Although social-media networking can be a powerful business builder, it’s more often wasted energy. Why? Because no one wants to share your content—no matter how terrific it may be. In Return on Influence, social-media consultant Mark Schaefer suggests how to boost the odds that people will share your stuff:
Target influencers: Klout, a tool that ranks people’s online social influence, is far from perfect. But it’s still the best measure of who matters most in this sphere. If your Klout score is 40, engage with people relevant to your business who are at 50 to convince them that you’re worthy of a conversation. Then, work your way up as your own score rises.
Join the right conversations: Taking part in a Twitter chat—a moderated discussion among folks interested in a given subject—can create a connection that will make other participants inclined to retweet your questions and content. You can search for Tweetchat topics daily. (The same principle applies to LinkedIn groups.
Ask earnest questions: It’s amazing how many people are willing to share their thoughts. But ask only questions you genuinely want to know the answer to—and, even better, on topics that matter to you personally. Most people have become pretty savvy at ignoring questions whose sole purpose is to promote a business.
Make social media a core habit: You won’t have much influence if you blow hot and cold on communicating online. To be an influencer, you have to use social tools such as Twitter as routinely as you do email and your mobile device.