If you’re interested in promoting yourself or your organization online, you are probably well aware that being active on social networks is an increasingly important part of the process. Building a strong social media presence does more than just advertise your brand. When you tackle it the right way, your social activity can also enhance your reputation and encourage people to think of you as an authority in your field.
The Value Of Authority
Trust has always been an important part of business relationships and this still holds true in the modern world of e-commerce. Maintaining an online reputation as a knowledgeable and trustworthy source of information can be a powerful deciding factor when potential customers choose between you and your competitors. It’s not just vendors looking to make sales that are interested in cultivating authoritative reputations.
Being an authority will lend weight to everything you post. This is not merely a rhetorical device, either. Individuals and companies that take pains to build good online reputations have an easier time attracting a wider audience because they are linked to other by other authorities and favored by the search engines. Building an authoritative reputation is a proven strategy for expanding your reach and attracting a wider audience.
Social Media As Part Of A Wider Marketing Strategy
Although today’s social networks are tremendously powerful communications tools, they are not ideally suited for generating a reputation as an authority on their own. You need content with some real depth to it in order to demonstrate your expertise and this is not always a good fit with social sites that prefer their users to post content in bite-sized chunks.
This does not mean you shouldn’t incorporate social networks into your overall plan for promoting yourself! Social media allows you to promote the content you publish in other venues. You can use excerpts, samples, and previews to entice followers into visiting your primary site and taking a look at your content. A social media presence also makes a perfect platform for engaging in two-way conversations about your content.
Building The Right Kind Of Content
Although social networks probably won’t be the native ground for your most authoritative content, you should still make an effort to craft your work in a way that lends itself to promotion via social media. Content that concentrates on making a visual impact (e.g. infographics, videos) is particularly suited to this role. Good visuals can serve as the entirety of your content or be deployed simply as adjuncts to strong text.
As noted above, your content needs to go into some depth and explore new territory in order to establish your reputation as an authority. Take the time to write content that will deliver genuine value to people who discover it through your social media promotional efforts. Include strong reference links that support your ideas and guide your audience to even more information they’ll find useful.
Finally, don’t forget to mount standard social sharing buttons on your content pages. Your entire goal is to get more people to take notice of your efforts through increased social visibility Give your audience the tools it needs to help you achieve that goal.
Engaging With The Community
As noted above, social networks are all about unbiased, back-and-forth communication. This makes them uniquely suited to engaging far more directly with your audience than other venues. Embrace this feature of social media rather than shying away from it. Encourage readers to reach out to you by addressing your social profiles and do your best to answer questions in an insightful, respectful way.
Social networks give you the opportunity to interact with people who are already seen as authorities in your field, too. Take advantage of this by keeping up with the latest trends in your niche, and don’t be afraid to reach out to influential people when you have something meaningful to say. Getting a little communication flowing between yourself and your niche’s thought leaders can bring you to the attention of a much larger audience.
Ultimately, planning out your ideal social media marketing strategy will depend on your personal situation, your goals, and your resources. The general principles detailed here should serve you very well if you want to use your social activity to improve your reputation and become an authority in your field.