Social media is an amazing industry where you can learn simply by doing. You can also observe, gain from others’ experiences, and ask pointed questions whenever you like. Social media is instant communication, but for the model to really work, you have to be actively involved.
It can be overwhelming. It takes time to build up an online presence, and to connect with the right network. Even more importantly, the amount of information in social feeds is constant and massive – here are some numbers to consider:
- Twitter has 248 million monthly active users
- Facebook has 1.35 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2014
- LinkedIn has 332 million users, 40% of which check LinkedIn daily
With these staggering numbers, how do you cut through the noise and develop meaningful relationships, or at the very least, build trust in social media?
Here’s what brands and influencers should be paying attention to, if they hope to connect with you and hold your trust:
#1 – A clear profile
The easiest way to connect with other accounts is to find those that match your interests, or provide information that you can use. When accounts easily present this information with a photo or logo that you can immediately identify with, they’ve won half the battle. I prefer to follow profiles that aren’t filled with jargon, numerous hashtags, or mysterious references.
A good profile tells you a name that you can remember, what their interests are or what they hope to provide, where they’re located, and how you can learn more about them.
#2 – A consistent voice
A social media voice defines how you interact on social – whether it’s funny, informative, self-deprecating, it should always be recognizable. By determining what voice you choose to put forth, you can develop guidelines, and specific hashtags and preferred keywords that can come in handy if you’re a brand with multiple posters.
When there are so many users on social media channels, and so much content passing through each second, the voices that you can distinguish from the rest of the chatter will be the ones you connect immediately with.
#3 – Solid relationship management
In the past few years, it was important in social media to post regularly to build up an online presence. Now that we’ve all been doing this for a while, it’s not enough to schedule posts and go do something else without being actively involved with your social communities.
Social media accounts that are worthy of your attention are engaged and taking part in their social communities. Someone who values their reputation will facilitate new connections and engagement opportunities, and not just offer a one-way stream of information. Social media is meant to be social, and not just an act of self-promotion. Brands and influencers build up real trust by building relationships with their networks through engagement.
Also worthy of a mention are the validity of communities. Having tens of thousands of followers can look good on paper, but if the followers are fake or inactive, it’s more damaging to a reputation than beneficial. I always check out a brand’s or influencer’s communities to see who they’re connecting with, and I place no value in the ones that look suspect. Being actively involved in social media means taking the time to prune and nurture your communities as well.
I wish you a happy and healthy new year – on your social channels as well! We’d love to connect with you, if we haven’t already, so please find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram.