I read an article the other day that said 30% of people check their Twitter account before they’ve even got out of bed in the morning. Well, I realise this whole social media thing is getting a lot of publicity these days and, in the eyes of some, we’re rapidly approaching the day when not having a Facebook account will mark you out as some sort of social misfit but even so, I thought this must be stretching the bounds of credulity. Imagine my surprise when I read that out loud in the office and sniggered “anyone believe this?” Three people stuck their hands up 30% of the people in that day! Shows what I know.
As you could probably guess, the age profile split for the tweeters was 0% for all of us over 30 and about 75% for those under. That’s probably a fair reflection of those of us with real social lives, never mind ‘social media’ ones, but it got me thinking about the way people communicate today and in particular the use of social media tools, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. How do you manage your online personae and what impact could this have on your career?
It’s not difficult to see that LinkedIn can be a useful tool for raising your profile and that of your business. It’s a professional arena and, managed professionally, it should only really be a positive experience. Likewise, there’s no doubt that Facebook can be a great way to keep up with family and friends. In that sense it is a true ‘social’ rather than business networking tool. It’s also going to become an increasingly important avenue for companies as they work out how to tap into all that social media data and use it to target specific customers.
It might be an age thing, but I must confess Twitter baffles me. Like Facebook, I can see it’s another useful tool for companies looking to get out short, targeted messages to customers and consumers. I can also sort of understand why some self-obsessed celebs, footballers and media types want to broadcast to their ‘followers’ the minutiae of their daily lives. But who’d really want to know what a great restaurant I’ve just been to for lunch or that I’d just seen Cheryl Cole in Tesco? That might be a flippant example of what some ‘broadcast’ on Twitter but from what I’ve seen it’s not too far off the mark.
I’ve not heard of any employer in our sectors actively monitoring employee tweets, but it might happen. It’s not even that people generally say anything controversial it’s just that a lot of them do just twitter on. In my experience, that’s not a characteristic many employers are looking for. And where do they find the time?
So for me, I’m LinkedIn and I’m all for the odd ‘poke’ now and then on Facebook, but as for joining the ‘Twitterati’ sorry, I’m just too busy.