Communicating online is easy and generating a large contact network doesn’t have to be too difficult thanks to the convenient self promotion tools available. The internet presents more personal branding opportunities than you could possibly make use of, so here are some best practice ideas to help you build up an online following:
1). Be a Resource
One of the most important elements to generating a following is to be a helpful source of information. Interacting with your audience in a two way conversation is ideal for a healthy relationship. Rather than bombarding your audience with useless information and sales pitches, offer value in all your messages.
2). Be Active
Finding a balance between enough and too much interaction is just as important as the quality of your content. The power of social media is a great way to build up an online following, but abuse the power and you’ll soon lose contacts and attract negativity.
Understanding your reputation is an important aspect when it comes to online activity. Read more about the tools to manage your online reputation and use the tools to answer any questions directed to you and capitalise on every online opportunity – always listen to and respect your audience.
3). Spread Your Social Wings
Internet users are generally fickle, jumping between media and platforms with the changing of the times. You should always be aware of the new avenues available to reach your audience. Without increasing your web presence, there’s little hope in attracting new followers. Take a look at this post for more information, A Social Media Checklist: Where to Brand Yourself Online.
Market yourself as a networking personality offline too. Depending on your industry, there are often many opportunities for you to interact with your audience in the real world. Keep your eyes open for seminars, Twitter ‘TweetUps’ and other real life rendezvous which are co-ordinated via social media channels.
Strengthen established bonds and extend your network. If nothing like this exists in your sector, why not host an event – even if it is purely social? Create a meeting agenda and discuss this possibility with your current audience.
5). Be Yourself
Interacting with others will mean you’ll attract new audience members naturally, but diplomacy will only get you so far. If ever you feel the need to disagree with the opinion of another online, it is okay to do so if you handle it in the right way – in fact, it can often help build up your online presence.
Brand yourself as an expert commentator, a facilitator and ambassador for your field of expertise. Read more about social media etiquette for your personal branding.