How To Be A Social Media All Star

7 Traits of Social Media Stars

7 Traits of Social Media Stars-1If there was a social media equivalent of the 2013 Baseball All Star game, where the top players from the National and American Leagues will compete this year at Citi field in New York City, who would you choose to be your social media star?

Check out any list of top social media experts and you’ll find that they have a set of consistent traits. While following these traits by themselves won’t necessarily make you a social media star, they will help you establish your social media credentials.

  1. Build your reputation over time. While it may appear that social media all stars appear from out of nowhere, the opposite is true. They’ve spent a lot of time establishing their reputations. Often times, they’re early users of a form of social media or other evolving platform. For example, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and author of Content Rules earned her journalism chops before co-founding ClickZ, one of the first online marketing sites, with Andy Bourland. Seth Godin author of many books including Permission Marketing and Linchpin started one of the first online direct marketing firms, Yoyodyne, which he sold to Yahoo. Chris Brogan, one of the top social media bloggers and author of Trust Agents, has maintained his standing by continually showing up at the blog page. How does your past experience contribute to your current status on social media?
  2. Have deep knowledge within your niche.The goal isn’t to spread yourself thinly but rather to focus your efforts. David Meerman Scott, author of The Real Time Marketing and PRleveraged the knowledge he gained as a journalist into becoming a social media thought leader. While Darren Rowse of Problogger and Brian Clark of Copyblogger are more established names in the content niche, Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic, continues to kick ass based on his depth of experience.  Jon is one of my heros for his ability to overcome challenges that hold most healthy people back. (If you haven’t read Jon’s story on Problogger, it’s a must.) Is your knowledge focused so that you stand out from the pack?
  3. Create a personal brand. Social media all stars are consistent in how they present themselves. Their laser focus on the details helps increase the power of each communication and presentation they do. (Here’s help for your social media brand.) Mari Smith, author of  The New Relationship Marketing, is one of the go-to experts on Facebook. She’s recognizable since she always wears turquoise.  By contrast, Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute wears orange and doesn’t limit his wardrobe to orange t-shirts. Joe Pulizzi in Content Marketing Institute Orange at Content Marketing WorldDo you think about what you wear so that you make a memorable impression in public?
  4. Produce a constant stream of useful information. Social media all stars don’t rest on their past laurels. They continue to contribute to the collective knowledge base through blog posts, articles, interviews, videos, podcasts and presentations. (Here’s a content primer to get you started.) This content marketing is void of any sales pitch. It pays-it-forward. Brian Solis, author of The End of Business As Usualis an amazing content machine. He continually publishes original, quality content that is always worth your time both on his blog and in books that support Altimeter where he works. Neil Patel continues to turn out useful information based on his experience coupled with solid research.
  5. Continue to show up and be accessible. Social media all stars don’t earn credentials and disappear from sight. They continue to be part of the social media conversation, both online and offline. For example, Lee Odden of Top Rank Marketing and author of Optimize has been blogging for years. Additionally, he’s regular at search, social media and content marketing shows.
  6. Partner with others. Social media all stars are consummate social networkers. It’s not about acquiring lots of followers on any specific platform. Rather they leverage the power of knowing influencers and being one of the cool social media kids. (For more information, check out Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown’s book Influence Marketing.) Peter Shankman serial entrepreneur and author of  Nice Companies Finish First started HARO (aka Help a Reporter Out) with a Facebook page where he helped journalists who needed resources. Jay Baer worked with key bloggers and others to launch his new book Youtility by offering quality content to top blogs.  As a result, his book landed in the top business books list.
  7. Leverage other people’s audiences to get their name out. Social media all stars think outside of social media to build their reputation. They gain traction through the use of other’s established distribution and promotional channels. They use awards, books, and other real life success measures. While promotion is a no-no on social media, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use other platforms to build your reputation. Look at Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber who have huge followings on social media as a result of their offline fame. Consider, for example, how Scott Monty, Ford’s Chief Social Media Officer, has expanded his reach as Ford’s spokesperson and his ability to lead the car giant into ground breaking social media efforts. Frank Eliason gained visibility as Comcast’s social media face and is now at Citibank. Michael Stelzner of and author of Launch, learned the power of this trait by reaching out to social media experts to get help building Want to see how he does it, watch what he’s doing with his newest venture, My Kids’ Adventures. Mike has been promoting the site on and reaching out to his current community to get help to build the site. (Here’s some background.)

Like baseball’s all stars, these social media all stars continually practice their craft to build their expertise and develop a community of followers and fans.

Who would you consider a social media all star and why?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen



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Joe Pulizzi

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