By Shawn McGowan, JobsInVT.com
It pays to stick around. Whether you are seeking increased exposure as a job seeker, looking for a new opportunity or developing further expertise in your field, a key factor to successfully establishing social media credibility is maintaining a constant, consistent presence.
My advice is the same for anyone on social media: set some goals moving forward and create a simple schedule to lean on. Plan ahead and stick to your weekly "to do" list.
Some important aspects to focus on:
Share relevant content with your networks. This could be from an expert in your field, your own blog or your guest blog article. Try not to just parrot information, add your unique insight, pose a relevant question or ask for Facebook "likes" or comments to invite some feedback
Targets: Create a specific goal, for example: three shared posts per day. Share this content across all of your networks for maximum exposure.
Comment on content that you are knowledgeable about. Don't just share that provocative new blog post, scroll down and join the conversation that invariably surrounds it and weigh in on the subject. Be respectful, read the entire article and ensuing discussion and explain your thoughts beyond "I agree!" Be prepared to reply to any responses you may get and if discussions get heated, always remain civil and polite. Show people you are an expert willing to share valuable insider information in a constructive way.
Targets: Respond to a target number of LinkedIn group discussions and relevant blog posts per week and consider following other prominent commenters by creating a Disqus profile.
Respond to questions directed to you, comments on articles you've written and responses in ongoing conversations you're involved in within an hour, preferably sooner. Respond to people who RT you on Twitter and thank them. Make sure your social media settings include either email notifications or smartphone push messages to keep you on point. Get engaged in the conversation and commit to keeping the exchange of ideas going.
Target: Respond in a timely fashion. If you're not responding on a regular basis, you probably need to share or comment more often to spark discussions.
Connect the people you trust to people seeking expertise or that share similar specialties/views. Please remember: it's not all about you. Backing and praising others will do far more for you than just selling your capabilities. By recommending others you show professionalism, integrity and a sense of teamwork and community.
Target: Write an unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation each week and endorse the skills of three connections each day. Schedule a #FollowFriday or a similar tweet. Plan a recurring blog post compiling other blog activity that week or showcase a blog or writer you respect with an interview or review.
Follow back and accept invitations and requests. Building your network keeps it vibrant and fresh with new voices, views and opportunities. Don't use an automated service. Add a personal message beyond: "Thanks for the invite!"
Target: Accept invitations on LinkedIn, friend requests on Facebook and follow back on Twitter in a timely manner. Find five or more new people among all your social media outlets to add/follow each week. Add a new blog to your blogroll each week.
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As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInVT.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.