Sitting at my desk at home in sleepy Saffron Walden, it is hard to imagine that I have any sort of impact on the wider world, but that is far from the case.
In the heady early years when LinkedIn publishing was in its infancy, my personal blogs on the platform would get tens of thousands of clicks and I rapidly reached 40,000 followers. It was nice telling my stories, but I must admit that the LinkedIn algorithm (at the time) rather forced Paul Drury onto the world.
People didn’t come looking for me, I was just there, in their feed.
As the algorithm changed, content strategy on social media has changed to a pull mechanism rather than push. Unless you pay a significant sum to send your message out to a targeted audience on LinkedIn or Facebook (which does work, by the way), you have to rely on your audience wanting to find you.
And once they have found you, you have to be interesting enough for them to want to stalk you.
If your online footprint is mediocre, they will probably never click on your pic again.
From then on, you might as well be invisible.
Maybe it is the way my mind works, but when I read a piece of mesmerising content from someone, I tend to remember something about them. I personally tend to focus on their picture, and whenever it pops up in my feed in the future, I will be exponentially more likely to pay attention to what they are saying.
If I like a piece of content, I will probably read the summary at the top of their profile – it doesn’t matter if they aren’t a potential client for me, every bit of information about someone has the potential to trigger insights.
I reckon that I probably “stalk” about 800 people in this way. I know them, I know what they have written about and I will read (and watch) what they have to say in the future.
The interesting thing is that I have no professional interest in this stalking. I am a writer by trade, so it is just me and my MacBook. I don’t need anyone’s services and I am not on the lookout for new recruits to my business.
An HR Director (for example) is very different. They have a vested interest in stalking the brightest and best (potential) service providers across a whole range of industries.
My HR and recruitment ghostwriting clients know that once they have called a prospect, the potential for that prospect to become a stalker is always there. Just one visit to your LinkedIn profile and that prospect has the potential to be hooked. They glance at the (very visible) latest blog at the top of the profile, and they are compelled to read it. Just two minutes of their time, but that is two minutes where they are starting to build a relationship with you. They might stalk you and your content for months and years before they decide to entering into a commercial discussion, but by that time your content will have done the job.
Your stalkers get to know you and you never know when they might come out of the woodwork. If you talk about the sorts of things that they are interested in, this will happen on a regular basis.
On the other hand, you could choose to do nothing on social media…. Sigh. Having a profile does not mean having a presence. You have to constantly enhance that profile with content to keep your stalkers coming back.
Otherwise, they will start following your competitors and you might as well be invisible.
They can’t stalk you if they can’t see you.