Social media is engaging with your audience through interactive dialog. This is more than updating Facebook status or tweeting. To ensure long-term success of your social media campaign, follow the Rule of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds is a full-circle approach to engaging in social media and managing your online presence. Following the Rule of Thirds means that you should allot approximately one-third of your time spent on social media engagement to each of the following areas.

Listen. This is the first and most important step in your online presence. Listen to your online audience, industry influencers even your competitors. What are they talking about? Can you add value to the conversation? Are they talking about you?

Dialog. Join the conversation if, and only if, you can add value to it. Comment on industry blogs, newsletters, videos, etc. in areas where you can offer expertise. In instances where your company or brand is the topic of discussion, respond and respond quickly.

Lead. Once you have gained traction through dialoging, start your own discussion. Leading the conversation allows you to guide it to areas where your expertise can show. This attracts the right audience to you increasing the opportunity for engagement.

These three steps, when used collectively, will allow you continue to expand your social media presence.