Building up your social media authority is not the easiest process, but done properly, it can truly deliver the type of results that you are really looking for.  Remember, that authenticity really pays off here, and can translate into dollars and cents in your pocket.  These tips start at the beginning and will give you a boost from the ground up.

Start at the Beginning

You may think that once established you can leave your twitter account or other social media accounts alone.  This is not the case, even if you are already a leading expert in your field before you even start using a social media site.  Let’s use Twitter as an example.  The first thing you might be tempted to do when you open a twitter account is to start adding friends to your account.  However, this would be a mistake.  If someone gets a notification of a new follower, they might not immediately recognize you as you by your twitter user name. Instead of randomly adding people at first, you need to flesh out your profile.  Add your head shot to the profile page.  Fill out your bio.  Provide a link back to your website.  Let people who go to your profile page know who you are.  Many people just won’t add someone as a contact if they can’t figure out who they are or what they represent immediately.

Go Ahead and Say Something

Again, before you start friending people, start adding updates.  On twitter, start using it for a day or two.  Get at least beyond the “I’m using twitter” initial tweet.  Add the type of content and updates that you will continue to use into the future.  Let your potential followers know the type of information that they will get if they become one of your followers.  Many people won’t follow someone if that person isn’t going to provide valuable content.  Twitter shows your last tweet under your user name when someone checks to see who their own followers are, so you always want to be aware that your last tweet is going to represent you to someone.

Start Following People

Depending on how they have their notifications set up, twitter will let someone know when they have a new follower.  Once you have your profile robustly developed, now is the time to start following people.  Start by using your e-address books to see if any of the people you know in real life use twitter.  Go ahead and follow them.  Next, start mining their contacts for people you think are important in your industry.  Use the underutilized list function of twitter to find people that are related to your field.  Those people should see that you are someone that can provide content that is important to them.

You really need to have an actual plan of action for your social media accounts.  Don’t dismiss them as something extra.  They really are an important part of your overall business model, and they need to be given the respect they deserve.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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