It seems completely contradictory but keep reading… Social media can be used effectively in the work place and can be a useful tool if used responsibly.
On the one hand, social media platforms have received a bad rap for being a distraction from work and a dangerous platform to express yourself on. Also, people do not understand the dangers of certain platforms and how it can damage your reputation and your relationship with people.
However, there are many benefits of using these platforms if you learn how to use them responsibly.
This week we are going to look at the different forms of social media and how they can be used.
Facebook can be one of the greatest tools in the world for staying connected and increasing your knowledge of information. Facebook has evolved since it first hit the net ‘waves’ in 2004. Facebook was originally designed to be a platform for people to connect and has evolved for a way for businesses to connect.
How does this help you stay organised? Well, start following pages that are relevant and full of useful and positive information. Unsubscribe the stuff that does not lift you up or inspire you. Hide all the posts that are irrelevant and frustrating. It's time to make Facebook productivity a real thing — because to be honest, it's way too big and way too influential of a social network not to use these days.
Some pages you could “like” that could help you include:
- OPSA: https://www.facebook.com/OfficeProfessionalsSA/
- The Global Leadership Summit: https://www.facebook.com/wcagls/
- Ukhamba Career Guidance Services: https://www.facebook.com/findmycareer/
- Office Dynamics: https://www.facebook.com/OfficeDynamics/
- Brainy Quotes for inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/BrainyQuote/
Pinterest is essentially a catalogue of websites. It is a visual board of valuable websites. This is my most valuable platform for inspiration, ideas and hacks. I am truly NUTS about Pinterest. I keep inspiration boards, technology boards, leadership boards, Hacks for the Office boards… you name it, I probably have a board for that too! Next to YouTube, Pinterest is the best thing ever for learning how to do things! Do yourself a favour and look for “Office Hacks” and see what awesome ideas, tips and tricks you will find. You might just find “22 tricks you must master to become a keyboard ninja”! I will be sharing some of my favourite Pinterest finds with you in the weeks to come.
WhatsApp is kind of a short message service (SMS). This can be an extremely useful tool to use at the office to get messages across to colleagues. The main benefit is that you can connect through the WiFi and internet and it does not cost you anything to send messages. WhatsApp groups can be formed and communication sent out in bulk. Another awesome trick with WhatsApp is to use the web service and connecting through the internet, (https://web.whatsapp.com/).
This makes life so much more easier as you can then type from your keyboard rather than the tiny screen on your phone. We will cover more on that in the next few weeks.
I must caution against over using a WhatsApp group. Too many (irrelevant) messages will cause your colleagues to silence the group and ignore the messages. Also, be aware that when you send messages, it may impact on personal time. Again, be relevant and be intentional about the messages you send out taking people’s personal time (and space) into account.
Twitter is not my strongest social media platform. But it can be useful to stay up to date with news events. Especially when news is important for the company you work in (such as the impact of the #feesmustfall movement if you work at a university like I do). Again, it’s all about intentionality. Be specific about the tweets you follow – make sure they add value to you personally and professionally and cut out the rubbish!
LinkedIn is of course one of the most important platforms for any working professional. You need to see LinkedIn as your CV in action. The key to LinkedIn is this: its not what you know but who you know! LinkedIn helps you stay in the loop with changes in your specific industry and any industry you may be interested in. Knowing what’s going on in your industry is a very valuable strategy. LinkedIn serves as an online CV and in fact a lot of companies prefer to use your LinkedIn profile as a CV rather than a traditional emailed CV. LinkedIn provides an opportunity to make important business connections. This could mean connections for a new job or simply connections to improve your current job. Make sure your profile is professional and updated.
YouTube is another great tool for me. Got a problem.. YouTube an answer! Believe it or not, there is always a solution on YouTube! And YouTube (for me) is a great source of education. I am not talking about watching music videos and the other rubbish that you can find, but I have taught myself many an excel formula by watching YouTube videos. How do you mail merge? YouTube the answer! How do I set up a database? YouTube a solution! Free education at your fingertips. And if I am not watching a video on how to embed macros into excel, then I am listening to inspiring TedTalks and past Global Leadership Summit (GLS) videos.
So there you have it! Some of my very critical social media platforms!
And to end off, here are a few YouTube videos to start you off:
Written for OPSA by Marié Mieny
Marié Mieny is an administrator within the School of IT at Monash South Africa (MSA). She has been at MSA for 13 years of which 7 years have been in the School of IT
Marié has a reputation for revolutionising the mundane tasks she is given by using technology to make her very efficient and effective in her job. As a result her school is one of the top schools at MSA with a reputation of being highly organised and effective.
Marié has two honours degrees – one in Criminology and one in Psychology. She plans on doing her Masters in the near future