Sunday, May 29, 2011

Project Social: Do You Facebook?

Dave, Lyn and I decided to carry on with the ‘social’ themes we’ve been tackling lately and discuss the different social mediums we are active in and how we use them.  Dave already has his post up at HR Official and Lyn’s aiming for Monday over at the Bacon Hut.

When it comes to social media, I pretty much stick to the basics: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blog.  I don’t use Foursquare, although I totally would if I were a stalker.  I don’t even have a logon for HootSuite or Empire Avenue.

I know, I sound soooo 2007…

As I explained in an earlier post, I’m a late adopter.  I wait to try things until I have a reason to use them, rather than inventing a reason in order to try them.  So, I didn’t join LinkedIn until my company was about to be acquired, I didn’t join Facebook until I decided to write a blog post about it and I didn’t join Twitter until my job went 'social.'

If you’re an even later adopter than I am, the hardest part is getting started, especially when it seems like everyone else already knows the ropes and has a million contacts.  I still remember signing up for Twitter long after everyone I knew was already using it and having a whopping 0 followers.   Fortunately, several of my Compensation Café colleagues took pity on me and soon I had 5 followers!  I felt so proud when I got up to 32 followers...

If you’re looking for advice about getting followers it’s actually pretty easy.  Just put yourself out there by reading, commenting and re-tweeting and the followers will come.  Getting people to RT you is more of a challenge and I’m afraid I haven’t yet figured out how to get all my followers to sycophantically re-tweet everything I write.  But I keep reading, writing, tweeting and commenting because I enjoy being part of the discussion.

Dave made a great point in his post about not mixing mediums and I think that bears repeating.  Different channels have different purposes and audiences.  But regardless of channel, if you use any social medium you have a public persona.  You want to watch what you share because friends, family, colleagues, customers and perfect strangers are watching wherever you put yourself out there. 

There’s a fine line between refreshing honesty and too much information.

The other thing to keep in mind is that social media can sometimes be confused with real life.  The people you connect with are (usually) real people and you may have genuine personal interactions with them.  Information is presented in easy sound-bytes.  Best of all, you can finally be the 'you' you always wanted to be

It's addictive.

So here are a few ways to tell if it's time to unplug:
  • Do you spend more than an hour a day Tweeting one-liners to people you've never met?  
  • Do you neglect friends and family so you can count your followers? 
  • Do you sleep with your Smartphone?

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