I am a researcher at heart, I love to gather information and every time I go “oh, so that’s what that is!” I come alive – this is why I hoard books. My book hoarding is so bad it has spilled over into my Kindle. As part of my yearly routine I gather all the trend forecasts and opinions from thought leaders so I can gain deeper insights into a subject before I can shape my opinion, which is often useless because more often than not I already have an opinion. I was surprised and my opinion revised when in mid-December I started my foray to seek information when social media and social networks kept popping up.
For a while social networking has been something I have tried to distance myself from. I abstained from getting a Facebook profile because one of my colleagues got one and it didn’t work out, only then did she realise that she didn’t know how to take it down. I am now on Facebook and have a Twitter account, because I now understand that it’s not mandatory that I have a recent picture of myself drinking beer upside down as my profile picture nor do I have to update and tweet in the early morning about heartbreaks and weird dreams. I can however get feeds about things I care about like economics, politics and world financial trends – add a bit of gadgets news and I’m good. Having had a twitter account since early in 2011, I have only tweeted 160 times. Only 80 of those tweets are mine, the others are retweets of thought leaders that inspire me.
According to Dreamgrow Social Media isn’t an only child , it must be integrated into your communication activities and I couldn’t agree more. As a person who is hoping to an opinion leader in her field I realise that my toolkit of communication should include social networking. Another important factor in social networking is education; a lot of people get things wrong because they don’t know how to use the platform. They don’t know how to handle it and end up using a good thing for evil – even global brands have been guilty of this. Walking into the social networks without a plan is not unlike taking a walk, blindfolded across a field littered with landmines.
However if you know waht you’re doing social media is pretty powerful stuff. What are you using your social networking powers for? Think about it.