Social media – influence talks!

Have you thought about the fact that the quality of the content you post on social media is branding you? You actually need to be a bit like a skilled politician and convey your thoughts and ideas in ways that have an impact.

Maybe it’s time to decide what you are trying to achieve on Linkedin and other social media networks? How are you going to influence others if you don’t have a strategy?

What do you want out of social media?

Maybe it’s time to look at what you are trying to achieve on Linkedin and other social media networks? If not, the likelihood of anything beneficial happening is slim. How are you going to influence others in order to achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are?

And influence that’s what social media is all about. If nothing else influence to create a good impression of yourself and your company.

The originality syndrome

Google’s Algorithm rewards originality. Am really pleased about that because I refuse to write for search engines. It ruins your writing to constantly have to think about using the right key words and writing a headline the search engines would love.

Originality is also what counts on social media networks if you would like to have influence. Business professionals are changing how they cooperate because of online communities. And they want to be associate with people with a mind of their own. And that doesn’t mean people who criticize for the sake of criticising. Or complicate an issue so much it’s difficult to understand what they are trying to say. Or worse, prove themselves at the expense of others.

Thought leadership is the name of the game

Are you up to thought leadership i.e. ideas that merit attention? Because that’s needed if you would like to be recognized as a thought leader. Needless to say that signifies that you know what you are doing, say, on Linkedin and what the people you are trying to influence are interested in getting from you.

Are you in the driving seat?

An abundance of information is coming at us online. And your ability to act and get others to act is critical in this new economy. Nor least since professional networks facilitate interactions by enabling us to cooperate no matter where in the world we are. That’s the currency on social media.

Do you have influence?

How many people request to connect with you on say, Linkedin, on a weekly basis? Do people interact with you in discussions you start? Are your posts being syndicated? Do people share your posts with their networks? Are you getting positive feedback from other members of social media networks? Are you being criticized? The latter you unfortunately can’t avoid unless what you have to say is of no relevance whatsoever.

There are many ways of determining how much influence you have. However, unless you honestly look at those issues you will just be drifting along and not contribute the quality that makes you a thought leader. Maybe your actions are even branding you the wrong way?

Search engines record everything and forget nothing

Do you realize that more and more companies are beginning to use new software that show exactly what a person has been doing on social media? So people leaving nasty comments or parroting should be careful. Search engines record everything and forget nothing. Those who insult others and pretend they are someone they are not will pay a heavy price.

Do you know what you are trying to accomplish on social media? If so, what are you trying to achieve? If you are not sure, maybe it’s better to keep a low profile until you have a strategy? Then when you have made up your mind, you can start having an impact and build up the influence you want, and need, to reach your goals.

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46 Responses to “Social media – influence talks!”

  1. Dennis Salvatier Says:

    You're absolutely right. Most people only look at social media as marketing tool and not a branding tool. I always say that if you don't brand yourself, people will brand you, so you hit the nail on the head by saying you can also brand yourself in a negative light as well. Trolling is a such a huge problem on the web.

  2. GuyW Says:

    Absolutely, Catarina. The key is in the second work of "social media" – it's as much media as newspapers, magazine, radio, TV, etc., and with an even wider reach, potentially, than these more traditional forms. This means you can do your reputation even more damage if you get it wrong.

    Do it right, of course, and the sky's the limit – look at what Arianna Huffington did with The Huffington Post, for example.

  3. keyuri joshi Says:

    Excellent post that reminds us to maintain our integrity in our work. I've always felt that I want my blog posts not just to woo the massess of people, but the right type of person who resonates with the type of value I aim to provide. I agree with you about the new google anayltics being for the better as they focus on quality.

  4. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Keyuri.

  5. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Dennis it's amazing how many people are just floating about not knowing what they are doing on social media. Then suddenly they will discover that they have a bad reputation, and then what? Difficult to start from scratch even since they have branded themselves in a negative way.

  6. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Huffington Post is an excellent example of social media used very well.

