Posted by danzarrella
This post was originally in YOUmoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
For more data on social media and busting of unicorns-and-rainbows social media myths, be sure to register for the Science of Social Media webinar that is being held on Tuesday, August 23rd at 2:00pm EST. This webinar is actually going to be certifed as the largest online marketing seminar ever by the Guinness World Records folks.
The easiest social media myth to bust is “don’t call yourself a guru.” Proponents of this myth argue that self labeling yourself as an expert makes you sound pretentious. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But the data clearly shows that telling your audience why they should listen to you absolutely works to increase your reach.
When I first started analyzing Twitter account data, one of the first things I noticed is that a surprising number of accounts don’t include profile pictures, bios or homepage links. But when I looked at the number of followers accounts with and without those things have on average, I found huge differences.
It may sound pretty obvious, but users who’ve taken the time to identify themselves with a bio, picture and link tend to have many more followers than those who haven’t taken that time. The above graph shows the effect of including a photo, but the effect is the same with bios and links. In real life and in social media, if I know who you are, I’m much more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Taking the identify yourself suggestion a step further, I analyzed common words found in Twitter bios. I found that users who included authoritative words like “official,” “founder,” and the dreaded “guru” tended to have more followers than the average Twitter user.
Once I know who you are, if you’re someone important I’m even more likely to want to hear what you have to say. If you’ve founded a company or authored a book, I’m interested in what you think.
Social media isn’t that different from the offline world. Introduce yourself, tell us who you are and why we should listen to you.