The value of social media is all in how it is used and measured. Tech savvy users often use social media to stay informed, collaborate and to broaden the colleague base. Often business owners will make policies that make using social media websites an outlawed activity without any thought of why their Information Technology department would use it. Employers often believe that using social media sites will decrease the amount of work that one can get done in a day. It can also be believed that they are risking the loss of an employee to another company, should that employee network properly. Although employee poaching is a possibility, it is unlikely if the employee is satisfied.
Why do I use social media websites? I use social media sites to ask for help from other professionals, be in the know of events, and know about new technologies and to help mentor juniors that do not work directly with me in me field of work. Without the social media sites, I would be limited who I could ask for advice from and I would not be as educated in what I do. Every day I pick up at least one new technique from my social media channels. Today’s graduates that are using social media sites are often bubbling with knowledge through their blogs and other forums. I use my Google reader RSS feeds and my Twitter as a daily technology newspaper.
Some social media sites I use are:
- Twitter – Short instant messaging between users
- Google+ – Social media channels, organizer and broadcaster
- Facebook – Social media channels, organizer and broadcaster
- LinkedIn – Professional Social Media channels, organizer and broadcaster
- Blogger – Tool to be used for personal journalism
- Paper.li – Consolidate Twitter and Facebook information into a newspaper format
- BufferApp.com – Schedules Tweets to send to twitter.
- HootSuite – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook feed reader.
Yes, it is true that social media can be abused. Users can post to often and about inappropriate things. Knowing your boss or family could be reading what you post, you should probably not post about going to work with hangovers, your bad dates (or an dates) or you interview that are going to or had. Always think your social posts can directly how people portray you. If you are posting every five minutes during the day when you should be working, probably means you are getting nothing done.
To know how effective you social media, you need to subscribe to metric sites. While there are lots of services popping up every day, you need to make sure the data they are providing is accurate and useful. On my radar right now is www.Klout.com. I like Klout because they publish how their metrics work, their graphs are easy to read and they watch more than one site. They are by no means perfect, but they give me a pretty good idea of where I sit. It is important to know your broadcast range, the number of republishing posts and acknowledges and it is important to know what topics you are known for.
What do the social media sites get out of their services being free to us? They get advertisements to the masses, but not in an annoying way. They gear the advertisements to what you are talking about and what you are interested in. They also get data sources of what is popular, trending and new. We as the social media users essentially build their businesses. get data sources of what is popular, trending and new. We as the social media users essentially build their businesses.