Why Even Engage in Social Media?

Yesterday, I wrote about my plan to differentiate between personal and professional social media usage and begin to professionalize my approach to professional accounts. I also wrote that I plan to treat Twitter and LinkedIn as professional accounts.

All of this begs the question, why bother? Why invest any energy in social media at all?

In the case of personal accounts, the answer is a bit nebulous and uncertain. However, if I can truly professionalize my approach to Twitter and LinkedIn – that is, approach those accounts as if they were part of my job – then it becomes a question of cost and benefit. What is the cost? What is the benefit?

The Cost of Social Media

The cost of using social media is time and energy.

  • Time to create and publish content and interact with other users.
  • Energy to come up with creative content and deal with the negativity and criticism endemic to social media platforms.

This is where professionalizing my approach to social media comes into the equation. When I talk about professionalizing my approach to social media I mean I want to treat it as if it were a work responsibility. How would I handle my Twitter account if I were required to manage that account as part of my job?

Well, I would do a few things:

  1. I would write content in bulk once a week or once a month. I wouldn’t try to come up with content on a whim each day. I would set aside a limited amount of time – say, 30 minutes – decide how many posts I needed to write (a week’s worth, two weeks, etc), write them, and use a tool to schedule them to go live at a later point in time.
  2. I would schedule my use of the platform and stick to that schedule. I wouldn’t drop by Twitter every 30 minutes. I would drop by once a day, retweet one or two interesting posts, respond to any positive comments (and ignore negative comments), and then log out.

By professionalizing my approach to social media I will make the time and energy demands manageable. However, the question remains, will the benefits provide sufficient return to offset the cost?

The Benefit of Social Media

I host a podcast. When considering potential guests for Reverse Engineered one of the factors we take into consideration is the size of the potential guest’s audience. How large of an audience with the guest be able to share our podcast with?

Looking at just my personal social media footprint, I wouldn’t let myself on my own podcast. My social media reach just isn’t large enough. So the first benefit of building a larger audience is that it would support my favorite professional responsibility: hosting and appearing on podcasts.

Sidebar: while my personal reach isn’t very good, Kinsta has a solid social media following and when I’ve appeared on someone else’s podcast we’ve used Kinsta’s social media accounts to share the episode. So if you want me on your podcast to talk about something Kinsta-related, you should consider their social media following, and not just my personal account. 😅

A secondary benefit to a larger social media following would be recruitment. Kinsta team members routinely share job openings from their social media accounts. While I do participate and share opening on my own profiles, I often feel like my efforts contribute very little because my following just isn’t very large.

Finally, someday I’d like to get back into professional writing. I was a freelance writer for a few years and I often miss writing professionally. While I don’t want to be a freelance writer again, I would love to have an actual readership (for this blog, for example) and a strong social media presence would be very helpful in this regard.

Intentional Use of Social Media Supports My Professional Goals

That’s really the bottom line.

  • My favorite professional responsibility is podcasting, and a better social media presence would really help with those efforts.
  • Our recruitment efforts are bolstered by social media.
  • I want writing to be a part of my professional life in the future, and a social media following would help make that a lot more impactful and rewarding.

I don’t really like social media. As a conflict-averse introvert, social media is not fun. However, if I can professionalize my approach to social media I believe it can support my professional goals and that’s a good reason not to delete my Twitter account.

Featured photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

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