Social Media – Is it worth the time and effort?

I was asked the other day how do I have time to manage all the social media platforms I use? The short answer is that I don’t have time to do it as much as I would like. Unfortunately work will always take precedence but each day is different depending on my schedule and objectives for that day.

There are of course times during the day when I can get access and whatever my day holds I always wind down during my commute. I always try to have a ‘fag break’ each morning and afternoon to check things. During this time I tend to glance through twitter and LinkedIn. I know I’ll never have time to read everything I see so I store interesting tweets or links into a lock box for reading later. Whether later is on the train home or in a weeks time, it’s there availabler for review.

So what platforms do I follow and how do I use them? Six months ago it was easy I split my time across what I considered my professional and personal objectives. However increasingly people and companies are leveraging all sites for everything. This means that I sometime have difficult decisions to make. The grey area between professional and personal is pretty big and pretty grey at the moment.

Solely professional

I have used LinkedIN in a professional capacity for a number of years. I have built up a great list of connections and groups which I follow. I find the ability to engage with like minded within a professional within groups I’m interested in invaluable. The ability to recommend people and receive recommendations is great.

I have a DeferoLaw account, which is a new socila media platform. I have followed it’s growth and interesting content closely. It helps me learn about the professionals I support (not directly but lawyers in general), in order to provide a better service.

A blend of personal and professional

I use Twitter primarily on a professional basis. There are some smatterings of personal about it like music and football but I hope it doesn’t dilute the ‘LegalIT’ elements?

Google+ add’s an extra ‘circle’ of greyness. The reason being that until it settles down and people find it’s purpose for them it’s difficult. The fact it provides the ability to ‘follow’ people without them following you is interesting and a different dynamic to the likes of Facebook. I have created circles like my twitter lists and follow some extra.

Personal

I use Facebook primarily for ‘actual’ friends (I know it surprises me too that I have some) with a few existing and previous work colleagues. I know some colleagues who refuse to accept a friend request if they work in the same company, leaving it till that person leaves.

So in summary how does this all help me in the legal IT world? It’s all about the information and opinions and there accessibility. With a single tweet and the clever use of some hashtags I can engage with like minded professionals globally, gleening an insight into how people and other organisations have resourced projects or attained a key deliverable. It’s true some people don’t like this openess, and yes there are risks with participating in social media, but that’s another topic and post altogether. Those that don’t engage in social media probably do most of their research on Google or similar and get flat content with no context which can be limiting in my honest opinion.

3 simple to follow steps to getting the most out of social media

1 – Decide what is professional and what is personal and try to guard it, without it being limiting to your objectives
2 – Engage with people don’t just broadcast.. Have a discussion and impart your views
3 – Target your question or message.. There could be a reasons to post different things on different platforms

Is it for everyone? No.
Would the world stop if I stopped using social media platforms? No.
Does it benefit me in my daily role and therefore my firm. In my opinion YES.

What do you use and how do you use it?

Credit for the image to Azrights thank you

 

One thought on “Social Media – Is it worth the time and effort?

  1. Interesting post – I like the fag break idea for ‘social media’.

    One great tool for managing Twitter updates is Buffer: http://bufferapp.com/ which allows you to store and schedule tweets you find interesting enabling you to spread them out over time and not bombard your audience!

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