Social networks have become the primary source of new content for many professionals trying to stay current in their field or to discover the latest insights. This is especially true for Internet Marketing professionals: we must constantly seek new opportunities for improvement while maintaining a thorough understanding of current tools.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ can offer access to a great deal of content. However, one must understand how to navigate and curate the billions of available tweets, posts, and viewpoints. Identifying and following your own group of experts will get you started.
Twitter is a fantastic way to gain a deeper understanding of who is really listening to whom:
- Find Them: Finding topical experts is as easy as a keyword search on Twitter or Google (though, it tends to be more difficult on Facebook). Klout (klout.com) also features topic pages that provide access to leading influencers by area.
- Validate Them: A glance can provide you with a list of who you know that follows this expert. One more click can show you who that expert follows. The voices that influence them are certainly worthy of your attention as well.
- Organize Them: Building custom lists establishes your own content feeds, providing you with new insights every day: content you can trust and are more willing to share because it comes from your own hand-picked network of trusted sources.
However, do not rely on a single network to fulfill all your content needs. It is important to establish connections virtually (if not personally) with your trusted sources. Here are some ways you can build meaningful relationships with your online network of influencers:
- Provide Constructive Comments: Content creators love feedback. Whether you provide support or challenge their viewpoint, generating substantive conversation around their content encourages others to join in.
- Reach Out: Should the opportunity arise, email the expert personally and introduce yourself. Personal relationships are far more valuable than social media connections alone, and can lead to fruitful collaborations.
- Meet Them: Social media tools like Lanyrd (lanyrd.com) can show you events where your connections are speaking or attending. One of them may be in your area, or at the same conference as you. Make an effort to greet them in person, and bring business cards. They may only recognize your Twitter handle at first, but the real life connection is one that can resonate. (Side note: using your name as your Twitter handle can help to ease these introductions by reinforcing your personal brand online.)
|Marketing Pilgrim’s Social Channel is proudly sponsored by Full Sail University, where you can earn your Masters of Science Degree in Internet Marketing in less than 2 years. Visit FullSail.edu for more information.|
In consultation with our colleagues in the Internet Marketing department at Full Sail University, we compiled a list of valuable online experts and resources. Endeavor to find your experts wherever they exist online. Build your own connections with them. You will find that many people you trust online will return that trust when they discover you share a common bond with them: the quest for knowledge.