Last week we offered some tips on developing a brand voice on Twitter, so to carry on the theme of Social Media strategy, we thought we would offer some advice on the next step: building your network.
Once you've got started on Twitter, Facebook etc. and you've decided what your agenda is, the next thing to do is make connections.
Building up a network is certainly about making yourself visible, but it also has other important impacts on your social media presence.
The power of Social Media is its emphasis on interaction.
Twitter and Facebook offer ways for users to interact with one another, and for businesses this has great advantages of promoting the human side of a company, allowing consumers and clients to get a greater understanding of what you do and who you are, as well as offering opportunities for crowdsourcing and feedback.
It also gives you opportunity to interact with people in the same field, or business community.
Think about these benefits when you are deciding who to follow or like: who do you want to communicate with, and what community do you want to be a part of (local or industry specific, for example)?
Another important element of building a following is to think about who you want to be associated with.
People will judge you by your network, so you need to think about which associations could be beneficial.
Even if you aren't necessarily interacting with them, there will be people you will want to be associated with - important people in your sector perhaps - so that anyone looking at your profiles on Twitter or Facebook will see that you have a good knowledge of your community.
Equally, it is just as important to think about who it is appropriate to be associated with, as it is important to think about your profiles being professional, even if they are social in nature.
The importance of being strategic about who you interact and associate with on social media is that it plays a big part of your potential influence on social media.
While building a network is important for communicating who you are and what you are about, it is also significant in determining how your following increases and how far your messages go.
If you align yourself with influential members of your community, and interact with them in a friendly way, then they are more likely to respond to you.
Their interaction will be registered by their followers and thus increase your visibility in the right directions.
For example, on Twitter, by building the right kind of community and establishing a responsive and friendly relationship with others, that will lead to more retweets and thus amplification of your message.
For all the cynicism and stereotypes that accompany people's behaviour on the internet, social media is more often about friendly interactions, so that if you are helpful and supportive, that will usually be rewarded with reciprocal support.
So when you've set up your social media profile, do track down the relevant people in your sector or industry and think about connections you would like to make, as well as ones you already have.
A good way to do this is to look up the people your connections or influencers follow.
Now it's Your Turn
We'd like to take the opportunity to grow our social networks.
Share links to your Social Media profiles in the comments below and we will get in touch!