Become A Power User By Becoming A Valuable User

It’s no secret that having a power account on social media sites can mean the difference between a successful campaign and one that flops. It’s not everything, but it is definitely important. With more and more people trying to leverage the social communities for marketing campaigns, it’s important that you get every edge that you can, a power account being one of them.

There are a couple of big reasons why being a power user helps. First, power users tend to have a large circle of friends on the social media sites. Therefore, when the power user submits content, it reaches a larger audience of people who are more likely to vote on that submission because they have similar interests. One of the past Let’s Get Social columns, Digg Friending 101 & The Top Diggers List, gives more detailed examples of this with Digg.

The second reason is that power users got to where they are by providing real value to the community. The community trusts their submissions, and they view power users as authorities on various subjects based on their history.

The topic of adding friends to create power accounts on social media sites has been beat to death in the past. I am friended several times a day by people that are obviously making an attempt at this. But it seems like most people haven’t realized that there is more to it then just simply friending as many people as possible.

The people who are trying to do this stick out like a sore thumb. Every time someone adds me as a friend, the first thing I do is check his or her submission history. If that person has only submitted content from one website, it’s pretty obvious that their interests are self-aligned, and they are not really interested in becoming a valuable member of the community. Because of this, I will never friend these people back. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

These are the same people that never have success with social media campaigns. I suppose this is a good thing as it helps filter out the spam. However, at the same time there are people who could possibly want to become valuable resources but they just don’t know better.

So friending as many people as possible alone is not enough to become a power user and have successful campaigns. You must first provide value to the community before you can take value in return. Doing this is a lot simpler that you might realize, and here a few rules that you can follow.

  • Be a genuine resource
    Although you may have ulterior motives such as promoting your own content, you shouldn’t try it until you have become a trusted resource to the community. You can do this by submitting content from other sites around the same topic that you think others will enjoy. Don’t just submit anything and everything; otherwise, you’re not being a real resource. Only submit the stuff that is unique and has takeaway value for people who read it. Build up a reputation as an authority on that subject, and you’ll notice that your success ratio will increase.
  • Make friends that have similar interests
    Don’t just make friends for the sake of increasing the amount of friends you have. Find the people who are active in the community and have similar interests as you. Not only will this increase the chances that they vote on your submission, but if you pay attention to their submissions, chances are that you will learn from them.
  • Don’t submit your own content too much
    Once you have built up your reputation, and you’ve had some success submitting other people’s content, you can try submitting your own. But you need to continue submitting the other content as well. A good rule of thumb I have is that I will never submit my own content more than 10 percent of the time. Even that is a fairly high number. You also need to take a step back and look at your own content through the eyes of someone else before you submit it. Is it really good enough to become popular with your biases aside?

The bottom line is that, just like with most other things in life, there are no easy way to success. Building a power account on social media sites takes a lot of work, but the benefits are well worth it.

Cameron Olthuis is director of marketing and design for ACS and writes regularly on social media issues through the company’s blog, Pronet Advertising. The Let’s Get Social column appears Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Search & Social | Social Media Marketing


About The Author: is the Director of Audience Development at Clicker, the complete programming guide for Internet television. He develops and leads the company's marketing initiatives, utilizing traffic acquisition strategies for maximizing traffic and search engine exposure. You can follow Cameron on Twitter @factive.

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