Why You Should Reach Beyond Your Network
As a social media marketer, I sometimes find myself interacting almost entirely with other social media marketers online. Throughout the week I’m reading other marketing blogs, writing about social media marketing topics, checking in with folks in the industry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and sharing stories that are related to this field.
While this is great for sharing thoughts with like-minded individuals, it can be extremely limiting as well. In that respect, I want to urge you to get out and start networking beyond your field or industry or niche on a daily basis. Don’t box yourself in, so that the only people you’re engaging with are similar to you.
Why? Well, social media is all about making connections. As Lori McNee argues, “Not only can I attract my own niche readers, but I can appeal to multiple audience profiles while staying true to my target audience.” Lori wrote this back in 2009. Now, more than ever it is important to break out of our niche and appeal to multiple audience profiles.
Of course, some of you might be thinking that your topic or industry or niche won’t be of interest to outsiders. Let’s say for instance that you tweet and blog about social media marketing (like I do). If you’re not a marketer already, why would you care about any of this?
That’s why it is important to write about broad topics every now and then and even go completely off topic if you can. This allows you to appeal to a wider audience, while showing a different, fun and personal side to your work.
Furthermore, Lisa Shaughnessy reminds us that “Communicating only with people in your own field can close you off from meeting people who can give a new perspective or even someone to collaborate with down the road.” As she puts it, you should expand your horizons.
So as you craft your social media strategy, try to factor in how you’ll reach beyond your network. Talk about current events, broad industry trends, funny stories and industries that are related to yours. Comment on a diverse range of blog articles. Like and follow people and pages that don’t exactly pertain to what you do.
These tips will only help you gain new followers, while increasing the likelyhood that your content will be shared beyond your circle. Oh, and you just might learn some interesting things and make a few new friends along the way. Good luck!