'Live Earth 2007, Wembley Stadium' by GlowPlug An interesting component of your online brand is most certainly audience. Without it, there is little point in doing much of anything online other than email, research, and storing information. Audience is what makes the web 2.0 world turn, as we’re all dependent upon the interactivity that audience brings.

Without people to follow, read, and comment on what each of us creates, we would have no measuring stick to compare ourselves to. We would not have a way to gauge improvement in knowledge or abilities. We’d be unable to find out what help others need, or how to learn something new from readers. Audience is a crucial piece to the social web.

As individuals, we shouldn’t be hesitant to grow audience in building our brand, or writing a blog. It’s not an egotistical to want to reach more people, its right in line with human nature to connect with people and socialize. Maintaining your audience is the other half of the equation – the one that give direct feedback of whether or not you’re adding value for them. It’s important to understand the expectations you set for your audience so you can continue to meet those expectations.

For organizations it’s easier in a way since they have long had marketing strategies that target certain demographics (specific audiences) for their product or service. They have been growing and maintaining their target markets for decades in some cases. There is one difference with online audience for organizations though: interactivity. This is not something that is found offline – you don’t see comments on magazine ads for your favorite soda or show company. You will online though, and that is the big challenge for the enterprise as they move into the social media space.

Bringing people to your social web is an important part of the social aspect. It allows for feedback, interaction and growth for all involved. Are you actively growing your audience?

What tips & techniques do you use or suggest for others to help grow their audience? How do you approach readers, followers, and friends on your social web?

Look for my article ‘Audience’ in the upcoming August 2008 issue of Personal Branding Magazine in which I talk about why growing and maintaining audience is important to personal brand.

Photo credit: GlowPlug

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