Eminence in the Social Age: How to… [3/3]

Now we’ve covered the what is (part 1) and why (part 2) of working on your eminence and how this reflects in the social age, we finish the series with the how to. We want to provide you with useful guidance on the different levels of engagement and practical tips and tools on how to get there. Learn from the best; @IBMcloud social business manager Katie Keating joins me again in this last post with some valuable tips.

How eminent do you want to be?

If you want to improve your eminence, all the tools are there! Just figure out what type of social media user you currently are, and where you want to be. Second, define your strategy on how to get there, and which tools to use. Then, monitor and feed the beast!

1. Where am I and where do I want to be?

socialladder2011smallTo figure out where you are and where you want to be, I suggest using Forrester’s Social Technographics, originated in 2006, but still widely used. This model shows how consumers approach social technologies – not just the adoption of individual technologies – using the metaphor of a ladder to show the level of participation.

Personally I’m shooting for the top of the ladder, a creator; publishing blogs regularly and managing my own website. Actually, I’m publishing my blog posts on different venues like Wired Insight, Thoughts on Cloud and The Atlantic depending on the type of content and the audience I envision.

2. Define your strategy and tools.

Start by writing a good bio – your bio is your personal branding – and make your LinkedIn perfect – as it is often the first thing that comes up in a search of your name. Use this bio consistently for all the different social media channels and venues in which you engage. Next, schedule time to engage; identify venues where there is dialog in your area of expertise. Use a web curator such as Google Reader or mobile apps such as Flipboard or Zite to source content that interests you.

Second, define which tools match your strategy and where you want to be. There are many tools to help you doing so, just look at this webpage that summarizes many of them. I personally manage my social identities – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – using Hootsuite, which is free and allows me to engage from one profile using my laptops, tablets and smartphone. Hootsuite also allows to schedule your messages; spend only 10 minutes once a day and be present online the whole day.

Tip from Katie: Go mobile! Update your status on the go, share photos using Instagram, reply to comments or mentions as they come in.

3. Monitor your eminence, influence and presence.

Though there is quite some debate about the scientific value of social influence scoring tools like PeerIndex, Klout and Kred, they might be useful if you want to loosely benchmark your progress. For instance, Klout moment shows how your content has influenced the people in your networks.

Search your name and keywords aligned to your name. Use this as intelligence to continue to refine profiles. Be proactive, not reactive. If you publish blog posts or plan to start writing, use Google+ Authorship to show your profile image next to your blog post search results.

Tip from Katie: Set your benchmarks. Make note of your existing followers on the different channels you participate in. If you have a blog, check out how many views your posts seem to get. Google your name and see what search ranking you’re at. This way, you can measure whether or not your efforts help you grow.

4. Feed the beast!

Start by staying current, there are many great sources and lists out there. A great general list is for instance the Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow by The Huffington Post. In one of my fields expertise, cloud computing, an example is for instance the weekly Who’s Who in Cloud.

If you also want to be a creator: find an interesting subject on which to elaborate. I personally like to work with areas of tension like “business and technology” or “auditability and standardized services”. See what additional information sources you can find, both internally and externally. Bonus: These additional sources are also great to share on Twitter for instance. Than combine the information gathered and share your insight; Insight plus hindsight equals foresight.

Tip from Katie: Don’t be afraid to share a blend of professional insight and personal experiences. Sharing a photo of your group at dinner, or a tweet about a beautiful day at the golf course gives people a bridge via which they can connect with you on a personal level, and will build their trust in your professional expertise.

Build your eminence consistently in a specific field of expertise: People want to follow you because they get regular, high quality, information from you in the area they expect you. As this blog post 4 Reasons To Create High-Caliber Content That People (And Google!) explains, high quality content is hard to compete with, becomes popular, “sticks” in Google, and builds subscribers.

Concluding

I think these three posts have shown you that your personal eminence matters and can offer great potential for your career, at whatever company out there. Use you full potential and get where you want to be in life and work!

Final tip from Katie: Find the white space. As individuals with unique experiences, personalities, and areas of expertise, you DO have something to offer. Look for places that are untapped where you can fill a void. The key here is to take the time to listen and look first to find these opportunities.

This leads me to thank you for reading this series of blog posts on Eminence in the Social Age. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this subject. Just drop me a line or comment to this post.

By Edwin Schouten and Katie Keating. Find out more about Edwin on edwinschouten.nl or follow him via @schoutene, find more wisdom from Katie via @ThingsSheSaid.

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