I’m doing a job that didn’t exist when I first started working. At the time, I didn’t even really know some of the basic grammar rules nor did I know any industry jargon. One day, I had my boyfriend – now husband – accompany me to one of the many conferences I attended during the week. That day I said to him “wait for me in the car, I’ll just ask the speakers a couple of questions and I’ll be right back!”. Three hours passed. There was no cell signal, the conference lasted longer than scheduled and there he was, waiting outside for me. Needless to say, that evening we argued, not because of my work (which he has always respected) but for my negligence in notifying him of my delay.
I made all sorts of excuses, but that didn’t change the outcome.
However, that day I came home with newly found awareness: I loved that job insanely and I also loved insanely my boyfriend but never again should I overlap the two. I’m telling you this little episode of 19-year-old me because when I think about the work I do here today I sometimes feel like I’m back outside that auditorium. It is not easy to draw a line between work and private life, between business and feelings. It’s difficult but indispensable nonetheless and after many years, I’m learning to overcome this struggle. And you know why? Because social media also builds real-life relationships. Thanks to my blog I met so many wonderful people that I now call friends.
REAL LIFE VS SOCIAL MEDIA
The more followers you get, the harder this gets.
There are those who, not wanting to lose followers, are able to share every single moment of their day.
There are those who think they’ll feel valued only if they share their most intimate facts.
There are so many perspectives and so many different approaches!
HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA? HOW TO WORK WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?
I know I’m not going to find out what the right balance is, but I can tell you how I approach it. I only use social media to talk about my emotions: beautiful, ugly, serious, stupid, linked to travel and work. I don’t like to tell everything that happens to me during the day or even to publish an album of photos after attending the birthday of my second cousin once removed. I don’t like to share my birthday wishes for the people I love on Facebook (well, yes, it can happen but only to share a particular emotion with my readers).
I don’t like to send ‘good morning’ messages to people who are in the room next to mine. I don’t like to write hundreds of trivial Christmas wishes to people I don’t even recall meeting.
In short, I don’t like to do things that I consider false, inappropriate or that are simply not me. And the same thing happens on social media and maybe it’s one of the reasons why people consider me sincere and genuine.
I believe that the right compromise is not written in stone but that everyone must find their own. A compromise that respects one’s daily life without taking anything away from one’s work.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH FRIENDS AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Social media helps put a face to a brand but be considerate when sharing status updates, as social networks like Facebook can be used to chat with friends and potential customers alike. Your friend may be interested in who you went on that trip to the beach with, whereas your potential customer may be interested in where you went, if you enjoyed it and how you talked about it. That’s clear, isn’t it? The same message but with different reading perspectives. I talk more about this in my ‘Chit-chat: Page and Profile’ unit, part of my online course on ‘How to do business on Facebook’.