The Power of Facebook – Part II – Content Is King

Tapping the Power of Facebook

Just as important as those that “Like” your Fan Page are your Friends.

  1. Build your fan base.
  2. Build your friends list.
  3. Create great content.
  4. Get your fans to click that they “Like” your content.
  5. Get your fans to comment on your posts.
  6. Investigate and adopt new Facebook functionality as appropriate for your goals.

In my previous post on this topic I discussed items 1 and 2. In this post I will talk about items 3 through 5.

Facebook Success Requires Great Content

Great content is key to getting your message to spread or get legs of its own. When people see great comment they are more likely to comment and spread the word. If they do not like what you said it will die with them.

Content is not a given, it is something your must work on; if you are to perfect the process. Be persistent and when you get your formula working stick with it. There is nothing worse than getting a following started and then punking out on it.

One thing is that if you write something and it does not get legs of its own; you do not, necessarily, have to give up on the topic; maybe it was the format or the way it was said. The great thing is that because the topic did not grow legs, you can come back to it six months, three months, a month, or even a week later and try it again with a little different spin.

If You Friends and Fans Do Not “Like” Your Content; Your Content Will Die With Them

Anything that you write should be written with the idea that it will elicit responses. Responses are key to the accelerated spread of your identity and brand. Your goal is to expand your sphere of influence and the comments of your connections will cause that to happen.

Ergo, the more connections you have the greater the chance that your message will have a life of its own. If your content is not eliciting a response, then you MUST change your content. This is a trial and error process as you attempt to get it right. You must write and write and write; then you must monitor and monitor and monitor. Find out what works and what does not work. Build on what works and assess what does not work to see if it can be changed.

If Your fans Comment, Their Friends Will Care About What THEY Said

Social Networking is about spreading your sphere of influence. As such there is a lot of talk about getting a following, a bunch of fans, or lots of connections. While these are all important; it is even more important to get people talking.

You need to have the recipients of your initial message make comments to you or to others. Regardless of the direction of the content all of their Fans will receive the entire discussion thread, but if you pay attention to the thread only the most recent four or five comments are displayed. Have you ever wondered about that?

Here is the reason; the most recent comment will be from someone that you know; because that is YOUR primary point of interest. If you like what they said you may look at the original post and even look at other posts. The important thing is to know that the Social Networks want you to see things from your connections in the hope that you will comment on your connection’s comment and keep the thread alive.

How Do I Get A Response From My Network – Start Adding Value

How Do You Rectify Your Lack of Networking

First you must get involved with your network. There are several things that you can do:

  1. Answer and ask questions.
  2. Add your expertise to the conversations.
  3. Share valuable information.
  4. Add friends, connections, and followers.
  5. Post articles and other information that is relevant to your network.

These actions all contribute to the overall value of your network and the benefit you provide to your network members.

Therefore to be an effective networker you must be adding value to your network.

Answer and Ask Questions

The Internet is full of people with questions and people looking for questions to answer. Everyone of these is an opportunity for you. Find out what questions exist; then draw either upon your previous knowledge or research the answer. When you find that answer post it. And then do it again and again.

The truth is there are a lot of lazy people out there looking for someone that will answer or find the answers to their questions. Be that person and you will start building a reputation of being a benefit to your network.

Make sure that you get good answers and if, for some reason you post something that turns out to be incorrect, fix it immediately! We all make mistakes; you just need to make sure you correct them immediately.

The more questions you answer correctly and the better the answers you provide; will add to your credibility, reputation, and brand.

Add your Expertise to the Conversations

The Internet is full of conversations and therefore opportunities to share your expertise. Join Social Networking groups that are relevant to your expertise and join in. Your group members are always looking for members that will add value to existing conversations and start relevant conversations of their own.

Make sure that what you add is of value. Many people participate with one or two line statements; although that may be appropriate sometimes, but you cannot do that regularly or you will jeopardize your credibility.

Web 2.0 applications, like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc are predicated upon conversations; get involved and demonstrate your networking value.

Share Valuable Information

When you are participating share valuable information. Many people are afraid to add anything of value because they believe that if they wait long enough they will be able to sell the information. Although that may be true, your audience will eventually recognize you as someone that participates but adds little or no value.

