Last week, we hosted our first ever #KloutHero campaign to find people who consistently share useful, relevant, and compelling content on social media. Our community selected these individuals as their top five Klout Heroes: @Dr_Morton, @timherrera, @Shusmo, @nickthehouse. Today, we’re excited to share their social media secrets with you.
How do you set yourself apart online by creating a unique personal brand?
It’s not about necessarily about trying to create a brand as it is sharing and discussing about topics I care about and then seeing who else listens. It’s about passion and excitement and hopefully sharing and being buoyed by that positive energy.
Honestly? When I’m creating content, I always think to myself, “Does this accurately represent YOU as a brand?” If the answer is yes, I tweet it, if the answer is no, I workshop it until I get it just right. When you think about it, I’m nothing more than a brand evangelist (aka “#brandvangelist”), and my brand is me.
I’m a huge fan of content curation, I believe in giving & offering value. For the longest I positioned myself as a thought leader about the very topic that I have a huge passion for, which is learning all about social media, the tools, the tricks, what’s new and how to engage with the online community. If you are really good at one thing and have the passion for it let it be visible in your communications online and let it be 80% of your content.
I have a number of tricks but none are more important than this – Be Generous. I’m constantly talking, tweeting, and sharing about people and products that I love. Everyone loves a good testimonial and I give them out all the time.
What I found before starting my blog, podcast and social media presence was that the content I was looking for didn’t exist. I wanted to create inspiring content that was focused on LGBT business and career advice. What sets me apart now is a strong logo that is incorporated into my profile photo/ podcast artwork, informative interviews with leaders in the LGBT community giving advice to others who want to follow in their footsteps, and consistency with a bi-weekly podcast and weekly ‘App Pick of the Week’ that are promoted through social media.
What’s your strategy for creating content that drives engagement and creates reactions online?
I talk about the things that truly excite me. These are usually things within my area of expertise. Naturally, so much of this is tied to the work I produce for TARGIT. This is the stuff that interests me, excites me, and motivates me.
Four words: Fresh, unique, fearless, and content. You need to be yourself, but amplified. Think about it like this: It’s you x 10 (or even 10,000). You’ve got to be casual, but authoritative at the same time. Know your audience, and cater to their needs and desires.
No matter how deep I dig into Facebook algorithm, and try to see which types of posts create more engagement, I’m surprised that a post about my conversation with a local McDonald’s driver is one of my highly engaged posts. My content is segmented into 3 parts: Brand Content (10%) – Sector Content (20%) – Fun/Valuable (Relevant) Content (70%). I also recommend using visual posts (remember to get permission to use photos, and give credit), which tend to create higher engagement.
Know your audience. What types of content are you putting out there that people are reacting to? If you know that, then you know what your audience craves. Think like a publisher. Imagine that you are a magazine…what would the title be (based on your most popular content)? Once you know that, you know exactly what type of content you should be putting out based on the level of engagement.
I recommend using a headline that invokes emotions or a strong quote from your content, as this will always get the best engagement and shares. For my audience, content about gay marriage tends to work well. Using a good photo of yourself will help grab attention, especially when using Facebook advertising to specifically drive action. If you can interview and partner with people and organizations that will share your content online, more people will learn about you and engage with you. I’ve done this by writing for other online brands that have an online presence in my niche, and as a result, people in my network have noticed seeing my name everywhere.
What does success on social media mean to you?
It’s all about creating impact. But a huge part of that is listening. This is a field where you can throw out ideas and refine them. I consider it a success if I walk away smarter than I was when I came. Whether that’s sharing awesome and inspiring skydiving videos with fellow divers or discussing the way the human brain can work in synergy with computers, I’m able to take much of this dialogue back to my lab and come up with some pretty interesting things at www.targit.com. Success is the ability to surround yourself with the things that you’re passionate about and improve yourself from those.
Success to me means connecting with my audience and giving them great content that they love and deserve. It’s all about content. (Well, 90% about content — a great Klout score doesn’t hurt either ;) but you also need content!)
I love to help people, especially new startups and new brands getting online. Success to me is one a successful brand online comes to me and say: “Thank you for being our follower way back then and helping us share our content.”
Success for me is finding experts who are there when I need them. I’ve grown my audience by planting a flag as an expert in small business social media marketing. I’m looking for experts in everything so I can get the best information that enriches my life. Being called on as an expert and having a strong list of experts I can go to is what networking online is all about for me.
Success happens when I first connect with someone through social media and then meet in person, which has happened several times in the last two years. Without social media, I would have never otherwise been able to connect with these amazing people. It always helps too when as a result of finding me on social media, someone subscribes to my podcast in iTunes or my email list :-).