If I had a dollar for every time I heard that comment – well maybe $10 – I’d be pretty happy!
It seems a tad ludicrous to dismiss a social networking phenomenon that embraces hundreds of millions of participants. It suggests that you are either intellectually far more astute than these deluded minions or the more likely scenario is that you don’t perceive a personal relevance yet.
Personally I don’t get the whole celebrity worship and ubiquitous headline conversation surrounding reality TV identities – however there’s a whole massively lucrative entertainment industry that does get it and are profiting very nicely. In other words just because I don’t get it doesn’t invalidate its power.
I posted a blog awhile back titled ‘Why are you Online?’ which analyzed the motivations and strategies required to achieve your online objectives.
So why exactly are you participating in Social Networking?
This is a question that needs to be examined, to ensure that the long term time and energy invested will produce the desired results rather than waste half your life!
Building your brand.
In 5 years time you may start a business, or apply for your dream job, or join a dating agency, or start a charity organization. Like it or not your new audience will pay less heed to your exaggerated or fabricated testimonials than you’d like.
In 5 minutes, with a little help from Google I can get a pretty good picture of what you’re all about. Unfair? Of course, I can never get to know you based on such a whimsical investigation, but….that’s the reality of an open profile world.
Comments on Facebook remain. Articles written in the heat of the moment, drunken moments shared on Flickr, and a million other snap shots that hint at who you are, will define and enforce your reputation. Be protective of the reputation that you are creating with every click.
Some hints to fast track your Authority Online.
Building enormous and largely anonymous connections is largely pointless. "Why Having Too Many Followers May be Killing Your Online Experience" (unless you’re Justin Bieber!) without a coherent effort to engage. There maybe some moderate credibility garnered by having a perceived large following – but beyond 1000 or so this loses credence.
Engagement is the key to creating a worthwhile benefit. Ironically, despite so many people connected via so many social networks, few are engaged to any significant degree with more than a handful.
There is almost a magic to the power of engaging and the natural urge to reciprocate tells a story.
Invest an hour a day for a week engaging with your networks and I guarantee a profound effect will unfold.
- Send some direct (not automated) messages commenting on a Blog.
- Click the ‘like’ button on a dozen posts per day.
- Leave a considered comment on a few Blog posts.
- Retweet interesting Tweets.
- Post non-business comments on Facebook.
- Ask questions – such as what’s your favorite song, band, holiday destination, mobile/cell phone? etc. This is what people do in face-to-face social gatherings.
Because so few people take the time and effort to undertake these actions, you’ll find that within a week or so you start to become a centre of influence within your community. People love it when they’re acknowledged and want to reciprocate. Friendships evolve and serendipity starts to weave its crazy impact.
Social networking is NOT just about optimizing keywords and creating a funnel for your list. SEO techniques are not the starting point of building a solid social network. The starting point is to share your unique personality, which will attract like-minded people like bees to honey.
Try it today – Maybe 'like' - 'comment' - 'retweet' this post just to get started! Lol!
Seriously though as George Bush might have said its not rocket surgery or brain science-but it works!