Social Media at Work? Why you absolutely should!

Social media as a professional or learning tool, many are surprised when I say this. Social media may not be for everyone but it’s also far from “what I had for breakfast” or what the latest celebrity is doing.

Using Twitter, writing blogs, for me, these are great platforms for working out loud, thinking and reflecting, sharing my thoughts. At the same time with so many great HR and L&D people out there I am learning from their thinking and their reflections.

I was a bit slow on the uptake when it came to social media, I’ll admit not long ago I saw social media as sharing holiday photos Facebook. I still do keep Facebook as my private social media, for me this works, but for many others Facebook is a great professional network.  The platforms you use will depend on your industry, who is on those platforms and what you enjoy using.

When my employer suggested I use social media for work, I studied the policy with a very fine tooth comb and was really nervous about getting it wrong. I saw it as a selling tool, as many people do, I shouted about what I wanted to sell.  It is true, social media is a great tool for selling, marketing, customer service but for me it is so much more, it’s a learning tool.

For me, it was when someone recommended a number of great HR people to follow that I discovered the book, Putting Social Media to Work: A Practical Guide (Gemma Reucroft; @HR_Gem and Tim Scott; @TimScottHR).  It was when I understood Twitter wasn’t about selling and I started to share, read and engage that I really started to enjoy it and of course reap the learning benefits.

Twitter, is a great tool for sharing ideas, not always in 140 characters but also in the many blogs and articles that are shared. Now I use social media for sharing rather than selling I enjoy the relationships I am building, I enjoy sharing as much as I enjoy learning.  Whatever it is you’re interested in, there will be a platform for you and people sharing great content.

Social media has allowed me to build a network of HR and L&D professionals, along with many others, right across the world, people I wouldn’t otherwise be in contact with. I’ve found face to face networking events as a result of Twitter and LinkedIn, allowing me to further build my networks.

Now I’m starting to investigate other platforms, all because I read a blog! Mike Shaw (@MikeShawLD) in his blog, introduced me to Snapchat and I’m pretty excited about the possibility for sharing and learning on Snapchat.

So, I’m suggesting you give it a go, take a look see what you can learn and share!

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