    But people need a strategy even for how they behave and act on Linkedin and other social media networks. Look at all these people into posting MLMs so that they get paid when someone clicks on their post. How are they going to remove that label in the future? Difficult since they have got themselves a bad name for very little money.

  7. Kurt Rieger Says:

    Hi all
    Social media – Thanks to LinkedIn the quality of connectivity between professional people has improved, the scope has widened and it also bridges thegender gap. I am a stong advocate of co-leadership – society is where it is today as a result of small family businesses run by conjoined leadership – diversity in thinking is a key in the success formula.

  8. Kurt Rieger Says:

    I look at social media as a means of sharing knowlege/ information within socially responsible parameters.
    It is a lack of social responsible action that led society to where we are – to change the quality of these actions is facilitated by social media.
    Thank you Catarina for starting this blog (is the interpreation correct – not savvy with the language)

  9. Susan Oakes Says:

    Hi Catarina,

    Social media is to me a marketing tactic and must fit in to your overall marketing strategy. What you do and say must be consistent with all other elements. People forget that we do gain a perception of you and your brand from what you say and how you interact with others on social media platforms.

  10. christian bryant Says:

    Great post as usual. I would like to add that I believe interaction and engagement with your audience is very important as well — in fact equally important. I think this trend will only increase, especially as competition becomes more fierce. We must remember that the internet is still quite young. So yes, you're right on point here, but no matter what you write, if your readers don't feel you are listening to them and responsive, it can also greatly detract from your ability to influence — especially in the long run.

    Thanks for the great post, as usual!

    My recent post 5 Tips To Effectively Manage Your Time On Social Networking Sites &amp Social Media Tips For Your Business

  11. Tim Gieseke Says:

    Thanks for bringing this awareness to social media. It is evolving toward the same good ole stuff that old-fashioned talking did – branded us as a type of person – but on a scale that is quite hard to comprehend. I also believe that since social media is just in its infancy the real value will begin to emerge as you mention, when software, analysts and engine intelligence crank it up a notch.

  12. catarinaalexon Says:

    Exactly Susan. It's always been important that all your marketing is consistent and the same message comes across everywhere. But in today's world it's a must. Your message must be exactly the same everywhere. If not people will notice and be confused.

  13. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, it is isn't it Kurt. But quality of thinking and ideas is also crucial if you want to influence.

  14. catarinaalexon Says:

    That's an interesting aspect of the subject Kurt.

  15. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Christian. Listening is a key aspect to influence. But no matter how much you listen you will not be a thought leader if your ideas and thought are just the same as everybody elses.

  16. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Tim.

  17. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you like it Victor. Presumably you are referring to the picture? It's just a screenshot.

  18. Slim Says:

    Brilliant insight, Catarina.

    The new Google algorithm is something I cannot complain about. Still, ranking has its limits. When I was a freelance website designer years back, I had some of the most outstanding search engine results. It did not translate into much business. Then, too, I was focused on a niche market that did not lend itself to a grand internet presence.

    Now, I've noticed that my blog has come up very high in the ranks. 1, 2, 3, on some search terms as they relate to my blog. However, those figures are misleading. They certainly do not translate into a flood of visitors. (I was Googled in a Russian search engine.) Today, I had 13 hits from Russia. Today, Argentina, 5; Qatar, 1. (Qatar?!)

    I firmly believe (stated in my blog) that social media of yesterday will become the business media of today. That will have some influence on the importance of search engine ranking. However, that influence may be to diminish the importance of search engine ranking. As stated in one posting on Linkedin: Saatchi and Saatchi said Facebook will replace email. Perhaps it will be a search engine as well.

    The exception would be if the website is the destination not the conduit through which one does business. I.e. L L Bean. But the destination is known. The site is for catalogue sales.

    In many cases, the website is analogous to a book. The book is the destination. In other cases, the website is the catalogue. L L Bean. The true destination is the shipping department.

    Am I off target or did I miss the point?


