Five non-bloggy ways to showcase your smarts via social media

by Mack Collier

One of the most popular reasons for using a blog as a professional or business tool, is to establish you or your company’s expertise.  A blog is perfectly suited as a place to create a knowledge base of content that lets others know just how smart and qualified you are.

But what if we take blogs out of the equation?  What other tools/ways could you establish your expertise via social media?  Here’s some ideas:

1 – Commenting on items shared in Google Reader.  Lately I am spending a LOT of time with Google Reader.  Specifically, I am spending more time checking out the items that are shared by the people I subscribe to in Reader.  Every day I read dozens of interesting and informative articles and posts from my friends.

But as I was reading these the other day, I noticed that only a small fraction of them had comments.  When you leave a comment on an item sharedin Reader, then that comment will be seen on the post/article by all the people that are following you.  For example, I have around 130 people following me on Reader.  If you see an item I shared, and then comment on it, that means that your comment can then be seen by those 130 people.  Or if the item is shared by more than one person, you can choose which ‘version’ you want to comment on.  Like if Chris Brogan shares the same item I do and has more followers than I do, comment on the version he shared!

This is a great way to expose yourself to a new audience!  Here’s a screenshot of a comment I left on a recent entry by Jay Baer.

2 – Answering questions on LinkedIn’s Q&A.  This not only helps establish your expertise BUT it also exposes you to a new audience.  From my experience, the people that are active on LinkedIn, usually are a bit different from the people that are active on Twitter or Facebook.  So if I go to LinkedIn, I’m not bumping into the same friends I see on Twitter and Facebook.  Another great thing about answering questions on LinkedIn is that it gives the person that asked the question  the ability to rate your answer as a good or best answer, and it gives them a chance to contact you directly.

For every 10 questions I answer on LinkedIn, I get 1 or 2 replies directly from the person that asked the question.  Think about that, if you answered 10 questions from 10 potential customers/clients, you could have 10-20% of them contact you directly about your answer.  That’s not too shabby!

3 – Participating in Twitter Chats.  Oh you knew this was coming!  Seriously, I think Twitter chats are an amazing networking tool, and very underutilized as such.  Now there are well over 100 chats, so there’s bound to be a few topics that interest you.  Pick some that interest you, and share your ideas.  Make sure you let chat participants know how to get in touch with you, and most chats now set aside a time so you can introduce yourself to the other participants.  And make sure you check out #blogchat every Sunday nite!

4 – Comment on industry sites and blogs.  This is a great way to get exposure, and again, with the ‘right people’.  For example, people that work at agencies are going to be reading stories on Ad Age’s site, right?  So if you wanted to work for an ad agency, leaving thoughtful and informative comments on the same entries that these agencies will be reading and sharing, can only help you get noticed, right?

And if it doesn’t help you get a job, who knows, it could help you get a writing gig!  This is exactly how I got my blogging career underway, I was active on a recruiter’s message board, that recruiter decided to start a blog, and invited me to be one of the founding writers!  The same thing could happen to you!

5 – Actively participate on a company’s Facebook page.  Here is the Marketing Profs’ page on Facebook.  If you were an active member of that page, leaving wall posts, interacting with other members, it could have several advantages.  First, it would be a way to establish your expertise.  Second, Marketing Profs is constantly having events, so it becomes a networking tool with attendees.  And three, Marketing Profs is constantly looking for writers, so by demonstrating your ability to write well, you can not only connect with potential clients/customers, you just might get the chance to do some writing for Marketing Profs!

You can extend this to participating on board for industries, or events, or companies you want to work for.  Anyone that you’re trying to connect with, and any group you’re trying to get the attention of.

Those are just a few ideas, but what has worked for you besides blogging?  What are some unusual ways that you are leveraging other social media tools to connect with others and share your smartitude?

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