November 28, 2010 Leave a comment
I had a chance this morning to get breakfast with a close friend and business associate, Jeff Carter. While we stay connected through teleconferences and e-mails, it’s always nice to catch up in person and talk about things not (directly) related to business. This morning we chatted about social media, as it relates to business development, web traffic, personal branding, and the like.
I related my attempts to get a handle on ‘the perfect storm’ of social and professional media, and Jeff told me the story of a recent CFO forum he attended in Las Vegas. Steve Sordello, CFO of LinkedIn was there giving a speech, and explained how despite the glut of social media websites, there is actually plenty of space for competing platforms. Specifically, he compared LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with a few other sites. I found these analogies interesting and helpful in trying to understand the unique dynamics of each site:
- Twitter is a soapbox – shout, vent and share whatever you want.
- Facebook is a backyard barbeque – it’s more typically “social”, and interactions are mostly with friends and family.
- LinkedIn is the office – professionally oriented and focused on a particular slice of your life.
As such, there are appropriate places to share certain things – nobody likes the jerk who only talks about work at the bbq, while sharing inappropriate things in the office can hurt your professional reputation. The X-factor here still seems to be Twitter – the soapbox analogy rings true – but in many ways you get to decide who your audience is. To continue the metaphor, you get to decide where to put the soapbox down – at a backyard bbq, or smack-dab in the middle of your board room or office. Each of these sites has a unique focus and appeal – it’s up to the user to determine what constitutes “success” – be it social engagement, professional connections, or attributed web traffic.
(FYI – A full description of Sordello’s talk can be found here.)