Social Media… where to begin? How about today? Yes, let’s begin with today. In fact, let’s begin with this very moment. I am riding shotgun in a Scion, coming back from the Bloomsburg Fair (btw, superb people watching if you love looking at unsuspecting mountain folk walking around in their camo hoodies). I, Jason Kaminsky, fighting against the onset of motion sickness, am crafting my first blog entry for Temple Ad Lib. Why? Well, I waited until the last minute to write the damn thing. But also, because I am building my digital footprint as a guest blogger. I have something to say, and dawg-gawnit I want the world to know it. It’s pretty much the same thing you do every day on Facebook, only difference being that I want more than 500 “friends” to have a chance to read it. I want to think “Big Picture,” and so should you. Here’s why.

You grew up in social media. You experience it so effortlessly, that you take it for granted. Here’s who doesn’t take it for granted: the 40 and ups that are saying good bye to last years’ way of doing things. They are trying to embrace a form of communication that we do naturally, and it’s harder for them than you might think. You are, like it or not, the young dog with the new trick; the kid with the social media chops that can bring relevance to today’s advertising agencies. However, there is a catch. You might be a natural, but yesterday’s comment about your recent bout with chlamydia won’t be enough to impress your future employers. Here are 7 steps to help enhance your online presence and hone your skills as a social navigator.

Step 1. Goodbye drunk pics, hello potential employers.

– If you think, like my 16 year old sister, that you can say and show anything on Facebook without anyone but your friends seeing it, then you should go now and put your head into a pre-dug hole and stay there for a week. Facebook is NOT private. You are a brand, now start acting like it.

Step 2. Create a Facebook Fanpage.

– Only do this if you have something unique to say and if you are committed to seeing it through. If you put some time and attention into your brand, then you may have something tangible to show a potential employer down the road. They totally get off when you show them something measurable at a job interview.

Step 3. Twitter: Best networking tool this side of the Mississippi

– Stop whining about how you don’t understand the point. The point is, there are a lot of people using it and they represent another pool of eyes and ears for you to communicate with. No more excuses.Start Tweeting.

Step 4. Bloggers = Influencers

– If you can blog, even as a guest blogger on a good site, then you are positioning yourself as a person to know on the web. There are “lookers” and “lurkers” who just read online content, and there are those who create that content. Which would you rather be?

Step 5. Comment Comment Comment Comment

– Continuing on the theme of lookers and lurkers, the more chances you have to get your name out there the better. Why? Because your signature at the end of that comment can be another link to your site, blog, profile, etc. that someone can click to learn more about you. You already do it with your friends so the transition won’t be that hard.

Step 6. Make new friends

– It’s not what you know, it’s who…. you know the rest. Befriend sites that you like, people that you respect, brands that speak to who you are and agencies that are of interest. These are the key connections that will separate you from your competitors.

Step 7. Be an expert

– You are no longer “the person who knows some stuff about social media.” You are henceforth know as “an expert in social media and online marketing.” Actually, I may have over spoken a bit. You can be that person if you market yourself that way. Start using the tools that you already have to build something substantial, and I swear to you, it will pay off down the road.

Until next time my fellow social nerds,

– Jason Kaminsky, Philly Ad Kids
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