Follow the right people on Twitter, and your knowledge base grows. It’s a great instructional tool. There is much content written by so many wise gurus. But too many of them are bombarding me with frequent and different kinds of pearls of wisdom every hour. Soon, I am so overwhelmed, I collapse from overstimulation and total paralysis – unable to absorb much, if any, of the many great training programs, books you suggest or even those lovely little reminders like “love is an action verb.” I love what you post. I just cannot digest or consume it. As I skim, I bookmark too many of your posts to ever go back and read. I want to learn from you, and I want to engage with you in social media, but the car is racing at 100-miles-an-hour, and I cannot jump in while it’s moving.
From the moment social media was a mere seed of an idea, I adored it. I was an early adopter, joiner and observer. Now that I am a consultant, I keep learning the tools to exploit their fullest capacities. I am now following some of the smartest people who can give me the practical wisdom I need. But sometimes their feeds look more like a marathon attempt to put up more content than their competitor, than it does to engage me in a mentoring or questioning relationship.
I am reaching out to many new colleagues through Twitter and value it as a tool for my business and growing my knowledge and network. In fact, it is a form of professional development for a consultant. The prolific curators of important information serve as a resource for keeping us up-to-date. But in their zeal, they are crossing some very important lines of etiquette, specifically – share, but don’t share too much.
LinkedIn can also be a favorite learning tool for me. But, because I work in marketing and communications, I see some dreadful breaches. I don’t know why smart people post their press releases on LinkedIn and don’t use the tool for its precious value – business and career development and networking. I really do care that your university received a big marine grant – in twitter or in the local news. In LinkedIn, it’s just annoying news I can’t use for my business. Since LinkedIn is connecting me mainly to folks I know, the pace is slower. I can manage to process this tool. I only wish that some of the sages on Twitter were reaching out to me on LinkedIn because that really is the source for my professional connections and development.
There is a heartbeat to each social tool as well as some unwritten rules that, although not necessarily explicitly expressed, come with expectations. Have fun in Instagram and Snapchat. But connect with me professionally in appropriate ways with your social tools. I am an avid consumer of social news but if you use them in ways not intentioned, you lose me as a fan, friend or contact. Moral of the story: don’t program your TweetDeck too aggressively. Talk to me – not at me.
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