Chapter 18Influencing through Social MediaExpanding Your Sphere of Influence

Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

From One to Many

While this book is primarily focused on influencing one person or a small group, social media now make it possible to influence many people directly with the same message. In fact, the people who are most effective at getting their messages across in this way are called “influencers.”

Social media sites provide a way to form new influence relationships, to learn from others, and to make your voice heard within communities you belong to and care about. Many users see these sites primarily as a communication tool to stay in touch with friends and family, as a way of learning about or offering career or job opportunities, or as a way to expand their mailing lists. Others, though, see in these sites the potential for building their reputation, for providing access to people and groups that they might never otherwise meet, and for two-way influence on topics that are important to their success.

It's especially important to be clear as to why you're choosing this means to influence others. Since it's one to many and you have limited control as to who may eventually read or hear about it, make sure you've thought carefully about your influence goal, your key influence targets, and why you see social media and this site in particular as an important way to reach them.

How to Become ...

Get Exercising Influence: A Guide for Making Things Happen at Work, at Home, and in Your Community, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.