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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Austin

Who to follow on social media

Having a killer social media presence involves more than circulating self-generated content. You also want to show your friends and followers that you’re an insider with great scoop about the trailblazers, trendsetters and up-and-comers in your industry.

The content that you share and circulate is part of your social media marketing persona. A key way to keep your fingers on that pulse is by being systematic and strategic about whom you follow. What you read informs what you share; so, make sure you’re positioning yourself to read fresh, compelling posts, articles and updates.

Grow your social media influence campaign by being a strategic follower; here’s how.

Industry know-how

Follow the professional organizations that are instrumental to the work you do. Also, find the organizations that support the populations that you serve.

If you own a Visiting Angels office, for example, following the Alzheimer’s Association (nationally and locally) and the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AAPR) stands to generate meaningful content that will benefit you and your followers.

Follow as many professional organizations as you find relevant to the work you do. Keep doing the research. You want your audience to see you as a who’s who of industrial expertise. You create that persona when you actively build it through your research.

Know your publications

Find out which publications matter for your industry. Where is the most reliable health news posted, for example? If you’re posting information about diet and exercise, which dieticians and doctors will win over your audience? Citing the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, the Cleveland Clinic, for example, is likely to be compelling and useful to your friends and followers.

Citing helpful content from credible, top-notch sources distinguishes you as resource on social media. Plus, those posts are sharable, which is always your social media marketing aim.

Know your experts

Get to know the individual practitioners, writers, thinkers and professionals who are doing great work in your industry. If you read an article that impresses you, circulate it to your audience, and then start following the author and the publication. See who that author cites in the piece and follow that writer or researcher as well.

Also, explore which writers, publications and professional organizations the writers you admire follow. Then follow those too. You are building your own mini think tank. So be purposeful and systematic about how you find the voices that inform you influencer operation.

Knowing who is shaping scholarship in your industry and seeing what they read and whom they follow positions you to learn about industry news as it unfolds. It also further builds your credibility as an insider.

Stay true to your professional identity

Every influencer must decide what kind of relationship he or she wants to have with controversy. Each industry has those fringe figures who challenge the mainline with thinking that goes a bit beyond the norm. Maybe this suits you and your audience perfectly, and you’re happy to engage and circulate content that is a bit challenging.

Maybe you don’t even want to get into more controversial topics, and your approach is just to provide more conventional, resource information.

There’s thinking that supports both perspectives as they relate to social media strategy. Both it really boils down to what works for you - what do you want to share and project? Know your voice and your goal, so that you can make sound decisions that further it. Circulating controversial content off-the-cuff isn’t a sound strategy. Think through any content that could hit your audience’s ear in a way that could stir up controversy for you. Decide if you welcome that or if you’d rather not.

You’re already an influencer

Social media users follow you because you’re an influencer. You’re an expert. They want to learn more, and they believe that you can help. Take that role seriously. It’s an exciting job to have, and you’re well positioned to do it. You know your subject matter, otherwise you wouldn’t have the friends and followers you do. Share your savvy. Your audience will love you for it.

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