The biggest thing working against you developing a strong profile and presence on social media is that everybody else is in there trying to do the same thing.
On social networks the noise is especially overwhelming.
When practically every social media book, blog or article out there, is extolling the virtue of positioning yourself as a ‘thought leader,’ it’s hardly surprising there is so much racket!
We are surrounded by gurus, experts and legions of self-proclaimed evangelists! Most of whom, dripping in snake oil, offer up the overnight transformative power of social media.
So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd (and way apart from the legions of snake oil salesmen)?
Despite the vast amount of content being streamed, beamed and fed to you during the course of one day, as humans we are quite skilful at sifting through large volumes of information. Invariably, the topics, people and things that you are looking for jump out at you.
But what is it about those articles that jump out at you?
Why is it, in the sea of content, that you remember one person over another?
Why do they stand out to you?
I believe that the key to being heard and remembered is authenticity.
I am a big fan of Mark Schaefer, (@markwschaefer) for this very reason. I know he is marketing his business, endorsing his affiliates and promoting his sponsors, but he is also very funny and highly entertaining.
He has a great take on social media and always makes you see the funny side of this crazy world of hyper connectivity that we live in.
There are days when I cannot see straight for algorithms, QR codes, augmented reality concept videos and big data analysis. It is on these days in particular, that I seek out his wit and cynicism, as a panacea to my digital marketing woes and data overload.
Of course, Mark is someone that I think we can truly learn from, in terms of developing an authentic voice and original standpoint. But the key is to watch and learn from people like him and then develop your own ‘online’ version of yourself.
Maybe start off by responding to a good article that someone has shared. If you read an editorial and have an opinion on the subject matter, weigh in. If you really like someone’s unique writing style, share the piece and tell your network why you like it. Not only does this help you to find your voice and confidence in the social space, it also gets you noticed – online networking 101.
Online networking is much like in the ‘real world.’ You wouldn’t expect to turn up to a networking lunch and just talk about yourself. You show interest in others, you ask intelligent questions, you listen intently when people talk. It’s the same in the online world.
Success comes from being yourself, being engaging and being authentic about what matters to you. Oh! and careful planning, tailoring your content to your audience and writing good headlines helps too!
Don’t be side-tracked and fooled by fail-proof formulas and easy blueprints to social media success. Sure they can offer us pointers and guide us in the right direction, but they cannot guarantee success.
The truth is there is no magic formula in social media wonderland. Building a loyal and engaged following of people and customers takes time and effort and is achieved one person at a time.
If you need help with finding your voice and navigating the online world, drop us a line, because we can help, it’s what we do.
The author, Sara Berry has worked in the communications industry since the early ‘90s. A graduate of the prestigious Watford advertising course, she established Marketing Sense to help businesses achieve ‘big budget style communication strategies’ at an affordable price, through the flexibility of outsourced marketing.
For more information, visit the Marketing Sense website on www.marketingsense.com.au.