If your goal is to develop relationships that are based upon credibility and trust; you must be willing to give valuable information.

Add Friends, Connections, and Followers

One very valuable contribution that you can make to you network is adding friends, connections, and followers. Your first level connections are the weak connections for your other first level connections. Through your relationships with new people you extend the breadth and scope of that person’s network and the networks of all of your other contacts.

The reality is that most opportunities are found one or two levels removed from your immediate connections so network growth increases everyone’s opportunities. Grow your network and expand the sphere of influence for yourself and the members of your network.

Post Articles and Other Information That Is Relevant to Your Network

The last method of adding value that I will discuss is the process of posting articles and other information that is relevant to your network. When you encounter information that you find of value, chances are other members of your network will find value as well. As one who disseminates information you increase your value to your network and raise your value in their eyes.

Build your brand, create credibility and trust, by adding value to your network. It will generate rewards that will pay you back over and over.

How To Get A Response From Your Network – Compelling Message

So You Want Your Network To Take You Seriously and Take Action On Your Message!

You want what? You, want a response out of your network! What makes you think that you deserve a response from your network?

There are a lot of people on the Internet that feel that simply having a lot of connections, friends, and followers; means they should be able to get lots of action. The reality is that it just does not work that way.

Overwhelming action happens because of overwhelming:

      Compelling messages.

This post focuses on the last point: Compelling Messages.

Compelling Messages Come from Great Conversations

Your compelling message will originate from having great conversations. These may be conversations that you initiate or those that you join. It really does not matter. You must be having quality conversations with your audience. If there is no quality your efforts are wasted and you will get nowhere!

Quality Happens When You Add Value to the Conversations

When you participate make sure that your contribution has value and adds to the conversation. Do not go out and post a one or two line entry and think that is a contribution. In some cases that may be the case, but you cannot do that all the time and think you are doing something great and building your reputation.

Your contributions must be relevant, helpful, and information packed. There is no holding back in this process.

You Do Not Want a Reputation of Someone with Little To Say

No, you are building a reputation: it is one of someone that has little to say or contribute. If you want to be recognized you must put yourself out there. Do not be a spectator. Conversations are not spectator sports.

Quality Happens When You Are Able to Make a Point and Support It With Facts

Quite often I will read things that are technically untrue or off base. If your disagreement is over a matter of opinion; that is a whole different story and must be addressed with a totally different approach.

If you are involved in conversations or when you get involved you will find situations where there are technical inaccuracies. As you respond remember that you are addressing the comment and not the individual. There is no faster way to destroy your credibility and trustworthiness than by attacking someone.

You Must Demonstrate Your Expertise

Your conversations must demonstrate your expertise. Do not go out bragging that you are THE expert or even an expert, that is just positioning yourself for failure. What you must demonstrate is your expertise and that you have valuable information that you are willing to share. When someone advertises themselves as THE expert; they put a big target on their back. DO NOT DO IT!

Getting the Response You Desire

When you add quality and start the process of establishing your expertise you move to the point of creating your honesty, credibility, trust, and brand. These are the necessary ingredients to start the response process.

As you can see these are not instantaneous results. They take work, effort, and most of all consistency. Your audience does not want to see you today and then not see you for weeks or months. That process will destroy all that you are working to accomplish.

You can find all kinds of promises to build your Twitter following to 10,000 in one month or other outlandish schemes. Unless you have something to back it up; so when people visit your web page, blog, or read your articles the numbers mean nothing.

Creating a Trusting Relationship Through Social Networking

Developing Social Networking Friendships

Through our Social Networking connections we have the opportunity to meet many more people and potentially extend our sphere of influence. Some, however, question that. There is a belief that you can never create a solid relationship solely through Social Networking. Is this concern legitimate? Is it impossible to create a viable relationship? Let’s explore the subject.

What Are the Foundations of a Friendship?

What unites people? What ties them together in a bond of friendship.

Aristotle says:

There are three kinds of friendship based on three kinds of affection that unite people. First, in a friendship of utility, the affection is based on the benefit or use the friends derive from the relationship. Each person gets something out of the friendship that is to his advantage, and the mutual benefit of the relationship is what unites the two people.

Based upon these three factors:

  1. Benefit or use each derives.
  2. Each person gets something to their advantage.
  3. There is mutual benefit to both parties.

