Social Media and Me…and You and a billion other people

I recently attended an excellent SAP Mentor webinar regarding the impact and usage of social media.  We heard about SAP’s thoughts and strategies on social media and the Mentors were able to share theirs.  Then by chance,  the very next morning I was part of an email discussion at work about which social media sites people have joined and what kind of value they saw each bring to them.  I can’t help but how subjective these things really are.  Every individual is going to have their own thoughts on what they get out of each.  And that’s exactly is what is at the heart of the matter!  Each social media avenue can be used for a different purpose, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it.   For me, this is how I break it down:

Twitter
This seems to have become my main information hub.  I follow trends, look for news, track blogs and pretty much see what’s going on through Twitter.  But to be honest, I usually keep it limited to ‘work’ on here.  While I do find myself sharing personal ‘check-ins’, the occasional pithy comment or family news item; when I look at my followers/follows I see SAP Mentors, bloggers, influencers, ASUG-ers, techies and other SAP/BOBJ folks on here.  I realized that I’ve done this on purpose because…

Facebook
I hate to say it, but Facebook is for family and friends.  Pictures, stories and the relationships on here have been cultivated around the premise that my Facebook account is where I can connect with my Uncles in Florida and Washington State, cousins in Mexico and close friends spread amoungst the wind.  But there is a bit of overlap, though.  I have some people who are on both Twitter AND Facebook because not only are they colleagues, they’re friends.  That reminds me, I really do need to do some more reaching out in Facebook to friends from Twitter.  I am REALLY bad at searching for people and sending friend requests!

Here’s a Facebook example, I won’t engage in a conversation about BI4’s GA date on it.  I’ll rarely like a company page, unless it’s on a whim or having to do with something outside of work.  For example, one page I liked was Seagrave Fire Apparatus.  They have ZERO to do with BI4, but since I rely on their ladder truck to get me home safe to my family (non-work activity)- I liked their page.  BI4 comments will go to Twitter or…

SAP Community Network (SCN)
For me, the main blogging and news information portal for SAP-related news.  I blog on here and read blogs on here.  I am not as active on the Forums as I probably should be.  I consider SCN one of the main hubs for SAP/BOBJ information.  The SAP Mentors tend to centralize content on here (or link out to it) and even before I was a Mentor, I looked for their unvarnished views on products and technologies.  But I don’t think SCN is for…

Personal Blogs (you’re here already)
If I want to blog about my latest family vacation, post some birthday party pictures or review the newest gadget that my wife got mad at me for buying, I’ll post it here.  I would like to think that my personal blog kinda straddles the line between Facebook and Twitter.  Since it’s public, anyone can read it if they choose.  I am not limited to just SAP/BOBJ posts like on SCN or to only a selected list of people like Facebook.  Which bring us to…

Google+
Right now, G+ is limited to early adopters and has shown some promise.  I really do like the ‘Circles’ approach to life.  I can put people in my ‘SAP’ circle and when I want to make that comment about BI4, I can just limit the post to those folks who would be interested.  Or if I posted some birthday party pictures, I can limit that post to just my Family.  I think that this is a powerful feature and I suspect that others will likely roll out this kind of functionality at some point.  I do see promise in Google+.

LinkedIn
Now you’ve noticed no pithy ‘linking’ to LinkedIn in the blog.  That’s mainly because I don’t really use it as ‘social media’.  For me, it’s mainly a form of online resume and professional network documentation.  I have connected to folks that I want to stay in touch with professionally,  figuring out who works where and making sure that I have a professional appearance online.  Some folks really use the groups and other features of LinkedIn, but I find that they don’t really work for me too well.  So for now, I consider LinkedIn to be more of a placeholder than active social media experiment.

These are the main forms of social media that I utilize on a daily basis.  The moral of this story is that you should take the time to find the strategy that works best for YOU!  The amount of value that you will derive from these networks really depends on what you put into them.  If you want to just consume the information, good.  There’s plenty out there for you to find and read.  Want to start producing?  Go for it…but remember it takes time, effort and quality to start being heard.  Don’t be discouraged.  In today’s world, it seems that you are your own brand.  How you present your brand is up to you!