It’s much easier to understand something you’ve experienced for yourself. That’s why I’m documenting my work to build a successful network and business as a Digital Citizen. A key element of this journey thus far has been building a network and an audience with similar interests. A conduit to deliver value as I discover it.
One of the major barriers to success has been finding consistent ways of being found. The internet is so massive that without a concrete plan, it’s nearly impossible to be found. But what exactly does that mean?
It means understand how the internet sorts information.
Like the Dewey Decimal System used by libraries, the internet uses a classification system to index and sort information that is stored on the network nodes that are combined to create the internet. The Decimal System was an invention used by libraries to make it easier to add new material without having to reorganize the entire system each time.
The internet is way more sophisticated than a typical library and grows at an exponential and seemingly unstoppable rate. It makes it so that there is no true organization to the massive amounts of information that make up the entirely of the internet. With that said, there is an indexing and categorizing system that was implemented by Google. It relied on search engine algorithms.
Search engine algorithms use a complex set of ranking and weighting rules to organize, categorize and make information on the web findable. Understanding how search engines work is key to being found organically on the web.
At first, it was enough to understand how Googles search engine worked but now, it’s important to understand that there are different search engines all over the internet. They have different features and reward different organizational structures. Understanding how they work and are different is essential to promote organic results within platforms economies.
As an example – At this moment, I have no followers on Twitter but none-the-less my tweets are getting impressions/views. Some of them get more than others. 1 such tweet was a definition of No-Code – a term I know to highly discussed on Twitter.
The explanation for this that SEO (search engine optimization – a strategy for efficiently adapting content to accommodate search engines) is not only a useful skill for taking advantage of Google search, but is also useful for any type of networked site on the internet as a whole.
The questions I should be asking as a Digital Citizen moving forward are not how I (the individual) would use a service but how a service is used by it’s community.
Twitter is again a good example. I rarely if ever use the search function as a discovery tool. I look to the network nodes that are most interesting to provide recommendations through hard engagements to use as recommendations for who I should follow or topics to keep aware of.
It’s clear that search is a powerful function within Twitter that can be leveraged for growth.
Understanding and taking advantage of search algorithms is a strategy that the most effective Digital Citizens use. It’s the same across the board for all social apps as well as any website or app that provides a search function and operates with network effects represents opportunities for organic growth.
The use of the Hashtag function is also considered an organic growth tool.
I think of it as a cousin to SEO. It’s a virtual billboard placement for the message it is posted with. The hashtag keywords need to be appropriate and on message but can represent another opportunity to take advantage of search functions within social networks.
As a Digital Citizen starting out on new platforms with no network, all posts should in some way leverage hashtags until followers begin to appear. Once they appear, it is more effective to rely on audience referrals to strengthen network effects.