Social Media…it all started off friendly enough. A few years back I heard about Facebook and I hesitantly but excitedly stuck my foot into the waters of social media. It wasn’t long before I was sending out friend requests and playing some of the games. Then I noticed that all I talked about was Facebook this and Facebook that. Then the May to December affair began to fade and the indifference set in. Even though I tried to breakup with Facebook my friends would have none of it. The next thing I knew I was signing up for a WordPress blog. I was posting, commenting on others blogs and checking my stats like a person with a compulsive disorder. This naturally progressed to tweeting and then pinning came along and now there is LinkedIn and google+ and the list is every growing and changing.
My life is truly consumed with social media…from almost the first thing in the morning to almost the last thing at night. I am checking emails, making status updates, tweeting, pinning, commenting and retweeting. This is not a complaint, it’s a statement. The more I try to keep up with the trends the more I discover how fast things change. Staying relevant is hard work and time-consuming.
I have learned if someone is going to use social media to develop a personal brand or a business brand they must stay focused and committed to keeping their sites current and interesting. Having a social media site that is neglected is more detrimental than not having one at all. If I visit a blog or a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in more than a month I assume the page/person isn’t relevant to what I am searching for at that moment. I am on to the next page with a click of my mouse and not a second thought is given to the previous site.
Through trial and error I have learned that there should be continuity from one social media site to the next…that is if you are looking to develop an online presence. I am not sure when or why all of this social media branding will come into play in my life’s journey but I am doing what I can to keep my online presence focused, current and interesting.
I do know that human resource departments of large and small companies alike are very interested in your online social presence. They want to get a closer look at who you are when you let your hair down. This is where your social media presence can turn into a foe. If you are wild and carefree with your postings and leave your privacy settings wide open you are opening yourself up to being examined under a microscope. A good rule of thumb to follow…If you wouldn’t want your mother or grandmother to see your post then don’t post it. Unless of course your mother is Sharon Osborne then you would probably want to choose a different gauge for your postings.
My WordPress blog, Nolagirlatheart is a personal blog it gives people who read it a glimpse into my hobbies, interests, views and lifestyle. My Facebook page is focused more on my friends, acquaintances and business associates with a sprinkling of my personal comings and goings. I also manage two Facebook pages; Nola Girl at Heart and New Hope Church Bookstore . I also enjoy the very popular site Pinterest for keeping up with the trends in fashion, home decorating and cooking. I know this site has a place in the social media spectrum but for know I will keep it for my personal use and not for building my online identity, but that will probably change very soon or maybe it already has. Then there is my Twitter page nolagirl4real which is a combination of all of the aforementioned social media accounts wrapped up into one place. If I follow your blog or like your Facebook page or am interested in what you do I will follow you on Twitter. What’s next? Well I am continually asked to join Linkedin…the professional networking social media site. So far I have declined all invitations to join…I recently looked into Google+ but I decided not to jump in.
What will all this matter a year from now?…Who knows… maybe I will get a call from out of the blue offering me a once in a lifetime opportunity that no girl in her right mind would turn down. You know the one that pays you obscene amounts of money to work from home Blogging about your favorite recipes and chalk painted furniture you found on Pinterest while updating your Facebook page with the photos of your attempts at cooking and painting and then crafting 140 character tweets to entice your followers to click on your link. Ahhhhh….I think I am qualified for that job!
Social media…friend or foe it’s your choice…choose wisely.