8 March 2017

Five ways building a social audience will benefit you (and your career)


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Career development


Whether you’re a musician or an HR Manager, building an authentic and relevant audience online is important for a number of reasons. With a growing array of platforms to choose from to get your voice heard and share your passion(s) it’s easier than ever to build a following of like minded professionals.

Most people’s decision making process, when it comes to whether or not to follow an account, includes the question:

“What’s in it for me”

If you can demonstrate that you are there to offer them something truly useful and relevant then they’ll follow, engage with you and potentially offer future collaboration and opportunities.

Here’s 5 reasons to start to build a social audience today:

1) You can demonstrate your influence and expertise

television camera at a conferenceThere’s no better arena in which you can quickly and effectively demonstrate your knowledge within a particular field than social media. Creating and sharing quality content on a regular basis will attract like-minded individuals to follow and interact with you.

It’s not simply industry knowledge that helps to build an audience online. demonstrating that you have a human side and pleasant personality by sharing the occasional joke, meme, funny story or opinion on current affairs will also endear people to you.
Respond to posts from your audience and interact when they show interest. Show them who you are and your audience will feel more connected to you, they’ll want to read your content and visit your website.

As your network grows, so too does your influence. This isn’t just beneficial on a personal level but also on a professional one as employers are now looking to social media as an extension of a CV to assess candidates.
By growing and nurturing a large authentic social audience you demonstrate to potential employers that your expertise is genuine and you’re someone of note in your field.

2) You can build a relevant and truly useful network

Geometry surfaces, lines and points background, Used as digital wallpaperNaturally your followers will have similar interests to you and, as such, will form a relevant network that offers tangible benefits.

With the average Twitter account having 208 followers it’s easy to see why social networks are a useful tool when building a professional network.

You can reach an impossibly large and diverse number of like-minded individuals using social media. This allows you to promote and market yourself and your personal brand in a way that has never been seen before.

Connecting with experts in your field can enable you to collaborate on new and exciting projects, further enhancing your expertise, personal brand and value proposition to potential employers.

It’s not uncommon for brands as well as individuals to follow and connect with individuals on social media. A business that starts following you from a simple search could end up offering you opportunities as a result of your influence.

“Social media connection is a way to build trust that leads to new business relationships.”

Mark Schaefer

3) You can learn from industry experts

There’s always something new to learn, new articles to read, events to attend or news on a relevant topic. For example, Twitter offers the following:

  1. A search engine to find out what like-minded people are talking about and thinking
  2. A resource of the latest news stories and ‘how to’ articles
  3. A survey tool to gain a wider perspective on a topic or news item
  4. An opportunity to be part of the conversation with fellow professionals

“Through social media, anyone online is empowered by an unrestricted flow of information to add to their knowledge bank.”


A blue colored biological microscopic virusNews spreads quickly on social media, often faster than news sites. Viral stories reach millions of individuals around the world in minutes.
Following and connecting with the right people will enable you to stay up to date on important industry news and trends. Creating and sharing up-to-the-minute content is a key element of building a social audience and your influence in your field.

With the growing popularity in live video streaming on social networks the latest news on virtually any given subject will soon be almost instant.

By reading, listening to or watching and sharing relevant articles you not only build your professional network but learn continuously too.

4) You’ll grow as an individual

It’s not just our professional brand that can benefit from managing a social profile, there are many life skills that are developed too.

The traits and skills required to manage and grow a successful social profile include:

  • Interacting and collaborating with a diverse group of individuals
  • Discussing and debating opinions sensibly
  • Implementing new social strategies
  • Time management
  • Researching for content creation/curation

5) You’ll motivate and inspire yourself

A blue colored biological microscopic virusBy challenging yourself to build an audience (and by doing so using a topic you’re passionate about) you’ll naturally be self motivated to succeed.

Researching technology and strategies to help with your efforts, speaking to influencers and learning from fellow professionals will inspire you to achieve your goals.

Lifehack.org suggest that there are 8 steps to self-motivation (I have adapted these for the purposes of this article). These are:

  1. Start simple. Keep motivators in your network – they provide the things that give you that initial spark to get going
  2. Keep good company. Encourage more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as a ‘like’ on Facebook or re-tweet on Twitter
  3. Keep learning. Read and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the more confident you become
  4. Stay Positive. See the good in bad. When encountering obstacles, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them
  5. Stop thinking. Just do. If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff
  6. Know yourself. Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop
  7. Track your progress. Keep a tally or a progress bar for ongoing projects. When you see something growing you will always want to nurture it
  8. Help others. Share your ideas and help your network and audience get motivated. Seeing others do well will motivate you to do the same. Write about your success and get feedback from readers