This is a continuation of a previous post on how we can give gratitude to people through social media.
While the focus of the first post was immediate gratitude, the focus of this second part is how you can make a lasting contribution to a person’s success. Leveraging your audience to introduce them to a new person or a person’s content, driving content to people’s sites, and leveraging your site to promote others.
As with the last post (and probably because it is the way my lazy mind works), these are organized from easiest to most difficult.
Quick and easy promotion
It’s common practice to tag Friday posts with #FF and to batch many different profiles in each tweet. There are plenty of solutions to help you manage lists like this Robert Caruso’s solution Bundle Post, Follow Friday helper, and a host of others. It’s a quick, easy way to show gratitude and may alert some of your followers to another great person to follow. As an aside, someone put me on a #FF post with Ken Blanchard today referencing “leadership”. I probably owe them money for that one!
Social sharing buttons also allow for you to promote people’s blog posts by pushing a button and sending it to your wall or stream. This is a super-easy way to introduce someone’s work into a new audience. For example this is a tweet I shared from one of the most entertaining sports journalists in Seattle, Jim Moore (aka the “Go 2 Guy“):
And here is the same post shared on Facebook:
You can see that with two clicks I can reach the sum audience of my Twitter and Facebook channels, and could go further to share on Google Plus.
Another great way to share easily is through Stumbleupon. I get a fair amount of referred traffic from Stumbleupon, and all things being equal with Tumblr, I prefer a direct link (though Tumblr is also a great option to introduce content to a broader audience). Here is how easy it was to share the Go2Guy’s post:
While it’s flattering to be mentioned in a typical #FF tweet, it can feel a bit impersonal. Shelby Sapusek writes one “follow Friday” recommendation each week and thoughtfully personalizes it. As recipient of one of her testimonial tweets, it feels much more personalized and special to be individually acknowledged. I also make a point to follow anyone that Shelby recommends, because I understand that her testimonial is much more thoughtful than the usual “Follow Friday” tweet. (It also doesn’t hurt the ego that Shelby is a bit of a Twitter celebrity, hosting “She Said, He Said” Twitter chat each week with her partner Jim Raffel. Here is an example of me trying to emulate Shelby:
— Jim Dougherty (@leaderswest) December 23, 2011
Just because the “Follow Friday” convention is synonymous with Twitter doesn’t mean you can’t do similar promotion on other social networks. Now that you can subscribe to people’s feeds on Facebook, it is easy to send a similar post to your friends on Facebook or Google+ describing why they would enjoy subscribing to their posts.
When it comes to sharing content, I don’t use social sharing buttons (which sometimes fail to credit the author). I use a combination of Google Reader and Buffer to easily curate great content and to ensure that appropriate credit and hashtags are applied. Here’s a screenshot of my Google Reader:
You can see that every blog that I follow I rename to a Twitter name, adding appropriate tags so that every tweet credits the author and makes it accessible to a broader audience. Then I use the “send to” Buffer (slightly modified) to curate awesome content in two clicks (maybe this should have been up on the list of easy ways to show gratitude?). Here’s an example of the same post by the Go2Guy from above sent through my Google Reader:
— Jim Dougherty (@leaderswest) December 24, 2011
Even if you don’t have some elaborate mechanism to curate content, you can still be an exceptional promoter as evidenced by arguably the most awesome person ever to open a Twitter account, Beth McShane, she of the Mommy Come Lately Blog:
— bethmcshane (@BethMcShane) December 24, 2011
If you want a lesson in awesome, Beth is an advanced course.
Above and beyond promotion
If you want to learn something about above and beyond gratitude and promotion, you should study Gini Dietrich. Not only has she authored some of the most thoughtful blog comments I have ever read (sadly never on my blog), not only does she take exceptional care to make sure that guest bloggers are credited for their work, but she takes “Follow Friday” to the next level by writing an entire post on her site each Friday dedicated to someone she finds worthy of following. She leverages her site to amplify a person’s reach to a new audience, and provides a backlink from an extraordinarily reputable site. Here is an example of one of her posts:
Finally, here’s a way outside of the box idea. What if you wrote a Linkedin recommendation for someone who rocked your world with social media? I would imagine that most people who participate in social media circles would agree that earned media is an extraordinarily valuable commodity, but most businesses seem unaware of how to leverage earned media for their benefit. Wouldn’t it be great if an employer went to a Linkedin profile and was able to see that someone had the capability to drive huge amounts of traffic to a site, was an exceptional blogger, or had a talent for keeping audiences exceptionally engaged? Take that one step further, what if a person got to engage in more social media initiatives based upon your recommendation? You could make someone’s job more engaging, could make that business more successful and make the world a happier place. Seems to me that’s some serious ROI. 😉
A quick disclaimer: No one mentioned gave me anything to write this of course!