You are now ready to take a more active role on the social media arena and step into the Lurker role by reading and relaying. This development area is about how to build solid reading and relaying routines. You now have a platform in place from which you can engage in the social conversations. Expand the base of people you follow. Start following brands besides people.
The social landscape has developed to a sort of speed reading place. The average reader has an attention span of around 7 seconds. You are short of time and you want to maximize the outputs of your efforts. Elaborate with the search tools available in Twitter. Test by searching for [VIDEO], [BLOG] and [INFOGRAPHIC] content and see which ones you find most attractive for you to aim for. Looks for words you see shaping the conversations you want to be part of.
Start relaying the content that resonates with you. Add your own comments to give your relays a personal touch. Reach out to writers for clarifications or compliments as you find appropriate. As you reach this third step you are stepping into the role of becoming the trusted advisor to your business contacts. They will start having an opinion about your ambitions. They will listen to your comments when retweeting and they will look to see if you add value to them by what you post.
An important learning here is what makes people engage. Text is hardest, pictures easier and videos easiest for people to engage with. Positive messages are way more appealing than messages in a negative tone. Infographics are great to relay as they can tell many stories in one, and thereby attract a broader audience. The insights gained here should influence the content you decide to create and/or focus your relay efforts on.
When you have reached this stage individual paths will start to form your directions based on you networked leadership ambitions.
- LEADERS – start to shape your ideas of a content structure for your next steps. Get familiar with social media measuring tools. Start setting initial ambitions for your digital influence.
- LIKERS – Find the tone of voice for constructive feedback. Learn from the thought leaders in your own organization. Create a gross list of discussions you want to engage in.
- LURKERS – establish good reading and relaying routines. Learn from the leaders and likers in your own organization. Ask what you can do to be a good brand ambassador by sharing content you like.
Beyond reading you need to get up to speed with the main metrics in place used to measure your digital influence. I would suggest you register with three different ones, e.g. Klout, Kred and PeerIndex, and get a feeling for what they can tell you. They all use advanced proprietary algorithms to measure your digital influence. How many you reach with your messages, and how much engagements your messages creates. Also how far you messages travel beyond your own sphere of influence. The basic idea is your digital influence is greater the further it reaches and the more engagement it creates. Don’t become salve under the measures but learn them as a tool to guide you. Aim to become better at leveraging the influence potential.
Good questions to work with in this development area are:
- What is the best window of time during the week for my social activities? – Aim for daily slots of “dead” time where you can get in 5-15 minutes
- Which of my relays create the greatest engagement and why? – Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.
- Which social measures resonate most with me to measure my growing influence? – Pick one as your tracker and use it smart.
Here are a few ideas for further reading in this area:
- Return on Influence: The revolutionary power of Klout, Social Scoring and Influence Marketing [BOOK] – by Mark W Schaefer (@MarkWSchaefer)
- How does Klout work? [INFOGRAPHIC] – by Shea Bennet (@Sheamus)
- What your Klout score really means [ARTICLE] – by Seth Stevenson Wired (@StevensonSeth)
- The power of the hash-tag [INFOGRAPHIC] – by Daniel Sharkov, The Huffington Post (@DanielSharkov)
- 26 tips to create a strong social media content strategy [BLOG] – by Debbie Hemley (@DHemley)
After having completed this development area you have a profile, you are a connected listener and you have read and relayed enough to have a feeling what work and what does not.