Confessions of a Social Networker

I’ve been writing for Information Management magazine for two years now, and my latest column “Confessions of an Active Social Networker” is available at http://www.information-management.com/issues/20_2/confessions-of-an-active-social-networker-10017314-1.html.

It tells the story of how I’ve used blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in my professional life over the past few years, and gives some tips on how people can apply some of those ideas in their careers.

Building your personal brand, whether it be in master data management and data governance, or in any other area of business or technology, is a matter of knowing your stuff, and letting other people get to know you and your voice. Having something to say in a distinctive way, adding some value, taking a stand, being a good source of information, being entertaining, being concise – all those things are helpful.

Today, there are so many sources of information – all literally at our fingertips. People are looking for someone that can help them cut to the chase – assess new technology, help them learn something new quickly, understand different schools of thought on complex topics, synthesize and present ideas from both business and technology to both management and technical audiences.

If you can do that, you’ll attract an audience.  Small at first, of course. But a blog, a LinkedIn profile, a Twitter and Facebook account, perhaps a YouTube channel – these cost almost nothing but your time. But the time you invest will pay tremendous dividends down the road. Not overnight, of course. And perhaps not in cash deposited to your bank account. But in credibility, in relationships, in marketing exposure, in reinforcing your message, in personal branding, in networking – the effects are undeniable.

I still meet people and companies who shrug social media off or who just “don’t get” blogging.  Corporations who are passing up an incredibly valuable and cost effective way to engage in dialog with their customers and potential customers. People who have a wealth of knowledge to share but don’t take the time. So much untapped potential in the world. But I see the growth figures mentioned in the article in Information Management, and I think people are starting to catch on. Our corporate blog gets three times the traffic as our web site. And we’ve had clients hire us specifically because they’ve read a number of the articles on the blog and have told us “we can tell that you know your stuff”.

So if anyone challenges you on the ROI of blogging or social media, send them to me – I’ve got a few good anecdotes I can tell them.

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