LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc: Fearing the Addictive Pull of Too Many Social Networking Sites

by Meg Guiseppi on August 23, 2008

In the near future, I may regret posting this because my attitude may completely turn around.

Some of you will think I’m outdated, behind the times, and maybe a grouch. But I know that many of my executive job seeking clients are struggling with this same balancing act.

I want to share my business-building and marketing efforts that duplicate the activities I’ve been advising my clients to incorporate into their executive job search and career management practices.

So here goes:

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to join more networking groups.

I belong to several careers industry professional associations and many of my respected colleagues are urging me to spread out to several networking sites. I’m exhausted just thinking about it and already bleary-eyed enough from too much online activity.

I’m just starting to get a handle on LinkedIn.

It’s clear to me that investing time in LinkedIn is a given for my business. Executive, recruiters, and hiring decision makers hang out there. I’ve accepted it and incorporated various new practices into my routine

After posting a slapdash initial profile a year ago – just to be in the game – I revisited my LinkedIn profile a few months ago and powered it up with personal branding, more relevant key words, and more of “the real me”.

I’ve gotten involved in the Q&A forum, answering questions about resume writing. I’m building connections (albeit slowly and selectively). I try to keep up with the “What are you working on?“ feature at the top of my profile, although I’m somewhat lax with that.

And my efforts have been paying off. LinkedIn members have found my profile, jumped over to my website and blog, and contacted me about doing business. And my target executive audience has been seeking me out to join their LinkedIn networks. I’m lovin’ that!

So LinkedIn is humming for me, but it’s requiring a fair amount of attention.

 

Here comes Twitter.

About a week ago I got a Google Alert for “Executive Resume Branding Blog” saying someone on Twitter had tweeted that he was reading one of my blog posts.

Of course I wanted to investigate, so I had to join. I put up another perfunctory profile. And I haven’t returned. I see hours of involvement ahead of me if I even sign in again and I fear I’ll be pulled into yet another commitment of my already spread-thin time.

I understand that the requisite 140-character tweets will be great practice for the precision writing so critical for executive resume writing today. I read my friend and mentor Deb Dib’s Twitter article on Job-Hunt, so I also understand that Twitter is another powerful arena to spread my brand and attract clients.

I just read Shel Israel’s insider take on the value of “Twitterville”, 7 Tips for New Twitter Users, and Chris Brogan’s comprehensive “50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business”.

Now I really get it.

But if I dive in and post my first tweet, I know I’ll be hooked into writing multiple daily tweets.

And then Facebook was in my face.

A lively group of my colleagues at Career Directors International (CDI) are heavily into their Facebook group and I’ve been encouraged to join them. They’re exploring ways to leverage Facebook to promote CDI membership and various events, and they tell me it’s the next best thing to generate interest in my business.

My friend Jason Alba wrote what I’m sure is another excellent book, “I’m on Facebook, Now What??”. I’m afraid to read it and get sucked into Facebook.

Along with being great tools for executive job seekers, I get that Twitter and Facebook have a lot to offer business people like me. But if I’m going to take on more commitments, I want to do them well to make my time invested worthwhile.

Framing all of this is the wonderful notion of Tim Ferris’ book “The Four-Hour Work Week”.

Is a 4-hour work week even possible given the obligations that go with keeping up vibrant and meaningful contributions to so many online networks? Where’s the work/life balance?

Can I really manage more than one of these sites and do them all justice, while still keeping up with blogging (a driving passion of mine), all my other marketing efforts, and managing a thriving business? Should I just surrender and let myself get scooped up into the flurry?

I’d love to hear from any of you having trouble deciding which and how many networking sites to devote precious time to. Maybe we can start our own online social network to discuss it.  :-)

I’ll report back if (when?) I’m drawn into the lure of Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Recent related posts:

Create Big Buzz with Your Personal Brand and LinkedIn

Top 10 Tactics to Build a Vibrant Executive Network

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Scot Herrick August 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

I used to not like Twitter…until I tried it. I don’t follow hundreds of people and will block people who send out 20-tweets a day.

The value has been finding out about new ideas in my area early. Answering questions in my area for others. And having a friendly on-line office cooler to share my time.

I hold everything until I am ready to take a break, then I go look at the Twitter stuff.

So, start. Take it slow. Contribute a bit with intelligent stuff and you’ll find you like it.

Now I’m looking at Facebook…my wife already has a profile and she’s liking it too. More analysis later…!

2 Meg Guiseppi August 25, 2008 at 7:43 am

Hi Scot,

Thanks for your comments.

Although I appreciate your gentle encouragement to get involved with Twitter, I’ve decided to sit tight and concentrate on what’s already on my plate, at least for the time being.

Problem is, I’m sure Twitter has a lot to offer and I’d like tweeting. But the thought of another commitment is daunting at this point. The little free time I have now needs to be spent kicking back away from the screen.

Good luck with Facebook. Let me know how it works out.

Ciao,

Meg

3 Ian November 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Some of the best value I’ve been able to gleam from twitter is the ability to search the vast amount of info in its databases and search the info by location. Use this website: http://search.twitter.com/

Example of a location based search – “beer” near:vancouver
Play with it and see if you find it useful, I did.

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