Learning What Makes You Influential In Social Media

We started blogging to distill our learning each week. It’s been fun but we’re not content to just write into the ether anymore after seeing the impact and influence many of our peers have garnered from their intelligent use of social media. The major questions are how to do you measure “influence” and how do you systematically improve yours?

Luckily there are plenty of great tools and strategies. Google Analytics to track traffic, Klout to track an algorithmic measure of your twitter influence and Bit.Ly to track clicks on your referenced links. As with everything else you want to master, you must use the tools to constantly test your hypothesis about what will improve your metrics. Don’t forget to be clear about which metrics you want to improve (for us it’s the number of responses and amount of traffic).

So how are we going to take this blog and our twitter accounts to the next level? Right now, this blog gets roughly 50 unique readers each week and is growing steadily at 10% per week. You may have noticed that in the past couple weeks I’ve released multiple tweets and Facebook announcements about the same blog posts at different times. It was a test, you guys all passed! We learned from these experiments that releasing the blog at a bad time impacts awareness, and have since learned that mid-week at noon EST is the best time to publish for our audience. It gives the post maximum awareness and allows people time before the weekend to read it, once the weekend hits the readership drops to zero. Another thing we’ve learned from some big bloggers in town is that we need to be more active on other blogs’ comments, be guest bloggers for others and have others guest blog for us. You’ll see both these strategies at work in the coming weeks.

On the twitter front things are different. Success for us is measured in large part by the interaction we get in the form of retweets and engagement in larger conversations with multiple people. Last week one of my tweets about a recipe was retweeted by a handful of followers and got hundreds of clickthroughs and a lot of new followers for us. How do we replicate this success with content relevant to our industry and at the same time enhance our brand? More importantly how do we leverage tweets to reach my talent acquisition goals? It’s a two pronged strategy, first we’re starting to monitor search terms relevant to greetings and the creative community as a whole in order to respond and engage with people doing cool stuff. For instance this past week we reached out to the official funny poet of Wimbledon! Another strategy is to interact with people outside of Twitter. For instance, in one of my personal side projects I’m reviewing every coffee shop in Boulder (bouldercoffee.tumblr.com) and have been using twitter to post “where is Joel at today” posts with a prize for the person who finds me in real life. This has been really successful. The combination of engagement, fun and games and relevance to my highly localized twitter following has resonated well. So that’s my amateurish approach and we’ll see how it works. I know some readers are the country’s foremost social media and community management experts. I’m talking about you @MikeFraietta, @AndrewHyde, @SativaBella, @tcabeen. Use that comment box and give me your thoughts.

At the moment we’re nobodies in social media, but after 3 months completely engrossed in the technology startup community we’re hooked. The value of this medium to propel your brand, enhance your influence and even help gain traction for your product is huge. As with everything, find the people who do it best and learn how to improve.

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Learning What Makes You Influential In Social Media

5 thoughts on “Learning What Makes You Influential In Social Media

  1. Terrific post. I love that you’re able to use analytics so well, yet remain genuine in your engagement. It’s a VERY difficult balance to maintain.

    I don’t use analytics. At all. I can’t do it and still feel genuine. A lot of companies are terrific at one or the other, but VERY rarely can walk that fine line between both.

    My only criticism, then, is your phrase “my amateurish approach”. Downplay your capabilities and everyone will believe you. In this case, where you’re just plain wrong (you’re clearly NOT an amateur!), that’s the worst message to send.

    Cebaco is a classy company run by two classy, savvy guys. Recognize that and run with it.

    I’m amazing. I’ll be the first to say it. (But I won’t be the only one.) And as amazing as I am, I’ve still got a great deal to learn from you.

    In summary: I’m really looking forward to our next brainstorming session.

  2. Good job, Joel!
    It’s amazing what you have already accomplished in Boulder in such a short period of time. I enjoy reading your blog because I get an update on what Cebaco is working on, a good review of Boulder Social Media/Tech world and see how you are personally learning/adjusting to Boulder culture . I think your blog always have a good combination of these elements that everybody can either relate to or learn from.

    As for being a copy cat… I forgive you because you are awesome.
    Maybe we can come up with a way to do something together, like find @JoelWish and get a clue from him for finding @WhereisYukoAt …

    See you soon!

  3. I love the angle of this post Joel; you teach me something about peak times and leave me thinking about analytics a bit more than usual. I don’t weigh heavy on the analytics, but do take in certain statistics to weigh out some important decisions. If there was a linear gauge chart from @tcabeen to @statboy314 (I’m making that name up), my needle is much closer to @tcabeen than to @statboy314.

    You guys are definitely not nobodies or amateurs. Keep putting out the good and you’ll get the visibility you need. Give us something to get out of it…sharing relevant stats and information is often a great way to do so. I’m looking forward to future posts.

    Mike Fraietta | @mikefraietta | Global Community Manager

  4. Great post! I completely agree with @Tcabeen though, your efforts are definitely not amateurish whatsoever. Social media as a whole is such a new frontier that doing tests on tweeting at different times/days to see what gets you the most input is definitely needed, encouraged and will vary for every company/brand. As long as you are not auto-dm’ing people to say “Thanks for the follow” I think everyone will agree that what you are doing is not novice, you are just trying to learn and so are the rest of us.

    Your dedication to blogging, both for Cebaco and Boulder Coffee, is admirable. Personally I struggle with keeping my own blog up to date (as I hide knowing everyone will now go look at my blog – quick, go post something). I hope your readership continues to grow over the coming weeks.

    Mike is definitely on track, give us some stats and information that we find interesting and relevant and we will do the sharing for you.

    Reading this post has given me the inspiration to go home and write for a few hours, so thanks for getting me motivated. Good luck to you and keep blogging!

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