Written by:2012/03/14 07:40 PM
A guest post by Jaimie Zinski
The social media phenomenon that is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a slew of other sites has spawned several pop culture references, Twitter-isms -- including "tweet", "twitosphere" and my personal favourite "twalking" -- which occurs when you walk and post to Twitter simultaneously -- and a platform for several celebrity wars, make-ups and break-ups. Don't despair if you're becoming lost amongst the sea of tweets, hash tags, Likes and Dislikes. There are ways to make your next venture on any social media and blogging site more productive and less confusing or detrimental to your professional life.
Start out small and only follow your friends and family members. Keep it relevant, short and sweet. Avoid the temptation to Tweet every mundane aspect of your daily life and stay away from following all your favourite celebrities. If you're a big fan of Downton Abbey, go ahead and follow the show, but keep the remainder of your non-essential list short. Before you know it you could be following 500 people you aren't intimately acquainted with, lost in a flurry of up-to-140-character irrelevant musings and updates.
Keep your personal and professional blogging lives separate. Blogging is an ideal platform to express your personal convictions, or a tool to draw potential clients to your business. If you have a controversial viewpoint on a hot button issue, your professional blog is not the arena to air this opinion. Instead, save your viewpoints and opinionated rhetoric for a personal website. Keep your professional life squeaky clean and you'll avoid offending potential and current clients.
Pay attention to the comments on your blog. The entire idea of blogging is to draw attention to your brand or site, and to get people talking. Most people don't have an issue posting their distaste when something offensive or plain boring is posted on your blog. Read the comments, but don't forget to take many of them with a grain of salt. There are still readers bent solely on posting negative comments without any desire to be productive. Relish your positive reviews and use them as a driving force to attract more readers to your blog.
Use Twitter, Facebook and the other social media sites thoughtfully to sell yourself or your brand. Facebook and the countless other sites are powerful social media tools that allow you to branch out into various sectors you never thought possible. With that aspect of the social media landscape in mind, do yourself a favor and set up two accounts - one for your professional life and another for your family and friends. This may seem daunting, but you'll thank yourself later if a work colleague or your supervisor reads a Tweet or post about you bailing on work to attend the Cubs opener at Wrigley Field.
Whatever your decision, remember that social media and blogging are both excellent ways to make yourself seem educated and thoughtful. Conversely, these outlets can unfortunately be a destructive tool that will ruin your standing, both personally and professionally.Jaimie Zinski has been featured on several websites including Degree Jungle and has written blogs and posts on several topics, from social media and parenting to horror movies.
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