    My recent post Netopian Reality

  19. keepupweb Says:

    Nice post and a word to the wise if anyone isn't being very careful. I've always said that everything you do is either a relationship builder or a relationship destroyer. The at goes for online interactions as well as in person.

    You asked what we are trying to do with social media. I am trying to build awareness of myself as a resource for business related blogging with a focus on business strategy. It's critical to me to project an image of professionalism. I believe my approach is similar to yours in this.
    My recent post Tips for Optimizing Photos and Graphics for Your Blog

  20. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you. Great comment and strategy Sherryl.

  21. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Slim. What's your strategy on social media?

    Search engine rankings isn't the only way to get visitors to your blog. There is no avoiding promoting it. My blog has hits from 86 countries. But not all from search engines.

  22. Jeannette Paladino Says:

    Excellent advice about having a blogging strategy. The blog I wrote yesterday on how to write a blog post came from my excel spread sheet of blog ideas. It's a constant process of refining your strategy to see what's working and not working. Frankly, right now I'm certainly using key words to bring people to my site, but my ultimate goal is offline connections so I'm writing for the people I want as clients and if they don't get to my site through search, I lead them there so they can check out the merchandise! Yes, we want to be found in search but, more importantly, we need to remember that we're in business and how is social media going to fit into the marketing mix to help us achieve our business goals.

  23. resumesurvislady Says:

    Very interesting! This is something I am trying to be very conscious of as I am a huge networker on LinkedIn and have now started blogging. While I have been on LinkedIn, the other aspect of social media are still fairly new to me and before I put anything out there I run it through "filters"….including making sure it would be appropriate for anyone to read including my manager, family and colleagues.
    My recent post LinkedIn Recommendations on Resumes

  24. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks. What's your strategy on Linkedin? What are you trying to achive? And how do you portray yourself in order to reach your goal?

  25. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good points Jeannette. What's your strategy on Linkedin and other social media networks?

  26. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good pointJill.

  27. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree Diana.

  28. Taral Vaidya Says:


    To some extent, i think that in any case What we write reflects upon us. Sometimes we write to just let everyone know, sometimes our ego prompts us to write something to correct someone or sometimes, we write to just let off steam. I guess, writing reflects thought and also emotion at that point of time. Take about two dozen different posts by a person on a couple of topics and you have a characteristic of the person in front of you. Social media interaction is a more formal platform where a person basically guards himself lest he give the wrong impression.
    I however, have a question for you Caterina. Why must every word we write or say reflect upon us. Why must one use social media to "achieve" something. Why must he not let his thoughts flow and let people pick what they choose to. Why must one be always on guard. What is wrong in letting people know what you "really" think rather than what you "should" think?

  29. catarinaalexon Says:

    Taral, nothing is wrong with letting people know what you really think.

    However for example, being nasty and letting off steam will work against you. New software is already being used by companies that allow them to see everything a person has written on social media. And that kind of softwares will be used be everyone, just a question of how long it takes. And search engines record everything and forget nothing. So correcting someone in an insulting way may make you un-employable and stop people from wanting to do business with you. Simple as that. Don't write anything you don't wish to be associated with.

  30. Rob Berman Says:


    As with any communications strategy we should have a plan for why we are online. Different tools like Twitter and Facebook are distinct from LinkedIn etc. Blogs can be used on all three but for different purposes. Are we looking for clients, building a brand, sharing our experience or all three?

    Thanks for the reminder,

    My recent post Product Development- 9 Critical Lessons Learned

  31. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Rob.

  32. Kathy Harris Says:

    I've been in Executive Search for a long time and it's amazing how many otherwise really bright people don't think 'personal branding' when posting online. As a matter of course for entry into the job market I counsel candidates to review their social media profiles. Caterina's warning of what's out there is permanent is great advice. Thanks!

  33. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Kathy. How do you react when you notice that a candidate is insulting other members of social networks? Or parroting by copying and pasting from HBR, NYT or whatever reputable source, just changing a few words, to appear "think tankish"?

