Interaction Across Social Media Platforms

I recently received an interesting comment on my 10 Thoughts for Friday post. I mentioned in the post that I respond to invites from people on LinkedIn with a short message asking them to clarify why they’re connecting with me. My wording:

Hi x, 

Thank you for the invitation to connect on LinkedIn! I wanted to check in and see what you were interested in connecting about since I don’t believe we’ve met in person.  

Thank you and take care,

Cristina

Vicki commented on the post and urged me to accept the LinkedIn contacts, stating that “Nearly never will you be connected to by a weirdo – and if you are, it doesn’t reflect on you. LinkedIn is simply about building your network, sharing ideas, and making new business acquaintances…” In contrast, her thoughts were to be more cautious with Facebook and Twitter: “this is where I might use your response, to vet your new connections.” Lastly she said “You want your FB friends to actually be friends (or, I do).”

All of this got me thinking about how different individuals interact across social media platforms, their actions often based on assumptions or past experiences. Although there are very few formal rules governing our social media interactions, people have formed divergent ideas of etiquette- some platform by platform and others about social media as a whole.

Here is how I approach each platform and why:

  • LinkedIn: By now, you know my philosophy on LinkedIn. I accept people I know and follow up with those I don’t know. But there’s a reason that I don’t readily accept everyone: I actually had a weird experience with LinkedIn that changed my perspective a bit. I was added by an individual who was connected to others that I know and trust. Turns out, he wanted me to join his iffy business venture. I don’t think I would have been so trusting if I hadn’t seen that others I knew were connected to him. Hence my reasoning for being more cautious in accepting invites. There are also features on LinkedIn that lend themselves to keeping a curated network. You can ask contacts to connect you to their contacts. If people in the chain don’t know each other in real life, it dilutes the effectiveness of this feature because they are unable to vouch for each other. For more on my LinkedIn philosophy, see my post To Connect or Not to Connect: The Rules of LinkedIn.
  • Twitter: My love affair with Twitter is well-known. I see it as the most open of all the social networks. I welcome any and all follows that are not porn bots 🙂  Unless you have a closed account, you can’t control who follows you, so I don’t think it reflects on you (in contrast to LinkedIn, for example, where you have to make a decision whether to accept or reject a connection). As for who I follow: if I am interested in the content of the tweets, I will follow the person. I see Twitter as more about content than relationships (in contrast again to LinkedIn).
  • Foursquare: I sometimes get requests from strangers on FourSquare, which I decline. I share the check-ins that I want others to see on Twitter, but I prefer only my friends to see some, so I think it’s important to keep this network closed.
  • Facebook: As Vicki said, Facebook is for your real friends. 100% agreed! As I said in my comment to her, I see it as the only place on the internet where I can be my 22 (almost 23!) year old self. One thing that makes it slightly more complicated: Raleigh networking is very casual, so sometimes the line between friend and acquaintance blurs. In the past year, I’ve begun accepting business contacts, which I have mixed feelings about.
  • Pinterest: I’m not sharing anything particularly personal, so I’m flattered when people follow my boards. I follow boards of friends and other people that I stumble upon 🙂
  • Blog: The more the merrier!

Clearly, I approach each social media platform differently. I think it’s important to do so because they all have unique missions and features that make them more fitting for one kind of relationship over another (i.e. LinkedIn provides more value to business relationships than friendships). If I were to approach each platform in the same way, I may as well just be using one, right?

Where do you stand? Why? Do you approach social media as a whole or platform by platform? 

Thank you to Vicki for prompting such an interesting discussion!

great things that have come from twitter

Hearing people dismiss Twitter as pointless or a waste of time works me up. I always want to sit the person down and tell them all the great things that have happened to me as a result of using Twitter- now I’ll just direct them to this blog post!

——————-

I tweeted a link to my blog post reviewing Garden Lite gluten-free frozen meals; they responded back offering me a discount code for my readers.

I was put in touch with Sara of Watermelon Roses through Twitter. She is now my friend, interior decorator, blog designer, tennis partner, kickball teammate, and comedy show attending buddy!

I tweeted Asurion- my phone insurance company- and they responded back almost immediately and I ended up with an upgrade to a newer phone model.

I tweeted Sitti, a downtown Raleigh Lebanese restaurant as I crossed the street from my office. As soon as I sat down, the manager came over to our table, mentioned that he saw my tweet, and ended up bringing over a few appetizers on the house for our table.

I interviewed with a very cool social enterprise organization when I was still in college; they had already heard of the social enterprise student organization that I co-founded because we had a  Twitter presence. I think knowing that I was engaging online was a big reason they extended an offer to me (unfortunately, I had to pass on the offer).

