What do I post on which social media? (part II)

(here is my part I)

3) LinkedIn

LinkedIn was my first true social network membership if you don't consider my blog as a social network.  I've been a LinkedIn member since August 2005.

I'm not a terribly active user but I do care about keeping my CV up to date (and not starting to update it on a moment that I might consider changing jobs as that would be too obvious) . I'm also very keen to keep a very large network of  professional connections. It doesn't matter if I've met a supplier, consultant, customer only once: I will probably send an invite for a connection.

Now and then I log on and in waves I share some updates from my employer or other topics from my past or current professional area. I consider what I do on LinkedIn, my professional brand that I keep active at a rather low profile.  A few years ago I probably updated it more actively.  I put more thought in what I posted and how balanced and up to date the topics were, and how those posts would influence my professional brand.  At this moment I'm less concerned with that, which I consider a good sign that I feel comfortable in my current job.

Yet I am convinced that in current times no job lasts a  lifetime and that LinkedIn is quite important in the contemporary search for jobs. I do get job offers coming from LinkedIn and my LinkedIn network has provided me information in the past that has boosted my job search several years ago.  So it's important to keep the profile alive and accurate.  When a researcher phones/mails/messages me based on a clearly outdated information that could have easily been found by consulting my public LinkedIn profile, then he has lost his case with me before even starting.  It's such a sign of unprofessionalism.

4) Twitter

I'm a laggard on twitter. I had been observing the platform for quite a while from a distance without creating an account. I could see the value without feeling the need to actively participate in it myself.

More and more I followed news on twitter via a browser by searching hashtags when there was breaking news on a topic. I noticed there were fun hashtag games to follow.  But it was a service complaint with a telecom provider that made me create a twitter account in 2011. An inside tip from a customer service expert confirmed me the SLA difference between Twitter and the traditional channels. Since Twitter is public and influencers can quickly pick something up and complaints can go viral...customer service departments generally answer quicker on twitter and act with more autonomy.   I tested it and my e-mail to the telecom provider that answer in 5 days, got solved with a unasked cashback on twitter in 1 hour!!!!!!!!

So I was hooked.  Twitter has become my prime source of information. It is not primarily a "social" tool for me. Since it is asymmetric: I can follow people that do not need to follow me and vice versa, it works mostly as a subscription of information. I follow journalists, politicians, tech news, corporate leaders, ...
And if I have a question to an airline, utilities firm, railroads etc...: I'll always first try to reach them on twitter. It's my little "Is the firm digital and part of the 21st century or not? Do they have customer service that works or not?" test.   I must say that some firms have greatly evolved. For example the Belgian railroad was non-present on social media in 2011 but I got regular train information updates from railroad personnel that was on twitter when commuting by Thalys to Amsterdam on a weekly basis from 2011-2013. As a result back then, I could often explain the train personnel why we were standing still among the fields and how much our estimated delay would be.  The NMBS is now an example for its excellent twitter team. They state an SLA of 3 minutes on twitter and my recent communications with them were 6 minutes but hey....try to beat that by phone or e-mail!?! KLM for ages has been an example to always answer within the hour. So twitter is also my first customer service channel of choice.

After a while, I did also started to follow unknown individuals because of some tweet that caught my attention and I started to reply more and more to tweets and got in small conversations.  Now I have some twitter acquaintances, but the social aspect stays limited.

My own tweets are mostly retweets: repeating what others have tweeted and what I found interested.  I'll give very little personal content. My twitter profile is public, it mentions my employer so you won't get children's pictures there or a lot of personal information.

I also find twitter more handy to track breaking news and find local news in comparison to the traditional news media. For example during the hurricane Florence previous week, all Belgian news sites had an article online that got updated about twice a day. But I was interested to know how the Virginian towns that we visited in May, were impacted by the hurricane. So by searching Virginia Beach on twitter, I found the evacuation zones, learned when schools closed, saw pictures of people still enjoying the beach before the hurricane arrived, saw the playground toys on the beach being taken down out of precaution, etc... all by reading the tweets from local residents.  It's information news sites couldn't give me.  Twitter is the fastest news source , which is is also risky as speculation spreads quickly before it can be verified.

