There are a lot of tools available to help businesses and entrepreneurs measure their social influence. Some are free and others are for a fee. Do we need a tool to measure our influence? How does one measure social media influence anyways? Even if we use a free tool, our time isn’t free. Our time is valuable and any effort that we expend needs to evaluated. Whatever our goals are, we need to ensure that what we’re doing is achieving the results that we want.
By the number of comments on my last post, “Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?”, I can see that love it or hate it, people are talking about Google Plus. Some bloggers are getting passionate about this topic and if you’re on any of the popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you can’t avoid seeing post after post about it. What is it about Google+ that has everyone talking?
Google created a bit of a media frenzy when they first launched Google+. They limited the number of invitations that they sent out. They also limited the amount of bandwidth that they made available. Getting an invitation wasn’t a guarantee that you’d be able to actually get in immediately. (I had images of trying to enter an exclusive nightclub and not being able to get past the bouncer.) Was this part of their plan to generate buzz and anticipation? Some of my favorite bloggers were tweeting and posting on Facebook that they were in and were offering invitations. It certainly appears to me that it was an effective marketing campaign.
Is American Idol really a talent search or has it turned into a popularity contest? At the end, when the season 10 winner is announced will the most talented and promising singer of the season emerge or will we be left with the most popular singer standing? Last night, as I was watching to see who emerged as the final two, Ryan Seacrest announced “Over 95 million votes”, “Biggest non-finale number in our history”, “15 Million more than last year’s final show”. Were those really impressive numbers or reality TV spin? What is actually being measured here? What are the odds that this year’s American Idol winner will actually go on to achieve mega-star status?
Like everything else, our online profiles are a reflection on us. It’s part of our brand. Even our statistics tell a lot about us. How many followers do you have compared to the number of people you’re following? How many tweets do you have? Are people that I recognize and respect following you? Do you have a profile pic and use your real name?
I was pleasantly surprised last week when I opened up a personalized thank you card from Grasshopper – a company that offers 800#s to small businesses. I had linked to them (using my affiliate link) in my article about online shopping being like a self-check-out lane.
Some business relationships naturally tend to be more beneficial than others. For example, if you are targeting businesses that cater to the wedding market, it makes sense to develop relationships with people who work in businesses such as event planners, florists and caterers. If you’re a mortgage lender, good contacts for you include realtors and an insurance salesperson. By building business relationships with people who share the same niche target customer that you do, you are forming what is commonly referred to as a contact sphere. Contact spheres are generally formed by people who are in compatible but non-competitive professions. As you get to know each other and develop trust, you can refer business to each other and help each other to be successful.
Being analytical by nature, I don’t usually do much of anything without having a goal, a strategy and a plan. Even a trip to the grocery store involves a list (if only a post-it note), a destination and almost always a strategy involving a carefully laid out plan to combine multiple errands mapped out in a path that involves keeping in mind traffic patterns. (My husband’s suspicions that I’m a little nuts might be confirmed if he had any idea what is actually involved in my thought process.) Having said that, when I wrote my last blog article, “5 Tips for Incorporating Twitter into Your Social Networking Strategy”, I wrongly assumed that lots of people start out tweeting with goals and a detailed plan. As I read some of the comments, I quickly learned that some of my blogging friends are frustrated with Twitter and it’s not working for them the way they had intended. So, I’d like to know more.
Social networking is all about connecting and building a community. To me, it’s really no different from socializing in “real life”. Sure, it may be a little more difficult because you can’t hear the person’s tone of voice or see the twinkle in their eye that lets you know they’re kidding but it still is a matter of getting to know each other, building trust and establishing meaningful and hopefully mutually beneficial relationships.
Want to drive more traffic to your blog/website? Want to reinforce your brand every time you leave a comment or ask a question? Want to link to other websites without driving your traffic elsewhere? Here are 4 simple steps that you can take. They won’t take much time and they’re all free. Most of these tips are covered in greater depth elsewhere on this blog but they’re all worth mentioning again.