When I started getting serious about engaging on the social media, I knew I had to trust my gut instincts as to what I would do and how I would behave. I decided to write this post to remind myself of the guidelines that have evolved over the past several months.
I decided up front that I was going to be active only on three forums:
- Facebook for my family and close friends
- LinkedIn for my professional network
- Twitter for timely news and happenings where I hear about diverse topics of interest to me.
I decided I was not going to be doing auto-posts. I just don’t think many of my tweets are going to be interesting to my family, and similarly to my professional network. We all get too many posts in our feeds and I wanted to be selective. Because I decided to keep each social media for a specific purpose, I do not enable auto-posting on Twitter :
While this meets my goal of keeping my activities separate, it does create more work for me when I do want to cross-post. For example, if I find some topic on Twitter that I believe my family might be interested in, I share it on Facebook since most of them are not on Twitter. This tweet from Singularityhub:
I know my family and close friends would appreciate hearing about this since the young man is of Indian origin.
A post like this one on Twitter:
is of great interest to me, but I know my family will probably stop seeing my posts if I load my posts with such work related wisdom. But it is a good post to share on LinkedIn.
My Facebook friends are limited to my extended family and a few friends who have been grandfathered in before I became strict about this rule.
My LinkedIn network includes my ex-colleagues from the two companies I was involved in, my fellow alumni from the two schools I attended and a number of professionals in data science/Big Data, software engineering, product management and retail analytics. Some times I would see some really interesting content, and write to the author requesting to connect with the hope that the feeds I see will show more of what I am interested in. I have made some good connections this way. I also follow a few influencers.
My Twitter connections are those I like seeing tweets from. These are professionals in the fields of my interest, thought leaders I follow, and those who post interesting random information that makes me want to learn more.
I have been writing articles on LinkedIn since December 2016 when I got into social media seriously. My topics tend to be one of the following:
- Software Development and Product Management, because that is my history
- The exponential technologies and impact on society
- I am in the process of writing a book on the pioneering alumnae of my Alma Mater College of Engineering, Guindy, India. The process I am following is to write about each woman’s life story as a post. Eventually, I will collect these stories into a book. My goal in writing this book is to inspire girls to get into STEM, but more importantly, to encourage women to stay in the workforce and contribute to the economy.
I share these across all my social media platforms. I want my family on Facebook and my professional network on LinkedIn to see what I am doing, and Twitter since there is at least a few twitter connection who seem to like what I post.
What I post on Facebook is mostly for my family and close friends. I use Facebook privacy settings to limit who can see what. When I post content from Twitter o Facebook, I usually do it as a public post.
When I post a published content, I do the following:
- Add my comment when I have something to say
- Quote a specific paragraph from the post if it resonated with me and is the essence of the post (according to me, of course, and there could be limits on how much one can quote!)
- Credit the author or the publication
When I repost someone else’s post, I like to give credit to where I saw the post originally with a note “Via so and so”.
I try very hard to avoid commenting on a post if I don’t have anything substantial to say. I don’t always abide by this. For example, some times I see a post that is very good, and I want to tell the author or the one who shared it, “Thank you for sharing”, and nothing more. I feel those who took the trouble of posting need to know it mattered to others.
I also try very hard not to give negative public feedback on any post, unless it is really egregious and I feel everyone who reads the post should know about it. An example of this was my reaction to a post from someone without giving credit to the original post. I felt I had to point out the original author and explain what a good social media behavior is to all involved, in a nice way. A recent LinkedIn video post prompted me to reach out in private message to the author on giving a constructive critical feedback which was well received.
I try to limit the repost of articles from publications which require paid subscriptions. However, if you are very selective these could be free (for example HBR, and others let you view a fixed number of articles without subscription) for reading. So I end up re-posting some and not others as my mood dictates.
Recently I have started posting #AwesomeWomenQuotes in an effort highlight what women leaders and authors have contributed. More often than not I see leadership articles written by women that talk about “he”, “him”, and “his” when discussing leadership qualities. I want to see more women celebrating women alongside men.
I am able to participate at this level because it has become a significant part of what I do every day. When I was running product development for Retail Solutions, I was 24×7 making sure my team and I were delivering solutions to meet our customers’ expectations. I feel quite different about what I do since closing that chapter of my life. It has been an interesting eight months!