With the explosive growth of social media sites and the unfettered access to so many sources of information, the paradigm of “knowledge” has been dramatically altered. We can no longer claim to possess knowledge that can somehow be exclusively ours. We are so connected (if we choose to be) that there is logical way we can expect to control our ideas. The kicker is that we really shouldn’t expect it for our own good. As we embrace the reality that once we generate an idea and throw it on our social network, the challenge is the generate another and another.
Since one of the underlying principles of social media is content, those who will be successful will be those who routinely put forth content worth reading. In fact, the web is extremely egalitarian in that respect. People will forward on or reference great content and that is what causes some things to go viral or go nowhere. There is also the concept of preferential attachment (cumulative advantage) that posits (more or less) that those who have some will receive more and the reason they receive more is because they already have some (it is simpler than I have made it sound). Once you “connect” with people, they react.
Great content is the first part, the second part is authenticity & transparency. Once the content connects with someone, it is a matter of connecting to the person as well. Social media has enabled access and given us the ability to connect on a vastly larger scale and at a much more rapid pace. This can be both a gift and a curse. Your blog, tweets, profile, etc,etc, must be an authentic reflection of you. As I am fond of saying, this is simple, just not easy. That is another blog post altogether. The key is that once you have accomplished this, be ready! Then the fun begins. You have to be prepared to commit to creating interesting content that others will want to read.
In the end, it is much like exercise (for your brain). Doing it once or once it while is never going to allow you to achieve your goal. It is only through a disciplined regime that you will be able to reach the summit.