How I use social media professionally


Recently a company ask me to to give them an introduction in the usage of social media, by explaining to them how I use it. They found my story helpful so I thought it might be a good ides to share this with you.

I actively started using LinkedIn (my first social media site) in 2004. From the beginning I was aware that your profile would be very valuable if you build it properly, so I decided from the start that I would only use it for professional purposes. I started out very careful only connecting to people I knew really well, later I discovered that there is a value for looser a network as long as it is focused on a certain industry. This weekend I read an old but interesting post on LinkedIn strategies. It divides LinkedIn users in four categories:

  • Lions, will connect to anybody
  • Turtles, will only connect to people they know really well
  • The Hound Dog, wants to connect to everybody they have met in person (following up every meeting with a LinkedIn invitation)
  • They Alley Cat, he will sent out only invitations to people for a specific reason, but will accept invitations from everybody.

I went from a Turtle to an Alley Cat. I switched from strategy about a year and a half ago. I had under a 100 connections, this has now grown to 800+.

In the mean time I have added other social media like this blog (WordPress), Facebook and Twitter. I also take part in some special interest communities (e-Learning guild, ASTD, LinkedIn group about learning). At the beginning of this year I started my on LinkedIn group (the e-Learning Piranhas), I read blogs a lot of blogs (thanks to the Ipad and Flipboard).

Quite a lot if you put it all together, but in fact it is even more. At easygenerator we use a blog, twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too, we even have our own youtube channel. We use the ‘corporate’ social media for formal announcements, I use my ‘personal’ social media to ventilate my opinions about e-Learning. It works like this:

Our corporate website is the center of our activities. It links to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and our blog at WordPress. I use my LinkedIn page as my personal homepage, with plugins all my blogs and tweets are automatically placed there. I write my blog in WordPress and use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to announce new post. Easygenerator retweets my tweets and vise versa. The other thing I use Twitter for is to tweet about other blog posts I have read and when I visit a conference I will tweet about that. I have a Facebook account, but I don’t use it a lot. Only to publish my tweets and blogs and I will accept invitations from people I know. This works fine for me, the hardest part is to keep up with all communities and interest groups I take part in. I’m hoping that it will become possible to follow LinkedIn groups, Ning, Elgg and Yammer communities through Flipboard, that would make my life easier.

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