As you set out to connect to an audience and build influence in social media, you can plot a path by aiming for big numbers. Many do. Some even attempt to buy friends and followers.
But ultimately, the numbers game doesn't amount to much. The quality of your connections is sure to trump the quantity.
I have to admit many times throughout the year I've been seduced by page views, Tweet counts, Klout scores and the like (pun sort of intended). However, this week, Thanksgiving week, is a reflective one. And so, in counting my blessings, I give thanks to the friends I've made online and off who have been generous with their time and genuine with their help.
We're in this together.
"Tribe" is a word that gets tossed around a lot in social media. No doubt, the process of building one is important. You simply won't get far going it alone. Yet the mission to make friends in high places can seem so self-serving and hollow.
Maybe it isn't.
After poking around for a few years online and at conferences, it becomes kind of natural. I think if you succeed in forging mutually beneficial relationships, the vibe of the tribe feels good.
Have I purposely introduced myself to authors and influencers I respect to forward my own cause? Well, yes. Have I submitted my articles to publishers and companies with audiences larger than my own to expand my reach? Sure.
But I'd like to think these people and publishers have got something in return.
This is the nature of social media. This is what clout's about. This is the me-commerce era. To build influence, build a stronger message, and build your business, you need to build your community of influencers. You need to co-create, share and above all, care.
I've attempted to express my gratitude to many of the friends I've made with the following. I'm calling it my "ThankYouGraphic."
Know what? Those links above won't work. The graphic's a jpeg. Here you go: click here for a PDF with embedded hyperlinks and visit these people and places.