I’m reading Phyllis Khare’s Social Media Marketing eLearning Kit for Dummies. In it, she talks about building social authority. What is social authority, you ask? It’s everything you do to establish yourself as an expert online:
- Tweeting an article that your followers would be interested in (in your industry)
- Blogging about your field
- Offering your expertise for free to answer questions on sites like Quora
Khare says to start building your social authority, it’s important to have accounts on several social platforms. At a bare minimum, you should have profiles for Twitter, Facebook (business page, not just personal profile), LinkedIn and Google + (because it’s great for showing up in Google results). She mentions YouTube as well, but I think if you’re not making videos this won’t help you much.
She also says to make your branding consistent across all these platforms (as well as your website, blog, business cards, etc). This is imperative; it won’t do any good if you have a different logo or different images or color themes on all channels. It confuses your followers, and doesn’t help them connect the dots between the platforms you’re active on. Use the same profile picture and logo for all.
Measuring Your Social Authority…or Should You Bother?
It’s easy to get caught up in obsessing over your numbers, but don’t. Honestly, the best way to know whether your social authority is on the rise is by paying attention to how many retweets, shares and comments your efforts are getting. But if you must be measured, use these sites as a benchmark and check in occasionally to see if they improve.
- Klout: This site measures your activity and those of your followers sharing your updates.
- PageRank: Google’s assessment of how your website ranks among others.
- Alexa: Another website ranker.
If you want to be a social authority, work at it. Write and share meaningful content, comment on others’ posts and be a good social neighbor. Over time it will pay off, and help you get more web traffic and business.