I created my first social media profile on LinkedIn because it sounded like a good idea to help land a professional job. It launched about the same time that I graduated undergrad and I thought it would be a good way to network professionally with people that I didn’t know and that would likely find my education and initial work experience enough to interview me. It was also around the same time that Myspace launched and creating that profile was more for self-expression, connecting with college friends that lived all over the place and getting to know new people I was meeting.
In many ways LinkedIn stayed constant despite my professional use of other social networks, mostly because regardless of my interest in connecting and sharing with friends, LinkedIn proved useful in staying in contact with people professionally, and over time it was a great way to strengthen professional relationships. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn remained sanitized of politics and personas because it is based on real knowledge, achievement and experience. My use with general social platforms seemed to highlight that I was maintaining contact with strangers and using likes instead of relating to my friends and family in meaningful ways like-in real life and with phone calls.
The recent trends in social media demonstrating how most people are using social media, but at the same time the use is plateauing for adults, doesn’t surprise me. I underhand that digital media is popular and effective in developed countries because we interact everywhere, but I also believe that social media will never replace real human connections. I feel the COVID-19 circumstance is demonstrating this perfectly! Folks are reaching a limit staying indoors and online. Families are outside walking their dogs and riding their bikes around the neighborhood. In social distancing we are online balancing.
I believe the value of human contact and real-life interaction is being appreciated at this time, in the same manner in which face timing and getting up to date information on our phones is important.
This brings me to what I’d like to explore further…the interdependence of an IMC plan to reach and appeal to the social media fringe dwellers and social media mavens. How can we more effectively meet people where they are in real life, digital and social media?