Friday, March 06, 2009

Being successful with social media = creating value for others

Whenever I talk to companies about using social media, I always tell them to think about how they can use social media as a way to create value for others. If they are blogging, they should think about how they can use their blog as a tool to create value for their readers. It's the same thing with any social media tool, you have to give people a reason to want to interact with you.

Take Twitter. Everyone wants to know how to get more people to follow them. I did a little experiment today to show how if you create value for others via social media, that it will resonate and lead to more people becoming interested in what you are doing.

One way that many people create value for others on Twitter, is by sharing links to content that they find interesting. I am constantly finding and bookmarking tools that increase the utility and productivity of Twitter. So as an experiment, earlier today I decided to take 10 of the most useful Twitter sites/tools I have bookmarked, and over the course of an hour, link to one every 6 mins.

During the course of that hour, I picked up 15 new followers (one every 4 mins), and 32 times my links were Re-Tweeted (once every 2 mins). That's just for the hour, I had several more RTs and follows afterward, but I wanted to only focus on the hour of this experiment. During this hour, I only posted ten tweets, each one was a link to a different Twitter site/tool.

Notice that none of the tweets were self-promotional, they were all highlighting content that I thought my friends on Twitter could find VALUE in.

And this is the key to being successful in social media. Always think about how you can create value for others. That's how you build awareness and influence in this space.


Dowell Family Team said...

I agree with your post. I have posted useful links on my twitter and have received similar results.I now have my blog post submitted to Twitter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mack,

When I started to use social media as a way to spread my opinions and thoughts I did it to get traffic to my blog.

I thought that this was the way to use it. In time I've learned that social networks are more then that - I've learned this the hard way : I wasn't getting any noticeable traffic from direct clicks on my posts.

For example Twitter, is a social tool so simple to use but not that easy to understand. Many use it just to broadcast their links, others tweet only their links and some offer valuable links and also participate in discussions. This last category will definitely get more followers and also will add to their reputation (or brand).


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Mack. I always try to mix it up for maximum benefit to those I am connected with.

I find my blog posts that get the best click-throughs from Twitter are those with lists in the subject line: '10 top tools for Twitter' etc.

I think I'm going to experiment with this and the next 'top ten' list I write I will leak one at a time in a similar way to you and measure the results.

Thanks for posting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mack,

Good experiment; I must have been offline as I missed those links. :)

I think a point that is often lost by people looking for numbers (versus seeking engagement) is that you're not going to build relationships unless you allow your network to grow organically by providing value, engaging in conversations, and letting your personality emerge. I suspect that part of the reason for the new followers wasn't just the immediate value but that looking at your profile and tweets demonstrate that you're doing this all the time.


InterlakeChemicals said...

Still very new to Twitter, but it amazes me on how many are using it in such a short period of time since it started. But I can say the degree of participation for me has been higher than any other form of social media.

Anonymous said...

I am very new to twitter. But I must say its very useful for links... Great way of getting links..

Kai said...

I really like this post. I see so many people on Twitter just spamming their website endlessly. It gets so annoying that I end up removing these people from my following list.