Like a many people I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I'm what one might term a reluctant purveyor. I appreciate Linked-In for access to like-minded professionals. I like Twitter for media and politics, as well as for the warped perception of media access. I have my daughter to thank for coaxing me onto Pinterest's playground. They market themselves as the place to discover and save creative ideas. Over 75 million of us include it in our social media mix. 80% women.
We use Pinterest to dream; shop; exchange ideas and inspiration; learn new skills; plan holidays and parties; share recipes; decorate; design and a host of other practical activities. I enjoy Pinterest's straight forward approach to encouraging the curator, planner and organiser in us.
I admit to finding Houzz addictive, though I don't engage in the social media aspect of it. It's reminiscent of the home and garden magazines my mother used to buy and a welcoming place for exploring our domestic nature.
Twitter's About.Me, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr, et al. popular as they are remain secondary communication tools for most of us, unless you are very young. For the young there's something new and wonderfully distracting all the time.
Most of us in the working world have time to engage in one or two social media sites. Unless we’re in the position to attract followers, a truly cringe-worthy expression, in exchange for daring
feats in the arts, business, media or politics, that’s plenty of distraction. Without our enthusiasm for interacting with others; to exchange experiences, ideas and discoveries, social media
would not exist.
Occasionally I come across someone who uses social media in place of a website. I don’t recommend this for a number of reasons. You don’t have enough creative control with social media platforms to trust them to consistently represent you. This alone is reason enough to use them as an adjunct, not as your primary communication tool. You deserve better.
The one exception might be Twitter's About.Me page. If you can get away with a single page to market yourself, it's worth checking out. You can read more about this option here.