Social media experts have frequently discussed the importance of listening and engaging with others. The key is to find the right people to listen to and engage with. Much like a conversation with others, you want to make sure that the people you are talking to are actively engaged. How much of an influence do they have over their audience, and your audience?
One of the easiest ways to get started with social media is to listen. As you continue to develop your online presence reach out to the people in your community. They can be subject matter experts, local businesses, local officials, peers, employees or others. Subscribe to their blogs, follow them on Twitter. When you feel comfortable, join the conversation. Repeat what they say by retweeting them on Twitter, or sharing their information on your Facebook page.
It’s important to remember that sharing is the key, don’t copy their information and present it as your own – that’s dishonest and could get you in trouble. Plus, if you read our information about online reputation management, you will see that they could be monitoring their online mentions, and could quickly find out what you have done.
Even though you may think this is time consuming, remember that it takes time to build relationships. There are also tools that can help you.
Followerwonk helps you explore and grow your social community, through analytics.
Topsy provides real time insight into conversations.
Offers a directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you including demographics like location.
You can also search Twitter itself to find out “what’s happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about.” Just type a keyword in the search bar at the top, and a stream of tweets will appear on that topic. And as you continue to build your social media community, you might want to create lists to help you. List building within Twitter is easy.
Popularity is an important part of many people’s value systems and engaging the right people can influence your reputation.