apply to them all. These tips will help you build a larger, stronger audience where ever you go with social media.
Use Your Real Name or Business Name
When it comes to the name field for your social profile, be sure to use the name you want to be found by whether it is your real name or your business name. It’s going to be hard to get people to follow keywords like link building or pet supplies. Be sure to take a look around the network first to see if certain profiles are only for people – Facebook profiles, for example, are for people. Facebook pages are for people, businesses, companies, blogs, and so forth.
Complete Your Profile
If there is a field for it, then you can use it to your advantage – no piece of information is unimportant. You never know when someone might feel the urge to connect with you just because you share the same taste in book or TV shows. Also remember the importance of keywords throughout your profile – including them can help others (including search engines) find you.
Make Some Status Updates Before Adding Contacts
Before you start trying to build your audience on new social networks, make sure you have posted some good, public status updates. This way, people will get to see what they can expect to see from your profile or page. And of course, make these status updates public – otherwise, people not connected to you will not be able to see them.
Use Your Current Contacts to Find People on Social Networks
Most social networks will allow you to connect with your email address book, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, or other networks to find connections. Be sure to find this option when you join a new social network or look to boost your audience in networks you already belong to. Here are just a few popular networks and their “find friends” pages. Most of these links will only work if you are logged in to your account.
- Twitter – Import contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL.
- Facebook – Import contacts from Skype, AOL, Hotmail, Comcast, SBCglobal.net, Verizon.net, Gmail, Yahoo, and other email services.
- Google+ – Find people based on connections in your Google / Gmail account.
- LinkedIn – Import contacts from hundreds of different email providers.
- Pinterest – Imports contacts from Facebook, Gmail, and Yahoo.
- StumbleUpon – Import contacts from Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Cross Promote Your Profiles
If you have a blog, put icons to your main social networks (i.e., the ones you want to build an audience for) in your header or sidebar. If you are active on forums, add your social networks in the appropriate forum fields – the club forums on Social Media Examiner (as shown above) lets you promote all the main profiles.
One quick tip for making sharing your social profile links simpler: bookmark them on your browser’s bookmark toolbar.
This way, you can just copy the social profile link you need from your browser’s bookmark toolbar and paste it where you need it. This works in Firefox, Chrome, or any browser where you can right-click on your browser’s bookmarks.
Add a Social Network to Your Guest Blogging Author Bio
When you are guest blogging, be sure to include at least one social network in your bio if you can. Be aware of which network will be the one your new readers will want to follow you on. For example, if you write a guest post on Twitter, include a link to your Twitter handle. If you write for a blog whose main theme is LinkedIn, include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Also, aim for blogs that offer author bio pages with multiple social profile links like Mashable, Search Engine Watch, and SEOmoz. Or, better yet, look for blogs that let you include multiple social profile links in the bio itself like Famous Bloggers.
Add Social Networks to Local Search Listings
Own a local business? This tip is for you. Many local search directories are incorporating social media profiles into local listings. Be sure to add your social profile links when you can so that local customers can become a part of your social media audience.
Promote Your Social Profiles in Emails
Think about how many people you email on a regular basis. If you’re not taking advantage of sharing your social profile links in your signature, you could be missing out on new followers and fans. You can do it by inserting a simple text link beneath your name and website link, or you can use WiseStamp for a fancier signature including social media icons.
While Facebook may be the number one social network, Twitter is one of the easiest to use and gain popularity upon thanks to short updates, ability to communicate with those that aren’t following you, and lack of algorithms that dictate whether your updates will be seen by others or not. With these things in mind, here are some great tips to increase your following and authority on Twitter.
Use the Official Twitter Retweet Button
If you have a blog and want to build your Twitter following, but you aren’t using the official Twitter retweet button, then you are missing out.