Starting with the early versions of Facebook and Twitter, the social connection was front and center. Ask yourself how you feel when you receive a Facebook invitation from an old pal from high school, or a name from the past surfaces and it’s someone you knew back in elementary school. Yes, the ability to connect online is an amazing feat – but the truth is, we all enjoy re-connecting with old friends, family that may live far away, and also making new friends. And social media is the modern way to do this.
My digital footprint resembles most of yours: I have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Quora, Focus, SlideShare, and a Blog. As a brand marketing professional, I use social media to share marketing insights, contribute to conversations, learn about future trends, and network.
But, I have also experienced some exciting opportunities as a result of my social media participation that goes above and beyond my professional connections. I was invited to be a guest on two radio shows. One aired earlier this week, and I discussed the privacy implications of social media. The second will be broadcast at the end of January 2012, and I will discuss the alignment of marketing and leadership. I was also asked to write a foreword for a book about career development – and the book will be published in February 2012. I was invited to write guest posts for 12 different blogs on topics ranging from marketing and branding to management and leadership – and am now a regular contributor to two of the blogs. I met the co-founder of a unique website that customizes the Twitter experience for better SEO performance and based on my enthusiasm for the site, worked in a consulting capacity to promote the site to colleagues who use Twitter.
Last but not least, I have met hundreds and hundreds of incredibly talented people from around the world – from Africa to Australia to Asia to Europe to South America to Canada and all across the USA – who I would never have had the chance to meet without social media. I have collaborated with many and, without a doubt, learned something from all.
What about you? What have you gained from your participation in social media? Is there one site that outshines all the rest? Please chime in and share.