Sure everyone has a social media account; some of us manage close to fifteen of them, but you want to become an expert right? The thought of breaking into this realm as an expert may seem daunting, but it is feasible with enough determination. Being an expert is a long term goal, but as a beginner here are some tips to get started in the right direction.
1) Follow First – Education through Twitter? You bet’cha! When breaking into social media you may feel compelled to be followed more than the number of people you follow. Yes, this is the goal. It makes you appear as an authority. But first you must learn from experts that may not be in your immediate social circles. Follow anyone who is an expert or shares relevant information in your field (Once there information becomes repetitive or irrelevant to you, you can unfollow them if you wish). The more you learn and adapt your own practices your followers will grow organically.
2) Early Adoption – The best way to be an expert is to be first. While still fairly new in the realm of social media myself I quickly jumped on opportunity to join newer social networks and social media applications. I reviewed these applications on my personal website and found the reviews were optimized in the majority of search engines. When others learned about these upcoming websites, I began to grow a following as others searched for reviews and information before committing to signing up. While this practice is hit or miss, it’s worth a shot. Many new social media websites I have joined did not take off and have since abandoned them. However, with exciting start-ups, such as Chime.In, I became a very active user growing a much larger following than previously held with other social mediums.
3) Adjust to Audience Size – At first your audience size will be miniscule, maybe a couple friends and your mom. Unfortunately they are probably not interested or even understand what you are posting about, following or liking your page only in good faith. While I am an advocate of tent pole posting (posting older articles time and time again) this may not be a great practice when you have fewer followers that are closer to you. They would have already seen the information, resulting in lack of interaction as they ignore or unfollow you. When you have thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers this practice is great as many will miss your first few attempts to share a new article or update.
How can you combat this? Easy (well easier said than done), appeal to your current audience while also reaching out to your niche. Post less frequently and dedicate the remaining time to blogger and expert outreach. As your following grows from your outreach efforts you can post more frequently and repeat older information without worry. Now if your mom wants to unfollow you, it won’t matter. However, that is terrible parenting!
4) Take Risks – While you have a small following you have the best opportunity to take risks without jeopardizing your hard earned reputation. Catostrophic failure isn’t as likely when most people write you off as someone who is just testing the waters. If you have an extreme idea, project, product, or opinion it may be difficult to introduce after you have a successful social media following, as your following come to expect a certain style. The uproar of your followers may cause irreversible damage. Try your radical ideas with a small following, one that can still regrow. Who knows your radical ideas may exponentially increase your following and create interest in you as a brand!
5) Be outgoing – Sitting there on your computer in front of Twitter spending a half hour or more thinking of the perfect tweet? STOP. Just post it! Don’t know how to @Reply someone with confidence so you sound smart? STOP. Just @Reply them! Afraid to participate in chats or post or comment on an expert’s blog? Just… oh you get the point.
Social media can be tough. We all want our tipping points to occur within minutes and hours, but like most things it takes time. The key is not to get discouraged.