Why social influencers and market leaders interact with me
In order to be successful in business, it is crucial to build up trust. Trust is most easily established through association - I may not know you, but if someone I know or trust recommends you then you're probably ok to work with.
Social interaction with social influencers
Guy Kawasaki enjoyed one of my articles so much that he tweeted, "this made my day". Guy has approaching half a million twitter followers.
That particular article is unique in that it required Amazon sales analytics data that is only available through the RankTracer Amazon sales analytics service. It's unique and original and personally relevant to Guy. That makes it noteworthy for him, and by extension, his followers.
Personally relevant, noteworthy content
Being noteworthy is sometimes enough to get noticed by market leaders and social influencers, but why leave anything to chance? I chose to track books written specifically by leading influencers so that the information I provided was not only original and unique, but also personally relevant to those influencers.
I try, wherever possible, to provide something of personal interest to give my content context. This context is something that encourages social interaction by target market leaders.
A few days ago I had a twitter chat with Eric Ries, who is the author of the best selling title "The Lean Startup". He wanted to know how his book was continuing to sell on Amazon, after seeing that it had dipped back into the Amazon top 100.
I tweeted a graph of his previous week's sales performance so that he could see when and where his book was selling well. As it turns out, it always sells well. Now he knows it and can share that graph with his substantial following - courtesy of me.
Converting traditional authority into social influence
Not every achievement is immediately available to leverage via social networks. But every achievement that is relevant to your business or personal objectives should become part of your social sphere of influence in one way or another.
Books that I have written are recommended reading at some of the world's top educational establishments. For example, my book on Drupal was, or possibly still is, recommended reading in certain courses at MIT.
Not everyone provides information of sufficient quality to be recommended by MIT professors. I do. Now you know.
The social rewards of being trustworthy by association
In the same way that one can be guilty by association, it is also very much possible to be trustworthy by association.
Since trust and authority are important components of social influence, it is desirable to associate with leaders and other people of authority as much as possible.
By associating with leaders and authority figures, you are placing the public's perception of you and your business in the same ballpark as the people you associate with. In other words, it's not what you know; it's not who you know; it's who people think you know.
Why social association works
Fortunately, social media rewards businesses and people who make connections. This is because everyone wants visibility - being in the spotlight is good for business.
What this means is that the very people you associate with through your content and social interactions, are rewarded by virtue of the fact that they are being talked about.
It's like the saying:
"The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about."
Don't be afraid to freely discuss other people. Everyone loves being talked about. How much would you enjoy coming across an article that talks about how great you are and how your business did a good job? You'd be delighted, and would most likely want to connect with the author in some way.
Leveraging social interaction to "connect-up"
Building trust and authority using social interaction and association is not only a powerful way to increase social influence, it is also a powerful way to connect-up. Connecting up means that you actively seek out people in a position of greater authority and influence to connect with.
Be warned. It's no good creating flattering content that is patently void of any real substance. It's no good writing noise that doesn't contribute in some way.
Ensure that your content and social interaction holds the promise of being interesting, insightful, dynamic and engaging, fun, friendly and constructive.
Now's the time to re-iterate that John Jantsch, a world leading marketer, follows me on twitter. What does he know that you don't?
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