Step Three: Engage

Previously –
Step One: Get In The Game
Step Two:  Listen Close

You’re working a bit more in your social media online circles. You’re listening, ear to the ground, for discussion of your niche, your passion, your widgets and branding ideas. What next?

This is where the hard work comes into play: engaging in conversation, interaction, sharing with the people who are already on topic around your topic.

  • Find blogs that talk about similar topics and leave comments, ask questions, write posts that link to the posts of others. Use Google to find sites in the same vein you’re pursuing. Show people you are reading their thoughts and the general public will usually be welcoming and open about reading yours as well.
  • Use http://search.twitter.com to find folks tweeting about things you’re talking about. Retweet their thoughts. Leave @ replies. Ask questions. People will notice and will return the favor.
  • If you’re on Facebook, point your blog to your FB space. When you post, let it show up on your Wall so (1) folks can see what you’re passionate about, and (2) they can comment there, click through, and otherwise engage you around these same topics.
  • Use LinkedIN to join friends and friends of friends. Connections there can be beneficial down the road.
  • Use YouTube to post videos, share your thoughts for others to see, to leave comments, to re-share and pass along.
  • Use Google Reader to watch for blogs and to pull in the feeds of the blogs you found in the first step above. When articles come through that impress and encourage you, share those – use links in the tool to share to Twitter, Facebook or Buzz.
  • Talk to people doing these things already. None of these things are my idea, they’re the collected processes and applications of most of the folks I’ve been linking and quoting here on Over Coffee. Being in the mix with people who’ve gone before helps you find the path and find the place where you stand out from the rest. This is a good thing.

There are lots of things pulling on your time, on your mindset, on your resources and priorities. That is why this needs to be a new priority: Engagement. Taking the time to read and search and interact will build a community, or will at least open doors for you to enter already existing groups of likeminded folks.

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