I found out about Osama bin Laden before my friends who were watching major TV stations.

I’ve found a vet, great restaurants, cool things to do in Raleigh, good gluten-free options, and awesome advice simply by tweeting out a question or monitoring what was being said on my home feed. But the kicker?

The Raleigh Forum started because of Twitter. Before I moved to Raleigh, I shot a tweet into the supposed dark hole of Twitter asking about coworking spaces in the area. Derrick Minor of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance saw my tweet and ended up hooking us up with several local resources, including our current leasing company. If that’s not proof of Twitter’s potential, I don’t know what is!

Any awesome/random/exciting things that have happened to you because of Twitter? 

how to efficiently monitor content on the web

1) Google Reader: I use Google Reader as both as professional and personal (read: blog) resource. I subscribe to interesting blogs and websites, then check in 1-2 times per day to read up on my new content. High on my list: Lifehacker, The Kitchn, The Everygirl, and a billion lifestyle/cooking blogs (including all the blog girls!). I love that you can star posts to refer back to at a later time. You can also create folders to group subscriptions by topic (e.g. design, fashion, cooking, work, etc).

2) Google Alerts: I mentioned awhile back how important it is to monitor the internet for references to yourself. But you can also use Google Alerts to search for miscellaneous content across the web- I have an alert set up for “social recruiting” and one for “Boolean AND recruiting” so I can stay up-to-date on the recruiting field. The best part? You can have all Google Alert content sent directly to your Google Reader (see above!).

3) Twitter: I’m obsessed with Twitter and everyone knows it! Without harping on all the benefits, I’ll leave you with two tips: use lists to filter content by user (I have a ton set up but don’t actually use them often). In addition, save searches and check them regularly (I have “The Raleigh Forum, “Raleigh coworking,” and “#socialrecruiting,” among others).

4) LinkedIn: LinkedIn Today is daily news based on your profile details and interests- I always find one or two interesting articles when I browse! Yet another incentive to keep your profile up-to-date…

Staying on top of news and content in my fields (yes, that’s plural!), in addition to browsing interesting content just for the heck of it, is an important part of my daily routine. I love having a little system in place to do it effectively.

How do you efficiently and effectively monitor for interesting content on the internet?

Source: weheartit.com via Debbie on Pinterest

an ode to sausages + a review

My sister mentioned that she wanted to eat more protein, so I mentioned that chicken sausages are a good option- which reminded me of one company’s superior social media strategy.

Awhile back, I tweeted this:

And got back this response from Al Fresco, an all-natural sausage company:

Notice that they didn’t say “Next time make it with Al Fresco gourmet sausages.” Just a simple, friendly acknowledgment of my great recipe- but now I associate their company name with sausage recipes. Genius, right?

Because I respect and admire a company with an interactive social media presence, I decided to give their sausages a taste. I bought the buffalo style ones, which are “tangy with medium heat” and gluten-free! Yum- everyone knows my obsession with buffalo. I sauteed the sausage with onions and peppers, placed it on top of gluten-free bread, and drizzled it with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. The only thing missing? Ranch!

Photo credit

So kudos to Al Fresco- you’ve gained a loyal customer from Twitter {see guys? It is important in business}.

For more sausage recipes, check out:

blogging boundaries

 Photo credit

The issue of TMI is a constant topic in the blogging world…and the Twitter world…and the Facebook world…Not surprisingly, we discussed it in depth as part of personal branding during our brown bag lunch at The Forum.

There are plenty of bloggers who have a devoted and extensive readership because of the blogger’s openness. Many people value straight shooters who are willing to be blunt- and even at times share intimate details if it means bettering the blogging community. Like Angela, who posts rather openly about her stomach issues for the sake of giving context to why she’s been adding many gluten-free recipes to her blog. And ultimately, this honesty benefits readers because it’s relatable and provides them with valuable content {like gluten-free recipes!}

As I’ve said before, I try to keep the content of this blog optimistic because for me, it’s a place to celebrate when life is great and inspire when life isn’t as wonderful. And I want my readers to have the same positive, uplifting feeling that I get on here. That’s not to say that I don’t allude to a bad day every once in awhile. But I don’t feel obligated or even right giving the entire internet world a detailed account of my woes, illnesses, fights, you name it.

Personal reputation isn’t the only thing on the line here. Research shows 45% of employers look at social media profiles before making a hire. I’ll bet you big money that oversharing has cost someone out there a job or two. Or ever heard how some insurance companies are canceling individuals’ policies based on their Facebook pictures and tweets?

