February 1, 2011

How Can I Build Online Legitimacy?

Building legitimacy is one of the most difficult tasks in mass media, you know that you have achieved when:

  • people follow you without you following them
  • people quote you frequently (re-tweet)

Here are some common-sense techniques to gain legitimacy:

  • research the topic you are posting on, there is nothing more frustrating than ignorant comments, you can be wrong, but your opinion should be based on solid research
  • post tips on the subject you are knowledgeable about
  • quote smart people - recognizing other’s expertise is a good sign that you have some level of understanding
  • be careful not to follow stupid trends and people just because everyone else is following them
  • create videos that add value to your viewers’ lives 
  • create podcast, 30 minute weekly is a good formula
  • be consistent about quality of your posts, but adjust your opinions based on new information
  • participate in events and workshops, help organize, speak at, book signing

Should I create multiple accounts per social network?

I prefer to post from a single account and use #hashtags to indicate the purpose of my posts. Using single account forces you to maintain certain level of integrity that followers will expect from you. In my opinion there is no problem with tweeting from single account, people understand you may have many interests and are often interested in different aspects of your life. There are few things you should remember:

  • don’t spam your readers with multiple similar messages
  • keep the tone of your posts consistent, don’t swing from deep thoughtful discussions to embarrassingly silly comments
  • respect your readers time, if they get annoyed with you, they may not want to read you again 
  • If you think you can be more effective with multiple accounts then go for it. Tools like TweetDeck allow you to manage and post from multiple accounts without switching screens and log ins.

Uki's Google Java Technology blog