Apart from sharing aspects of your day to your friends and family, social media can be also used to:
- Build a network
- Show and share our work
- Engage in online communities that have diverse views and perspectives to our own
- Express our thoughts and reflections in our unique voice and manner – and in different creative ways (text, audio, video, photography, etc)
Knowing how to use social media effectively (and more importantly, the associated behaviours around its use such as netiquette, digital literacy such as critical thinking, advanced search, privacy settings and meta-tagging as well as engaging in networks) is a key critical skill for any person – regardless of age or background.
In my experience, many people use one social medium over another preferring to use them for their own specific purposes. For example, Facebook for only close friends and family; Instagram for their travel photograph and so on. However, they may be missing an opportunity especially if they are looking for new work, expanding their professional network, building a new business or want to build a profile on their expertise online.
Also, each of these social media platforms has their own functions such as video, live streaming, direct messaging, group management and so much more that many have not explored or even considered using.
Social media allows us to create and not only consume other people’s content.
In a majority of cases, our social media feeds are filled with marketers content that only feeds the vicious cycle of consumption, however, consider the delightful difference when you last watched and interacted with someone who’s not trying to sell you something or clogging your feeds with advertisements.
It’s time for us to become smarter in how we use social media and start creating and crafting our own stories to share these.
What are we working on? What are we learning? Who did we connect with? What we’re inspired by? How have these connections helped us?
I believe that many people scratch the surface when it comes to using social media effectively for the purpose of showing their work, sharing their expertise, building and engaging communities and building a portfolio of their work and learning that would help them in their job, a new career or a sideline passion into a business.
Many people are not social media savvy and you can see this by the limited ways they are using it – or worse, by their negative perception of it.
For example, I have observed and engaged with communities outside my field of Learning and Development such as education, science, small business and marketing and seen how these groups are using a myriad of different ways to inform and educate others on their business, work and projects. They use the full gamut of functions of these tools to be able to tap into various communities across the world to share ideas, create stories, solve problems, collaborate in business and build new networks.
In effect, they make their work visible to others to engage with – a portfolio of their work where people can ask questions, contribute to, share to others and learn from.
The value and benefits of using social media in ways that support your own personal and professional development are many and varied. It’s a great self-development and proficiency medium that allows you to connect with people outside your field, fire up your creativity because you can create and craft your own unique story around what you’re working on and learning about, it can make your thinking visible to others and so inspire conversations and engagements that in turn bring about new ideas and improvements in your own work and business.
If you want more information on how you can use social media as work and learning portfolios, you can contact me through this website or check out the various workshops available. I can also customise workshops and webinars to your needs.