As a public relations professional, it is expected that I will be up-to-speed on the latest technologies that relate to our business and will better serve organizations with which I work. I first joined LinkedIn more than three years ago as a professional networking site where I can connect with people I know in real life or contacts I have made throughout my career.
From there, I moved on to Facebook. I initially found that it was a great way for me to reconnect with high school and college friends who I haven’t seen since our respective graduations. But my Facebook time has evolved to include far more professional colleagues than I expected and I use those connections to promote activities and events with which I am involved outside of my day-to-day job as well as share brief conversations with personal and professional friends.
After some initial trepidation and confusion about Twitter, I have been active with conversations there for about five months. My Twitter usage is designed to connect me with PR and marketing professionals around the country as well as Oklahoma. Some of my Twitter relationships have moved to real-life connections that have provided me with friendships, professional networking and challenges to my way of thinking. My Twitter profile is my personality through and through. Therefore, it represents my life outside of being a PR and marketing professional. Sometimes those conversations evolve into discussions about personal activities that take place.
While I agree that there are people who share too much information or carry on conversations that are unprofessional, I believe that being open in your dialogue is the epitome of social media. I posted a few weeks ago about my irritation with social media users who focus on building their follower count. To me, it’s not about followers but it’s about conversations and making connections that work well online and off. Whether or not the personal discussions arise, I don’t want to limit the opportunity to connect with someone through one of these channels simply because there is a perceived line between personal and business.
What do you think?