  34. Margret Says:

    Absolutely right Kathy. I know of one person who brands herself as an expert marketer to HNW individuals and goes on about how discretion is the word of the day on her website and then publishes inexplicably, excruciatingly personal blogs on a major site. Totally bizarre, and beyond amazing she doesn't see what she's doing to her company and personal brand. If you're going to say it on the internet, it's going to be seen and it's going to stay there for a long, long time.

  35. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Margret.

  36. creman4u Says:

    I Love what you are doing Catarina since I can feel the passion and honesty for what you are writing about. This is so important and what makes us human :D
    My recent post Social media measurement tools Klout Kred and Naymz

  37. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Christer. Glad you like my writing.

  38. Lubna Says:

    Well put, Catarina. There is one trend that I see happening on LinkedIn which I don't like. It really irks me when reply to a question on LinkedIn and the questioner simply picks up my reply and plonks it on his or her blogpost. Of course, it mentions, Lubna on LinkedIn said…."xxxxxxxxxxx". But hey, my reply was for the LinkedIn audience and not for someone's blog when I don't know that person. Nor does that person provide a link to my profile, even as my answer is merrily lifted. Others are courteous and ask if you can be quoted on their blog. Well, I guess it takes all sorts.
    But LinkedIn is a great forum and so far, I restrict myself to LinkedIn, blogging and Google +
    My recent post Doing Max Vinyl (An Annie Ogden Mystery)

  39. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Lubna! Have not come across the trend on Linkedin you mention. But that doesn't mean I have not been "quoted" somewhere. Actually, come to think of it, came across one who had cut and posted a section from an article I had written on his blog saying that Catarina Alexon wrote, but no link. Found out through Google Alert.

  40. Susan Cooper Says:

    I found your article interesting and timely. I have been thinking about exactly what you have written about.

    For me, I agree with you about the reason and form I write. Maybe I should be more involved or concerned with key words and placement, but it isn't the primary reason I write something.

    As far as a stradegy? My main focus has been to build traffic and subscribers to my blog. After that, engage with the blogging community and build positive relationships. My ultimate goal is to attract sponsors and advertisers to make a modest living.

    The challenges to accomplish my goal are many. As long as I am open to learning and listening to others regarding what I could do to improve, I believe I have a shot at achieving my goal. :)
    My recent post Fresh Fig Jam Recipe

  41. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Susan.Good points you have for your strategy.

  42. Geek Girl Says:

    This subject is very timely indeed. I have been doing a lot of soul searching about what I write and where I put my efforts for promoting. I have pulled back on the blogging groups and have subscribed only to those who reciprocate. However, that does not solve the issue of whether or not I am reaching anyone else outside those parameters. I used to Tweet a lot and then I realized that no one is actually listening to those tweets. So my thought is that I throw away most of the conventional wisdom and 'fly by the seat of my pants' and see where it all ends up. So to your points regarding social… it only matters if someone is listening.
    My recent post Motivational Monday Quote – 8/27

  43. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Cheryl. Why don't you find groups on Linkedin that your posts fit into and post them as discussions? Personally get my readers from Linkedin, direct and Google search engine. And also BusinessWeek.

  44. catarinaalexon Says:

    Don't think so Pat. Presumably you have adapted to your new goals?

  45. JeriWB Says:

    Had I not just dove into blogging, I never would have figured out what to blog about. My posts varied this past year between teaching, writing, and traveling because that was a starting point. I became my own cheerleader and posted five days a week. I made lots of mistakes, but I guess I did so while laying fairly low. Ultimately, I realized it was harder to engage with a potential audience when I was covering such vastly different topics. With that in mind, I've narrowed the focus of my blog yet again to better jive with branding myself as a writer and editor. __Learning about social media is the same as learning about any new task. It takes time! I don't think most people that are not experts yet do much harm as they try to find their niche. Even much of what I learned in studying rhetoric and composition applies to branding, such as audience awareness, but in the struggle to learn, common sense often goes out the window.
    My recent post Review Etiquette: Be Specific

  46. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Jeri, it takes time to learn how to blog and use social media.

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