Can these attributes be fostered, encouraged, and maintained through a relationship that does not include face to face meetings? I, for one, cannot see any reason why this would not work.

Pope John Paul II said:

“When two different people consciously choose a common aim this puts them on a footing of equality and precludes the possibility that one of them might be subordinated to the other. Both . . . are as it were . . . subordinated to that good which constitutes their common end”

With these thoughts in mind what creates this bond of friendship? To me there are two major components:


Can You Be Trusted?

In a friendship trust is a critical building block. Can each of you be trusted? Have you proven to your friend that you are worthy of their trust and, likewise, have they proven to you that they are worthy of your trust?

Proving that you are each trustworthy does not happen immediately regardless of the type of friendship – face-to-face or social networking. Obviously the weakness in the Social Networking environment is the inability to see facial expressions, non-verbal queues, and other reactions; but even seeing those does not necessarily cause one to keep or weed out a potential friend.

Proving one to be trustworthy has several components:

      Demonstrating that you respect each other’s time.
      Being honest, whether you think the other person will find out or not.
      Sharing information and looking out for each other.
      Not participating in gossip about one and other.
      Being sincere and caring.

Have You Established Credibility?

The second characteristic is credibility. Are each of you credible to each other and to others with whom you act. Part of your credibility justification will come from what others have to say about you and how they feel about you.

Keys to establishing your credibility include:

      Being correct in your information or willing to immediately correct it if you are wrong.
      Being willing to admit that you are wrong.
      Crediting the necessary sources when the information your provide is not your original work.
      Providing useful information and not just lip service.
      Having the support and confirmation of others about what you say.
      Providing evidence to back up your words.

The truth is that there is nothing that has been said here that cannot be done with a Social Networking connection. Just as in any relationship or friendship; you must be willing to commit and work at the relationship.

One of the biggest risks with a Social Networking friendship is the ease with which it can be discarded if that is the desire of one of the parties. In a Social Network relationship it is easy for someone to disappear.

Do You Have a Strategy For Joining Groups? No, Well You Should! – Part I

Social Networking Groups

What is a Social Networking Group? Essentially it is a virtual club, organization or association. We are all familiar with Rotary and Lions Clubs, the YMCA and YWCA, church groups and congregations, professional associations, etc. Take those organizations to a virtual level and you have Social Networking Groups.

Social Networking groups typically do not have formal meetings, although they can. There is no reason why a group cannot organize a conference call or even a face-to-face meeting of their members. There is no limit on what you can do.

Unlike your local clubs, organizations, and associations; virtual groups can become International immediately with little or no work. In traditional clubs, organizations, and associations you have local chapters, Regional groupings, National, and ultimately International. Social Networking Groups can go from zero to 60 instantly.

If you have a topic of International interest or appeal your virtual membership can cross boundaries at the speed of light. This is both an advantage and disadvantage depending upon the purpose that you are trying to achieve. That, however, is for another article.

Types of Social Networking Groups

The types of Social Networking Groups are as varied as your ideas. There are groups based upon interests, vocations, avocations, hobbies, technology, professional issues and discussions, products, types of services, etc. There are groups with all practitioners, users of specific products and services, customers of particular companies, non-competing vendors, and countless other options.

Essentially if you can think of it; there are groups for it, and, in most cases, several groups. If by chance you find something without a group; then you can start your own group very easily.

Who Should Join a Social Networking Group?

There are many reasons to join Social Networking Groups, but there are no reasons not to join Groups. That does not mean that you would join all groups or that you would not avoid specific groups. What it means is if you are going to be on the Internet and participate in Internet activities and conversations; membership in groups is a virtual requirement.

If you are trying to establish a brand for yourself, your company, or your products; group membership is a necessity.

Why Are Groups So Important?

Groups are important because groups constitute your audience. Groups are a means of extending your sphere of influence. Groups allow you to talk to many people simultaneously. Can you imagine how long it would take to establish a brand if you could only talk to one person at a time?

How extensive would your sphere of influence be if you could only talk to those you know in your network? Obviously it would take a tremendous amount of time to gain credibility and establish a trust relationship with a large audience; if you could ever do it.

Watch for my next article on What to Look for in a Group and How to Select Your Groups.

Copyright 2010 UPPROACH