I’m curious of your opinion {especially you, fellow blog girls!}: Where is the boundary between being open and honest and oversharing?


P.S. Enter the Balsamic Vinegar + Olive Oil Gift Set Giveaway over at Savory Simple 🙂 The pumpkin balsamic vinegar sounds amazing!

a ray of sunshine

Photo credit {via Pinterest}

Ever had one of that crappy days weeks where you can’t seem to wake up on the right side of the bed? Luckily, that’s not this week for me, but it was how I felt pre-Christmas.

During those kinds of days, maybe this will help. Or, better yet, maybe you’ll happen to read some incredibly sweet, kind words on a friend’s blog that make you feel so much better about yourself and life.

I was having a rough few days when I stumbled upon Sara D’s {not Sara Rose, my sister} blog post, which mentioned me and our new blogging group.

She wrote these nice words:

And these…

And, finally, these…

Made. my. day. Thank YOU Sara for willingly jumping feet-first into a brand new group without any hesitation. And we are definitely a Twitter success story 🙂

Be sure to check out Sara’s blog, Watermelon Roses, as well as her Etsy shop {coming soon}!

throwback: twitter

I just found this gchat with a friend from 2 years ago:

Me: do you have a twitter?
Friend: haha nooo
Me: aha it’s so weird but i’m doing it for work
Friend: haha i feel like its a little much but im not really sure what it is. like constant status update?
me: yeah exactly. like on fb but that’s the only thing you can do. it’s weird
Haha! #imaconvert #twoyearslater #addictedtotwitter

whirlwind of emotions

Wow, the past few days have been a complete whirlwind of emotions. I would say a rollercoaster, but that would imply ups and downs, and this has been just ups!

It started on Monday when my boss sent me an email with the subject “can i sent you to rtp on thurs.” No body of the email, but of course my immediate reaction was a resounding YES.

Late Tuesday night, I managed to book a flight and on Thursday, I high-tailed it to the airport. As I was passing the time before boarding, I browsed the Twitter account of Springwise (highlights cool new business ideas each week) on my phone. I thought it was a mistake when  I saw the name GW Bites! They have an incredibly active following, so it got picked up by a few other websites and dozens of people on Twitter.

The feedback I’ve seen so far has been incredible. I have been questioning the whole concept of GW Bites recently, but this influx of positive feedback has reignited my drive to push forward with the idea.

Work-wise, last night was fantastic! LivingSocial ran a deal for a special showing of Water for Elephants at a Raleigh theater, so almost 500 came out to eat appetizers, sip drinks, and watch the premiere. Everyone was so friendly (typical Raleigh!) and fun. I realized how lit up I am when I get to work events like that. I also met some great co-workers and we all made plans for when I move back!

In addition, I went to look at the apartment that I’m interested in and it seems very promising. I plan to put in an application in the next week or so.

Today it’s back to DC to put in some photography lab hours then out to Maryland for camping tomorrow! Such a good finish to senior year 🙂

P.S. Kudos to my amiga/running buddy Karrie for nailing down an incredible post-graduation job!!

Harmonized Living: new website launch!

I mentioned that I worked on creating my new website this weekend. While, the first post is live- check it out!

Visit the site on Friday, April 15 for our big launch!

Until then, stay tuned for hints.

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Interested in submitting food or home decor photographs to be featured on the site? Interested in becoming a Harmonized Living contributor? Email harmonizedliving@gmail.com!

last week’s recap

Monday

  • Photography class: check plus on depth-of-field photo assignment 🙂
  • Work: scheduled several meetings for Thursday and worked on a new project

Tuesday

  • Slow morning of a luxurious breakfast and blog reading before class
  • A fun geology lab (yes, I said “fun” and “geology” in the same sentence!)
  • A quick run- it’s been awhile!
  • Study date with a friend on the roof over homemade lunch and iced coffees
  • Class (with an interesting guest speaker from a community foundation)
  • Fixed a gas leak in my apartment (with some help from Washington Gas Company!)
  • Celebrated Mardi Gras at Bayou (25 & Penn) with old friends and new friends

Wednesday

  • First GW Bites meal in awhile! The menu is carrot ginger soup, spinach feta quiche, and toffee bark
  • Studying for geology

Thursday

  • Geology exam
  • Great day at work (including a meeting with my boss and a brainstorming session with one of the teams)
  • Lounging on the couch with Veronica Mars (my favorite TV show in the world, other than Friends)

Friday

  • Train to NC (as one person on Twitter said, “trains are society in motion.” Very true!)
  • ….the rest to come in my North Carolina recap post!