“In the age of personal branding, most of us have a persona we’d like to develop or maintain. Ego-driven tweets focus on an agenda; authenticity communicates from the heart. Talk about the things that really matter to you. If you need advice or support, ask for it. It’s easier to be present when you’re being true to yourself. “
~ Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha
Not all social media and networking sites are created equal. I emphasize the word “networking” in lieu of this topic.
There is an aspect of socializing that occurs in social media. There is unmistakably something beneficial about these types of virtual interactions too. I have met people I otherwise would never have met without the help of dear old internet. Man, some of them really changed my life.
I’m reckoning that you probably relate, and the fact that you’re savvy enough to read this blog and navigate the internet speaks volumes.
Social media is no stranger to you.
Yet, it’s not all about the socializing and the marketing. Even from a business marketing standpoint, there has to be a personal and authentic angle to anything that goes up onto a social media platform. That’s the way I see it.
What Social Media is All About
So if it’s not all about socializing but it’s not all about marketing either, then what’s left to define the purpose of social media? Balance.
A balanced approach is necessary to take with all things. As you would within your personal and intimate relationships, you too are going to want a healthy dose of internet use and engagement time.
I don’t know about you, but I like my sleep and I don’t have any intentions of spending all my waking hours online, perusing updates and posting content to my social media profiles. Don’t get me wrong, though, I am one to occasionally give into the temptation and pull all-nighters when the inspiration hits.
Having taken several hiatuses from updating my social media profiles–and that hurts me loads–I had to learn to feel okay with winding down, staying present in the moment, and just doing without all the chirping and dinging of digital alerts. This, my friends, is a mindful approach to using social media and I still have to work at adapting it. Now, as that approach relates to the real purpose of social media, we’re getting somewhere.
Creative Uses for Social Media
Ideas and Inspiration There is a wealth of knowledge forever being tweeted, posted and shared 24/7. I personally may have to put up a “closed” on my door when it comes to interacting. In fact, I try not to post anything beyond 11 pm because not many people are up on my slice of the planet…but more on optimizing social media posts later. Writing and scheduling posts onto HootSuite when I’m most likely to be awake myself is a way I can keep my own brand visible. I sure do glean a lot from others whenever I do have time to see what they are saying. Categorizing My Niche How do I keep up with what other people say as well? You can see in the snippet above a peak into some of the lists I use to categorize the people and brands I follow. I don’t just follow anyone, and this is not because I don’t think they’re cool, funny, smart or what-have-you. As I mentioned, finding inspiration and learning more about my field is more important to me than following everyone back. Social Media, Environmental Activism, Technology, and Entrepreneurship do reflect the topics I constantly address. It only seems fitting that I make broad enough categories to classify those I follow. Resultantly, this makes it easier to keep up with them and remind myself why I followed them in the first place. Finding Jobs and Money-Making Opportunities LinkedIn and Twitter are invaluable resources for this. There are several companies and individuals on my Communications Twitter list who update frequently about opportunities for making money. These vary between jobs, internships, and work-at-home gigs. Personally, I have learned a lot of information that I have channeled back into my freelance career and skill sets, and I have been paid for all this. Sharing Value Last but not least, communication is a two-way street. I can share about what my neighbors dog did on my yard, what I ate for dinner, and what restaurant I’m checking into. Sure, but what value will that add to my audience and the new people who would want to connect with me? Whatever I post onto any of my social media networks, I want to make sure that it is useful for my following and potential connections. I want to make sure I reflect what I’m about. No one really cares as much about my neighbor’s dog, no matter how cute or full of poop it is. I have value, goodies that many recipients need and can benefit from. Social media is the vehicle that drives me from point A to point B to share that value. (Click to tweet and share that valuable tidbit with your friends!)
With warm, inspired love,
What about you? Tell me what you do to make the most of social media and your networks. What good has resulted from you using it?