Here are the strategies Scoble used to build his stratospheric social networking fan base.
1. Become an early adopter
Yes, I completely understand that it’s not easy to be to become a social media buff. There’s way too much that is happening, and it is all happening way too fast. At the same time, social media and marketing your business or profession on it is not to be missed. It has become absolutely crucial to get on at least some of the social networking sites, and stay in loop. To follow the leaders in your niche, just to see where your space is evolving. It is also extremely important to get to know your target audience better…to know what they like, dislike and ignore.
Now rather than trying to do too much and going after too many things, a better strategy is to become an early adopter of a social media site that is up and coming. It is even better when you do not just become an early adopter but gain expertise in that area. This is one of the easiest ways to stand head and shoulders above the crowd, and to tap opportunities presented by that particular social media site unlike anyone else.
One of the numerous advantages of early adoption is that you could be cited by the media as a “power user” and bring disproportionate attention. The platform itself may recommend you to others (just as Google directed new users to Scoble, empowering him to hit nearly 3 million followers in only a year’s time).
In other words, should you get in on the ground floor, your following will grow as the platform does. Scoble managed to rack up an astonishing 730,000 opinions on Google in a 90-day span.
“If you come in late,” he says, “you need to spend more energy to get a network of 1,000 individuals than I did [for all of my followers].”
2. Go where the people are
Scoble established his reputation as a blogger, but should you visit his blog now, he’ll tell you this: “After giving it some thought I’ve totally gone to Facebook [and Twitter and Google ]… Someday I might return to the blog, but the world has proceeded and it is on social media.”
Scoble received a lot of backlash for his decision to go all-in on social media scene.
I saw social networks were going to be important. I saw it was worthy to concentrate all my energy in these brand new places.” “You’ve got to determine where they are.”
3. Take advantage of trends and work with them.
Of course, diving head first into a new platform may pay off handsomely. You can also, however, find yourself an alone “mayor” on Foursquare or the inhabitant of a post-apocalyptic wasteland on Second Life.
In case the platform fails or stagnates, your efforts could go to waste. I imagine many social media advisers and authors — some of whom wrote books extolling the service — are disappointed by its own failure to take off among the general public. That’s why it is important invest in multiple platforms and to hedge your bets.
In the current social media scenario, it is increasingly hard to be noticed. Gaining a robust following on social media allows you reach your audience and to cut through the sound. To jumpstart the process, it is crucial that you watch for trends and identify new social media and networking routes that your audience is embracing.
You’ll optimize your chance of being found, by getting on board early. Once a networking platform has a ton of users, it becomes extremely difficult to stand out. Therefore, it is best to get on board early, get a level of expertise on that platform and then use that expertise to gain exposure as an expert. This strategy is far easier than trying to get people to follow you once that specific social media platform is being used by millions.
As you invest, it is also essential to hedge your bets, because your social media site of choice may turn in the next big thing like Facebook … or maybe like Friendster. Be sure you’re reaching people via multiple channels, so your message can get through uninterrupted, regardless of whether your preferred network falters.
“Even in the event that you’re into the most bizarre, most esoteric thing in the whole world, there are likely at least 50 other people on earth into your thing,” says Scoble.
With the evolution of social networking and the fast increasing social media sites, you can now find them and become a social media juggernaut.
Lastly, do not ignore the power of social signals for building a powerful brand in social media. You can get social signals the easy way…and that easy way is to simply buy social signals.