Yesterday I read a post Socialgraphics Help You To Understand Your Customers at http://www.web-strategist.com when it hit me: no matter what are your interests, it’s not that much about them but taking concern the laws of social media.
In a slideshow shared in his blog post, Jeremiah addresses to five aspects of social media; Watching, Sharing, Commenting, Producing and Curating. This division is OK with this post’s idea, I’ve seen different variations, so let’s stick with it for now.
What’s important to understand here, is that it doesn’t matter if you are trying to use social media for marketing, self-development, making business or trying to find a job, most likely thinking with these following terms gets you where you are trying to go.
I’ve included two different example situations where you could apply the use of social media: self-development and getting a job. This time let’s forget the marketing aside and concentrate to these.
So, let’s see how those two fit in the previous thinking:
Self-development: YouTube videos about your interests (for example Photoshop tutorials), Twitter updates (useful links, insights etc.) from people you’ve found interesting, reading blogs from your peers etc.
Getting a job: Search groups and go through them, for example LinkedIn Job Search or if your in the mobile business places like www.wirelessjobs.com could be a good place to scan through.
So basically what you are doing is seeing what the web can provide and leave to yourself.
Self-development: Let’s say you wanted to develop your searching capabilities in the web and found Webdesignerdepot’s ” How to Find Anything Online: Become an Internet Research Expert” post and you know people in your network would appreciate knowing about this: you’ll post it to Twitter or Facebook.
Getting a job: What, if you’ve searched out jobs at LinkedIn and just happened to find a job description for Developer Programs Engineer at Google London [a real world example], but aren’t fit for it but know a friend who would be? Well, you hit the “Forward this job to a friend” link, right?
Also another thing is that the information you share through different service also defines you. If a possible employer is enlightened enough [and living in the social media era] he can see what kind of content you are spreading on your Twitter account. If the content is very much related to the job description you are applying and she sees you are an active in discussions, how would you feel that affects to her view about you?
Sharing, is actually what many people do very automatically these days – and companies and newspapers and everybody else in the world – and there can be more in-depth use for this. For example collaborating with some project with Google Docs. The downfall with open to all sharing is that it gets more complicated to find good content in the web, but there are ways for this too.
Self-development: I’d urge to think if one could always give back if one has new information about learning things. This includes commenting to a blog that you found very helpful, or asking more questions from the blogger about the subject. Also discussion boards go under this.
Getting a job: Pretty much the same idea here, than in the previous sharing part. If you comment with your own name, it may sometimes rise in Google search. If you have left a positive trail behind you in your fields discussion boards or blogs, most likely it won’t be a bad thing.
Getting a job: Are you a photographer? How about setting up a Flickr account and posting your greatest shots collection there? You can even blog about the photos. If you are finding a steady photographer job after this, you have always a good place to show your material.
Self-development: If you are still that same photographer, how about sending you Flickr photos to one of the gazillion groups out there? Most likely someone will comment at least something, sometimes even asking with what settings you took it and how much you Photoshopped it.
Want to know how to take better picture? Find a picture you see is perfect and ask about. And remember to comment other peoples photos too – it’s good to understand the concept of reciprocation.
Self-development: Start your own world of self-development like Henrik has done with The Positivity Blog.
Getting a job: Invest your time to a community that may become your job. Find one you’re passionate about [maybe you already are there] and involve yourself more strongly. I’ve seen it happen, it may support you.
These are all of course just samples, the reality can be much deeper and complicated sometimes, but these could be a start. Once again, it’s about having a map and not going in blindfolded.