“Your reputation precedes you” has never been more fitting than in the age of social media. Everything we say or do online has the ability to build our reputation or squander it.
A great reputation is a precious commodity. Your reputation becomes your personal, professional brand and your brand can eventually become influential, opening up opportunities for new clients, new career opportunities and speaking engagements.
Maintaining a good reputation requires planned effort. The secret to success is to make small yet consistent actions online that cause a social networking ripple effect.
If you’re wondering how to do so, you’ve come to the right place! By following the three golden rules below you can quickly expand your network, reputation and - ultimately – influence.
1. Share Other People’s Content
A good rule of thumb for sharing content on social media is the 60-30-10 rule. 60% of what you share should be other’s content, 30% your own content and just 10% promotional content.
There are several good reasons for this. Firstly, it’s good etiquette to share content other than your own – instead of being the equivalent of the person everyone avoids at a party because they always talk about themselves!
Social etiquette aside, sharing other’ people’s content makes it easier to stay visible. Content creation is time consuming, but you can quickly find and share relevant content by setting up Google Alerts for target keywords or using content curation tools such as Feedly and Flipboard.
If you filter and only share content that is good quality and relevant to your connections, you will also become the definitive resource and the go-to person for your niche. Chances are, if you found the article interesting then your network will too. However, you can remove the quality standard guesswork by using social listening tools to discover what influencers are sharing or using tools such as Buzzsumo and UberSuggest to find the most shared content for a keyword.
Last, but not least, it’s a good way to build relationships with influencers in your area of expertise. It gets you on their radar and they can see if you’re adding meaningful insights to the conversation.
2. Engage With Your Insights And Expertise
One-way conversations are never fun. It’s vital that you don’t just share content but engage with the conversations that yours and other people’s posts generate.
If someone has taken the time to comment or share it with their network, it’s good etiquette to reply to their comment or thank them. You need to be relatively quick though, otherwise you risk losing their initial interest and gathering momentum for your post to trend and be seen by a wider audience.
Your network is also a lot less likely to engage with your posts if you’ve not engaged with theirs, so make the time to find and join in on existing conversations.
To ensure you’re engaging with others in a timely way, you can set up a wide number of notifications with the tools themselves – such as when someone has commented on your post or tagged you, and even trending conversations.
TIP: You can use social media management tools such as HootSuite and Buffer for laser-focused notifications such as when a prospect or influencer has posted.
3. Publish Your Own Content
Publishing your own content helps you take your reputation to the next level. It’s one thing to share other people’s content and comment on existing conversations but it’s another entirely to be a conversation starter.
Publishing your own content means you’re providing added value with content that your audience can’t find elsewhere.
The trick with creating your own content is to keep the content format varied, especially in the early experimentation days. Yes, the following stats may help steer you in the right direction:
- LinkedIn text-only posts can boost your view count by 42x according to an experiment reported on Social Media Today.
- Wordstream found that 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text on the same topic.
- LinkedIn claims that video campaigns have an amazing 50% view rate.
Just remember that everyone has their own preferences for how they consume content and some formats work best for different goals.
Here are some ideas of content formats you should experiment with:
1. Text-Only informative LinkedIn Posts
Text-only posts are becoming increasingly popular on LinkedIn. The algorithm favours them and they’re also quicker to read than an article blog post, so it takes less effort for your audience to engage.
Text-only posts can be used in a variety of ways: from a quick opinion-piece, to a brief version of an article you’ve written or for telling a personal story and the lessons you learned (which can benefit your audience).
2. LinkedIn Articles
LinkedIn articles allow you to delve deeper into a subject matter to truly educate your audience. According to a study of over 3000 LinkedIn articles by OKDork, “How to” formats perform better than others and you should aim for 1900-2000 words. (Their blog post also includes plenty of other optimisation tips.)
This may seem like a lot of work but if you’ve already authored blogs you can easily repurpose them quickly for LinkedIn without being penalised for duplicate content by:
- Publishing on your own website first
- Including canonical tags to tell Google that this is the original content (I.e. please drive the SEO this way!)
- Including a note at the bottom of your LinkedIn post linking back to the original
3. Visual posts/ Imagery/ Infographic
There are plenty of ways to use visuals in your posts – from 10-page slide shares and infographics to even one compelling photo or image that conveys a message or emotion.
Visual posts can take longer than text-only posts so if you want to see maximum return for your experimentation efforts, try repurposing your most popular blog posts and LinkedIn posts (or doing the same for written content by others that has been seen good engagement and shares).
4. Video Content
Video has quickly crossed over from B2C marketing to become a fundamental mainstay for B2B channels too as they help inject some personality into your brand.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- “How to” explainer videos
- Behind the scenes videos
- Testimonials and case studies
- Product demos
- Thought leadership opinions
Many social networks’ algorithms favour native content i.e. content that doesn't drive people away from their site. Yet blogging on your own website is still important to help improve SEO and capture and nurture leads.
There are also ways to avoid being penalised and make people want to read your blog post. For example, on LinkedIn here at Tribal we include a link to the blog in the first comment and also link out to other helpful resources. That way, we’re helping our audience rather than just pushing our own content.
How do you know what is relevant? Use social listening tools to segment your audience into lists by persona and track what content and format they engage with most. As you start to create and share content your analytics will then provide you with further insights into what works best for your audience.
As with in real life, it takes time and consistency to build a reputation of being a reliable source of information and advice, who listens as well as talks – and who ultimately you turn to because they challenge your thinking. But the effort is always worth it.