The more time I spend trying to convince people that being social in your job is an important part of getting work done, the more I realize some just don’t/won’t get it. I just posted up a new article and then stumbled across this gem.
“…on a daily basis Social intrudes on my life for about 15 minutes a day and then I go back to ignoring it and doing real work.”
Just so you don’t think I’m making this up, I’ve grabbed a screen capture of the post I found, ironically enough on an Enterprise Social Network. (I left out the individual’s name and photo).
Well my answer is you are doing it all wrong. Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn are every bit of ‘doing real work’ if you use them correctly. If you are simply going to LinkedIn to look for a new Job, on Facebook to check out what your friends posted up from their party last night or to see what people posted about their favorite TV show on Twitter, than stop reading now because you probably agree with the person in the quote above.
If you are using these tools for work or want to learn how, read on. Several years ago (January 2008 to be exact) I sat at a Birds of a Feather session at a Conference to learn more about Twitter and how to use it for business. I had been blogging technical articles for quite a while and relied on the RSS feed to get the word out to whomever followed it. As I introduced myself to ask a question about how I would used Twitter for business purposes, a voice in the back, said, ‘Oh you write blog xyz, good stuff man.’ I turned and thanked the man and instantly recognized him from the picture on his blog. The speaker knew my company and now gave an unsolicited promotion about our products and proceeded to explain that Twitter wasn’t just to share what I’d had for breakfast. In turn, I could follow people in the room and hopefully they would return the favor. Then, when I posted a new blog article, I could quickly promote it by giving a quick summary and a link to the article. If they liked it, they would retweet to their followers who would then follow me (hopefully).
“I went back and started the process.”
It all sound great, right? And it is, when you do it the right way. I went back and started the process. I created an account and started following the few guys from the session. I then looked at who they were following and added a few new people. I made it a habit to look every morning to see what was new. Some were noise and I learned to skip over those but others, provided technical content or information about industry happenings. I’d like to tell you I did it perfectly from the beginning. At times, I tried to just ‘fit in’ and be part of the crowd. But in time, I learned what type of content got traction and what did not. I learned how to not only take from the crowd, but give back some insight and thoughts on a topic at hand. Soon I found myself using them as resources to fix an issue at work, or get some additional information for a project I was working on. I’ve used several of them in business engagements, shared personal stories about my kids and built a relationship all because of Social Media.
I encourage you to read the the last quote above and re-read it again. It’s a process. Not a quick answer. Take your time and start doing Social Media the right way.