Micro-content: A fancy umbrella-term for your posts on sites such as Twitter, Tumbler, and LinkedIn. For some of you, this nifty little tactic is something you’re already quite familiar with, if you use it in the strategy of representing your personal life. But have you considered including it into your content marketing strategy as well?

Let’s get technical here. Micro-content can be defined in two different ways: 1) As a group of words that provide a sense for what the rest of a web page or article is about, such as a headline, page title, subject line, etc., and 2) small bits of text that can stand alone, such as blog post comments, tweets, RSS feeds, and micro-blog posts.

The latter definition of micro-content, which is the focus of this particular post, is more than just social media. It’s about networking on the Internet by building relationships with others in a way that was previously unimaginable. It’s about being able to consistently publish content when you’re in the process of working on something with more substance, like a whitepaper or a full-length blog. It’s an opportunity to keep the conversation going with your targeted audience, and to feed the relationships you’ve already started building.

I know, you’re now amped about releasing your micro-content out into the world. But before you do, ask yourself the following:

Who is your target audience?

What are you trying to sell?

How do you want to connect with your target audience?

Where does your target audience get their information?

By identifying these key elements of an actual strategic plan, you can establish a framework that will help you achieve success, or at least set you straight on the path to it. The last question is important in particular, since it will determine which channels of communication you should have a presence in, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Once you have a strategy set in place, research those channels you’ll be engaging in. Even if you’re already familiar with them because you’re personally active, it’s beneficial to get a sense of how other professionals in your field of work are representing both themselves and their brand.

After you’ve equipped yourself with a strategy and some background knowledge, you’ll be able to move forward and get your micro-blogging on. Here are basic principles to achieving micro-content nirvana:

Discover forums, blogs, etc. related to your profession and follow big leaders in your field. On LinkedIn, you’ll want to join groups relevant to your brand and get active in conversations by commenting whenever you can. Twitter is another great platform that allows you follow any company, CEO, employee, news source, etc. with an account on the site. Many companies also utilize blogs to further extend their reach and provide information on a variety of topics, so following some of these is helpful as well.

Comment on your LinkedIn group forums, as well as interesting and relevant tweets and blog articles. Members in active LinkedIn groups often post discussion topics daily. This is a great way to build professional networks as you engage in discussions with other professionals in a variety of salient topics. If you can, mention your company to maximize your reach.

Twitter also allows you to initiate conversations and comment on tweets posted by others. Blogs where a company positions themselves as a thought leader is another way to participate in quality discussions that can elevate your online presence as well.

Create visuals to accompany small chunks of text. Micro-blogging sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest are great if you want to feature a product or add a visual dimension to your brand. Just upload a photo of the subject with a little bit of text to accompany it, and you’re set!

The latest trend in the visual micro-content world has been the much talked about app Vine.  By creating 6-second videos, you can show off your brand (think ‘visual elevator pitch’), feature a product, or send messages to your audience, and more. While this one may take a little bit more time to create than a tweet, it’s a great way to portray your brand in a snippet of time.

In all of your micro-content efforts, be aware and alert to relevant conversations that may be happening around you in these different platforms. Obviously, unless you have a team of multiple people, it can become difficult to maintain a presence in all areas.  But if you do what you can and learn what works best for you and your brand, you’ll be happy to be part of the constant conversation.