January 22, 2011

How to Get Your Friends to Join Social Networks – Pt. 3

This is part three of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value. Now that you’ve got your friend to join multiple social networks and find a community for them to embrace, let’s talk about how they can create value for their audience. Before we get into the tips for each network, let’s first define what social media value actually is. If you’ve ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, you would know that he places people that force cultural change into three distinct groups: Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen. To quickly sum up the roles of each, Mavens have vast knowledge about a particular subject and are able to talk about it eloquently; Connectors are people who know individuals in a particular field; and Salesman have the ability to make individuals adopt ideas that they were previously unsure of. In real life, you’re lucky if you become one of these archetypes, but in social media, the ones who are adding value to their connections are all three.  Value comes from being knowledgeable when commenting on relevant topics, interacting with people and letting others see it, and being convincingly opinionated so that you are sometimes at the point of being controversial. Doing all three of these things consistently plays a major factor in determining your value on social media. Think about your favorite blog site—would you visit it if they didn’t update it on a consistent basis? I don’t think so.  Would you follow your friends if they didn’t contribute to a conversation on Twitter? I didn’t think so either. Creating Value on Twitter Participate Having a strong, consistent and opinionated voice on Twitter can attract an audience to a specific account.  This is where you can take the reins of being a Maven on Twitter. Don’t hesitate to jump in conversations that surround a topic you’re interested in. If one of your followers is talking about a subject that interests you, or one that you can formulate an opinion on, just hit the reply button and put in your two cents. Your fashion friend can set up lists of industry bloggers and search terms using Tweetdeck to monitor hot hashtags or and reply to their tweets.  Here are examples of tweets containing the hashtag “#fashion”: Listorious resized 600 A response that can be written in reply to @CuriousYam that adds value would be something like “@CuriousYam I really like the #Floral #Circleskirt. I bought a similar one from @Target but it’s a print pic.twitter.com/adsuha” Another example is answering questions that users post. For instance, if a person is looking for a specific product and you know where it can be acquired, you become a Connector by replying with the answer. Engage With Influencers By finding and following the major influencers in a specific industry, it’s easier for a user to be “in-the-know” of breaking news to form an opinion and share it with their followers. When it comes to social media, like in real life, the faster your access to information, the more influence you can have. Most individuals have to build this influence organically by constantly updating their social feeds, unless they have a pre-established reputation. To find interesting influencers, you can run a quick search of “fashion” on Listorious.com, a site that lists reputable accounts by topic. You can quickly see a few of each account’s most recent tweets and reply to them from inside the website. Have patience in building relationships with these influencers. Sometimes they won’t respond, but if you reply to one of their tweets with something insightful you may be rewarded with a retweet or a mention. When influencers start taking notice of your ideas or thoughts and start to engage in conversation with you, it raises your status as a Salesman. Creating Value on Instagram Images hold a lot of weight in the online and mobile space because, besides videos, they capture a person’s attention the longest (after all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words). We might as well make every one count. Mix Images With Descriptions That Resonate With Your Audience Along with pictures that showcase a brand’s work, telling a story or putting a description with relevant keywords will resonate with your audience. sethbrundle In the picture above @sethbrundle is able to showcase his new partnership while using relevant keywords. You can see that he received a bunch of likes and comments on his post. Let’s say for instance that your friend, who has a huge following in New York City, posts photos of a new shop and their products to her Instagram account (and tweets them). She becomes a Maven by showing her followers where it is and the things she bought, and she becomes a Connector and a Salesman for that brand once she mentions them on her picture. By doing this, your friend helps to create value for those interested in fashion and even people who are interested in new shops that open in their neighborhood. Creating Value On LinkedIn People go to LinkedIn to find news, get valuable insights from experts in their particular industry, and to also have access to them.  Being consistent in posting relevant articles, statuses or questions in groups and on your homepage can create interaction and lead to discussions. Let’s go back to your friend, the fashion designer. For him or her to create value, they will have to be on the forefront of news that relates to their industry in order to share it on their timeline.  If your friend has a fashion blog, sharing new posts on their timeline can create views and showcase their expertise. Even if they’re not creating original content, providing commentary on articles from theLinkedIn Today – Fashion & Apparel section, for example, will generate positive activity on their timeline. Interaction within groups can raise your friend’s value as well. Many people, particularly in fashion, are looking for manufacturers, as evidenced in the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Fashion group. Suppose your friend is an experienced designer with connections to models and raw materials. Answering questions on these topics in LinkedIn groups allows them to become a Maven, Connector and a Salesman in the group. Asking questions about relevant subjects also can potentially create leads that eliminate the middleman, which would strengthen your friend’s reputation as a Connector.. Last, but not least, your friend can connect people to others. LinkedIn offers the ability to “introduce” two individuals who are not yet connected to each other. You can call it e-networking. Most users do this when they’d like to talk to people who are offering jobs on LinkedIn. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There you have it, three steps on how to get your friends to join social networks, find value for themselves and create value for others. I hope this works for you.  Now go out there and make some new friends, followers, and connections! Don’t forget to read part one andpart two.