It’s the anniversary of my first tweet. I’ve had a Twitter account for three years. My first tweet was February 15, 2009, and I was actively tweeting for about seven months…. and then I got quiet, really quiet. Why? Because like many new to social media, I didn’t have a plan. I was tweeting along, messages here and there, following folks and reading and lurking, really, trying to figure out what I am supposed to say to this new audience.
Soon, I got really busy: building plans for my clients. Ironically, telling them how to craft their message to their audience, while I wasn’t keeping up my own messaging program. If you were following me online, well, I was really hard to follow, because I wasn’t leading you anywhere.
Recently, I took some of my own advice: I thought about why I want to use social media, and then I built a plan around that. My business is about relationships, and building trust with my clients. The two goals of my social strategy are to stay informed (reading, writing, and sharing about my industry) and to stay connected (networking).
I’ve revived my Twitter life for the informational side: I follow industry experts, clients and prospects, read and comment on what is relevant to my work. Twitter serves both a business and social service for me: I also share some personal views on life and popular topics.
For truly personal connections, I use Facebook, and limit my interactions there with those that I am very close to. Just like any social gathering, there are peripheral friends there, too, but I use my privacy tools to filter those conversations.
LinkedIn is strictly business. I’ve seen lots of folks use it as an automatic feed from Twitter, but I prefer to pick and choose what goes out there. My interest in the Redskins has nothing to do with my resumé–I don’t divulge that at the first hand shake, so I wouldn’t do it to you on LinkedIn, either.
A new addition for me is Instagram. This is my creative outlet, and I’ve been very happy to find an entire world, literally, of artists who share their work. Once in a while I share my post to Twitter or Facebook, but I prefer to let my audience decide how much they really want to know about me.
That’s the extent of what I actively manage. I join and test run tons of programs for my clients, I monitor activity on several, but for me, personally, my goals for engaging are pretty simple:
Twitter = Learning & Sharing
Facebook = Family
LinkedIn = Business
Instagram = Fun
Over time the tools and technology will probably change: soon I will add Google+ (it really is a completely dynamic tool for business). I can tell you that the G+ circles, and any NEW technology that I can’t imagine yet, will pretty much mirror the breakdown above, because these are the things that I value: Learning & Sharing, Family, Business, and Fun.