You can choose when you want to start using social media. You can choose to ignore friend's requests for your facebook link or your Twitter user name. And you can ignore them all. The same way people did a few years back with the whole email craze. Remember that, "What's your email address?" Do you EVER hear that any more? It would be almost as lame as asking for someone to write down their phone number.
So you don't have to understand facebook or Twitter. And it's okay if you're missing out of the conversations there. Because we're all too busy right?
However, you will eventually create an online account on facebook or LinkedIN or Twitter. You will. And today might be a good day to get started, we'll go into that shortly. And here's how I know.
According to The Social Habit study:
- Social Media now reaches the majority of Americans 12+, with 52% having a profile on one or more social networks
- 46 million Americans 12+ now check their social media sites and services several times every day
- Nearly a quarter of social network users indicated that Facebook is the social site or service that most influences their buying decisions. No other site or service was named by more than 1% of the sample
- Facebook is now used by over half (51%) of Americans 12+
- Twitter usage stands at 8% of Americans 12+
Now these things alone probably aren't going to be the tipping point that pushes you onto the web, compelling as they are. What's going to get you on the web and into social media, is the requests of your friends to become "friends" or to join your professional networks on LinkedIn. And more and more, when you are looking online for a movie review or product review of something you want to buy, you are going to find that the best content is going to be on the social sites.
And finally, consider the professional who does not use social media. What are you saying about your ambition and vision? If you're LinkedIN profile is 3 weeks old and contains 20 linked business associates and the job you are applying for says ANYTHING about online or ecommerce, well, my friend you are going to be SOL. You see, it takes a while to get the hang of it. But the process is quite simple, you just have to begin. And here are the steps for LinkedIN, because the most important site for your career is LinkedIN, even if you are not currently looking for a new job.
- Create a profile on LinkedIN. (it's free and quick)
- Upload a picture. (people do want to put a face with a name)
- Write a positive bio on yourself. Write it in first person. (I am a…) Content: a short and accurate description of what you do and what you want to do next.
- Add a few past companies and add your present company. (If your present company doesn't have a LinkedIN company page, start one.)
- Do a few searches on LinkedIN to find colleagues and past colleagues.
- Write a recommendation of one of your mentors.
- Ask for a recommendation from a past colleague who you kicked ass with.
- Make a few requests to connect with your colleauges on LinkedIn.
- Join a group that relates to expertise or interest. Read some of the posts and conversations going on.
- Read some of the Questions and Answers in your area of interest.
- Visit the site once a week and update your connections. Make a few more connection requests. Read some comments and posts.
You don't have to comment or post immediately. In fact, the better plan is to listen for a while, get the feel of the conversation before jumping in. But DO JUMP IN, because your current position of ignoring social media is about to become a "liability of ignorance."
A few other posts of related topics:
- When Did You Stop Listening to Twitter? And Who or What Killed the Tweet?
- Writing a Plan for Your Future – A Career Path Template from Boxes and Arrows
- Milestones for Launching a New WordPress Site In 30 Minutes
- INFOSTREAM STRATEGY #1: The iGoogle Dashboard – Getting Your RSS Under Control
- INFOSTREAM STRATEGY #2: Tweetdeck – Putting a Dashboard Around Twitter
Some info from elsewhere:
- My presentation on Defining your Social Media Stack (slideshare PPT, downloadable)
- Study by Edison Research: The Social Habit
- Facebook 101 (slide show)