Social media has become a big part of our everyday lives personally and professionally. As a police officer, my social media profiles were locked down with limited public information. However, leaving the police and running my own business, I’ve had to learn to be more open about connecting with people and keeping the information up to date.
This recent article on fortune.com talks about some of the bigger security issues around social media connections. It made me think about how I connect and use my social media profiles.
I use three main social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. All three have very different purposes for me.
Facebook, whilst I use it for business, is very much my personal social media platform. I have very few business connections as friends. Not because I don’t like them, but it’s important for me to keep the space closed more to family and friends.
Instagram is my fun social media network – I enjoy taking photos and trying out different crafts. This is where I share those images and I enjoy following other similar accounts.
LinkedIn is my business platform and I’ve learnt recently that it’s a powerful business tool, but I still use it cautiously. Some of my sales/marketing contacts may not agree with this strategy but, generally speaking, I will only connect with people I’ve met in person or am due to meet. Sometimes I will connect with people I’ve met via Skype or built a relationship with online or over the phone, such as other PAs or contacts I communicate with on a regular basis. If I receive a connection request without an introductory message, 9 times out of 10 I will decline it. Sometimes, I may message the person and ask their reasons for connecting and see if there’s anything I can assist them with. If their reply is “LinkedIn suggested I connect with you”, which is a genuine response I have received before, then I won’t connect – this says to me that they’ve not taken the time to look at my skills and experience before connecting.
How do you use social media? What works well for you and your business?