Putting the Social in Social Media

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The very nature of social media is that it is social – engaging, two-way conversation that requires a give-and-take from a community of likeminded people.

As a social media professional, it’s incredibly important for me to operate with two standards in mind:

  1. Maintain a professional, online persona on different social networks that establishes me as a trusted resource to the broader digital marketing community.
  2. Maintain separate, personal social media profiles to understand user experience (and also to connect with the people I love and topics I care about).

I guess there could also be a Standard #3, in which I give my poor thumb a break from the dexterity of constantly scrolling and completely disconnect from social media to enjoy life in the moment.

I digress…

I follow different types of people/accounts based on the standard under which I am operating.

Professionally (catch me on Twitter or LinkedIn), I find Twitter the most useful to quickly read and digest the information most important to me – it’s almost like my personal newspaper comprised only of social media news. In looking for people to follow, I expect to receive the benefit of valuable, truthful content intended to ignite genuine conversation. In other words, I want to learn something new every time I log on, and I want the content to be compelling enough for me to engage with it.

Professional media resources include but are not limited to Mashable Social Media, Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, Tech Crunch Social, AllFacebook, Media Bistro and Ad Week Digital. I would also be remiss if I didn’t follow accounts of the actual social media platforms (because duh): Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.

I also follow some incredible thought leaders. If you get a second, check out Dave Kerpen and Carrie Kerpen from Likeable Social Media and Gary “Vee” Vaynerchuk from Vayner Media.  I have heard them speak at conferences, listened to their webinars, and read their blogs and books. They bring the same power and energy to their social media accounts. They have a rawness about them – even online, they communicate as humanly and authentically as possible, infusing their personalities into everything they do.These trailblazers inspire me to be a better social media marketer – that is, one that works with intent, passion and purpose all the time.

Resource Alert: Read Dave Kerpen’s book Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks). I promise you won’t regret it. Also check out Gary Vee’s YouTube channel (sorry not sorry if you get sucked into watching hours of his videos).

Currently, I use LinkedIn to connect with other industry professionals, maintain relationships, consume content and source potential work. I spruce up my LinkedIn profile every so often so I am up-to-date with my latest experiences, achievements, skills and recommendations.

Personally (links intentionally withheld because I enjoy my privacy ;)), it’s all about inspiration and the things that appeal to my passions and endeavors. However, as a professional, it’s equally important for me to always put my feet in the shoes of the social media users to never forget (1) why the social media network exists in the first place and (2) how they prefer to use the platform(s) and the types of content they interact with most there.

Who else can I follow to bring my social presence to the next level? Leave me a recommendation in the comments below.

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