The whole point of using social media is to build relationships with the right people. In your social network there are probably people who help you out in different ways. Recognizing these people and how they are helping you can help you expand these relationships for the benefit of everyone. Here are 6 of the most important people in your social network, and how they can help:
Influencers are people who like what you’re doing and tend to share it with their networks. These also are the people who will recommend you to others and generally increase your reputation via word of mouth. Usually these people are pretty obvious since you’ll hear about them recommending you or you’ll see them sharing your content online. Reaching out to influencers helps build this relationship. If you can learn more about them, you’ll know how you can help them too — perhaps sharing their content or recommending them to others.
People who are hubs are at the center of a network of people. They know a lot of people and are highly active in the community. Building relationships with Hubs can help extend your own network. Hubs tend to like to meet people for the purpose of extending their network (and influence) as well.
Connectors are a part of several different networks of people. By connecting with them, you not only expand into one network, you can expand into many. Connectors are a great way to meet people outside of your normal group or clique.
These can be some of the most difficult people to identify. They like everything you do and will quietly read your content and attend your speeches. They tend to be absorbers of information and a bit shy. It’s important to try to identify these people because they’re also likely to be customers at some point. Finding them and thanking them can go a long way towards building an even greater loyalty.
While they may not share your content and message, conversationalists do like to talk about it, either by posting comments or talking with you on social networks (or in person) or writing about you. Conversationalists are engaged with what you’re saying and can increase the engagement and loyalty of others. Because they’re talking to and about you, it’s also important to listen and address what they’re saying because others can see it and use it to judge your reputation.
Mentors are people in your network who are willing to not only share your content and connect you with others, but also help you learn and improve your skills. These people have an expertise that is valuable. Learning from them can help you improve your skills and your own expertise. (Thanks for the idea, Katie).
Obviously one of the most important people to connect with are your customers. If you can also identify customers who fall into one of the groups above, you can know more about how they’re influencing your relationship with others. Without customers, you’re not in business, so they are, by far, the most important people to identify in your social network.
What other people are important in your social network?
(image by Noah Sussman)