Get Found on Social Media – Part 1

In our previous post, Influence via Blogging on Social Media, we finished up our look at ideas for increasing your influence on social media. In this post, we begin a series on how to be found on social media.

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Get Found

Yes, you’ll need to do some work to get found on social media. There is no build it and they will come. The best way to get found is to provide something your community finds valuable. But that alone will most often not be enough. You’ll need to use a variety of online and offline techniques to build awareness in your community.

We take a look at several ideas for getting found in the this and the following posts.

Run Contests

The most sure-fire way to attract users on the Internet has long been to give something away for free. Years ago, this caused us to create the aphorism: “On the Internet, everything devolves to free.”[1] Well, what if you start out with free? Free is a crowd pleaser.

Years ago, Internet marketing guru Seth Godin promoted his book, Permission Marketing,[2] by offering the first four chapters to anyone who would email him at He gave away 150,000 free copies. Was that stupid, or did it contribute to the book’s success? Godin went even further with Unleashing the IdeaVirus:[3] He gave the book away for free — two million copies worldwide. Sheer folly, right? Wrong. According to Godin, the hardcover edition went to number 5 on Amazon in the US, reached number 4 in Japan, and is the #1 most downloaded eBook in history.

So don’t be afraid to give away valuable stuff for free.

One way to give stuff away, attract attention, and create a little buzz is to run a contest. We can’t pretend to know what kind of contest you should run, but it should be fun, have a significant prize, and generate enough excitement that your followers tell their friends. In fact, make a secondary prize for the person who refers the most entrants.

Most of the time you’ll be giving away prizes that cost you something. But you can also give away something that costs you nothing: prestige. The prize could be nothing more than bragging rights, and be represented by something as simple as the ability to display a badge or other notice of the honor as part of the winner’s profile, or on their blog.

Microsoft figured this out more than a decade ago with their Most Valuable Professional (MVP) pro­gram.[4] MVP is an award presented by Microsoft for exceptional technical community leaders who voluntarily provide technical expertise within Microsoft support communities. This award has value to the awardees — helping convince potential clients that they know their stuff — and the winners in­variably have given hundreds of hours a year in service to Microsoft by helping people solve their technical problems with the firm’s software.

So your contest could not only be cost-free for you, but it actually could benefit your business.

Get Found on Social Media is the 62nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 190. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?Social Sites DefinedWhy Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Get Found on Social Media – Part 2

[1] Are we devo?

[3] Godin’s Unleashing the IdeaVirus:

[4] Microsoft’s MVP program:

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