Sunday, June 9, 2013

Social "Media" Bigfoot

Here are a few questions that I often hear when social media is being discussed that deserve some attention.

  1. What is a social media footprint?
  2. How big should it be?
  3. Why do I care?

The Numbers
From a pure numbers perspective, it seems to make sense that jumping into the social media landscape can be a benefit to the professional growth model. Facebook currently has over a billion active users a month alone, even if you discount that 100 million of those users are pets, objects, or brands, 900 million is alot of humans. Twitter has 554,750,000 active registered twitter users that tweet on average 58 million times a day according to Statistic Brain.  As of January, 2013, Linkedin reached 200 million users, "LinkedIn now counts over 200 million members as part of our network, with representation in more than 200 countries and territories. We serve our members in 19 languages around the world." Google+ is a bit harder to get a true read on numbers, but even if we go with 135 million users actively posting to Google+ Pages, that is no small number.

Why Do I Care
All the numbers above can be dissected, debated and manipulated for company purposes but I see them as an opportunity to connect with others that run in the same professional circle as myself (no pun intended). I care about growing as an individual and bringing new ideas into the workplace and sharing my successes with others, which is easily done through social media.

                                        How Big
The size of your social media footprint depends on your comfort level in this arena. Some can juggle multiple feeds while others feel overwhelmed with more than one. My suggestion is take your time and find what works for you, and use technology to help you organize. There are a number of programs out there that will help you streamline your feeds and better manage the large amount of information coming in and out of your busy day. HootSuite is one that I have found to be very helpful for me and worth a look if interested in managing multiple streams.

Give It A Try
We often hear the saying that you have to get out of the four walls of your classroom or office to see what is happening out there. That is a true statement as we all know that sharing, collaborating and having an open mindset will help us grow as individuals. To grow professionally you have to care, why not use social media as one option to step outside those walls.

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