Much more than FB , Twitter is the ideal procrastination or addictive tool as it is a non-stop source of information. Each time you refresh, there's new tweets.  In the new iOS I can see a screen usage report and my usage of the twitter app is slightly higher than FB and IG.  There's always new tweets and a lot of them are links to articles that can keep you busy reading (although I often stop if the article is too long, I admit).

Since Twitter adjusted its algorithms and no longer shows us information in chronological order, breaking news can sometimes show up with much delay, which is just worthless. Also I now see much more what others comment, like, ... which doesn't always interest me. There's a lot of sour discussions going on on Twitter and while I try not to follow those who spread hatred and negativity, it's hard to stay out of it anymore since there's always someone commenting on the latest outrage.  So there's more and more days that Twitter is not a nice place to hang out anymore...and yet, then the opposite happens as well and sometimes you are surprised by the compassion of others and the counter reactions.  And there's also the best humor on Twitter.  And so I still stick around.

5) Instagram

The world has become more visual and the world seems to turn to Instagram. I find it a place to search a bit of zen... pictures that make me smile, pictures that show me beauty, pictures that make me pauze for a moment to zoom in on a little detail.  So I try to follow young parents with adorable children, nature lovers, amateur photographers, etc...and the people I already know.

I try to post myself a selection of nicer images, close-ups, architecture, details that I discovered etc. My Instagram account will not give you a diary on what I'm up to. For that reason my account is unlocked and it will not feature too many clear pictures of my children. Unlike other social media I don't post on a daily basis either, but I will consult it daily.

The overview of my pictures of my IG profile is a form of communication.  I'm so freaky that I try to have a balance in that overview: now and then a flower, not too often but yet sometimes a sign of my children, a balance of colors...One time this summer I noticed an overload of yellows and brown and green and I really had the urge to find a beautiful picture featuring red to counterbalance it.  I couldn't post anything else before I had found that picture with red first.  So I'll never be on an event, a restaurant, a festival and post 15-20 pictures of moment ... like some other people seem to do. That seems like such a dilution of that message to me. Less is more on IG to me (but not on other social media ;) ).

The introduction of Instagram Stories gives me mixed feelings.  By nature I love to look back on memories, so the concept of posting something that disappears feels useless. (ok they can be in your archive now but that wasn't the case at first).  On the other hand, they have created  in IG a place where there's always something happening.  More than the pictures that appear in my feed but that aren't renewing that frequently, there is a non stop feed of stories.

But ... stories are so trivial. They are such an overload of too much information on non-interesting things. Most of the time someone's story starts and often I don't watch it to the end. Sometimes I get distracted, put my phone down and later on I'm surprised to pick up my phone and see those stories are still running.   However sometimes I amuse myself with making a story myself: some pictures where I feel like adding stickers and text or a sequence of a few pictures that form a little storyline, but a topic that is too trivial even for my FB statusses.

So I'm different from a lot of other Instagram users. While some of us just post a beautiful picture now and then for the visual joy, others seem to use Instagram to replace their facebook, their blog, ...  to keep up to date with someone's life.  And personally I don't get that. I don't get it that you need to post your outfit of the day, film your commute, comment and post your daily jogging run, ... But who am I? I am probably just getting old.

Social media I've tested and discarted

6) Pinterest

The concept of Pinterest is great and it's good to know that there is a place to go to if I want to find a recipe or a good craft idea for children.
I created the account to gather some renovation ideas as a visual idea to store them. I followed the suggested friends but I was all of a sudden flooded with braided hair , self-made postcards and recipes, ...  All things that don't interest me enough.  So it's a sleeping account.

7) Snapchat
Hmm no, I'm to old for this type of stuff (and instagram is stealing the functionalities anyway).


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