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Social Media Can Make You Smarter!

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We all know that social media has been around for both personal and business use for several years already. Yet, I am still surprised by how many people still underestimate and under-value the depth of social media. There are still way too many people challenged by social media like it’s the modern-day rubik’s cube!

Even within my professional network of people with varying levels of education, many lines of work within multiple industries, I hear from folks who think they have no use for social media. That boggles my mind! EVERYONE, no matter what level of experience, or type of work can benefit from using social media….if used appropriately.

I will take this even a step further and venture to say that EVERYONE CAN LEARN from social media!

For example:


Educators/College and University faculty/professors
can not only use social media to engage their students outside of the classroom, but they can also use social media to share their published research, to read other relevant publications, share course updates via Facebook and gather information through social bookmarking activities.

Television personalities, producers, or writers can use social media to communicate with their audience. With social media they have a way to hear directly from them about what they want to watch or what they don’t wish to see on television. However, there is also opportunity for tv producers/writers and the like to engage in dialogue with each other about the industry through specific LinkedIn groups or TV network Facebook pages.

Medical Professionals, such as doctors & nurses lab technicians and physicians assistants can (and do) use social media for very practical reasons, like scheduling appointments and sending reminders or invoices. What some may not know is, that there are several social networking sites and uses specific to the healthcare field. Some medical professionals are using social networking sites to conduct case studies, share stories and help each other solve medical cases!

These are just a few ways that a variety of professionals benefit from using social media. But as I mentioned earlier in this post, I believe that social media is not only fun and engaging, but it can make you smarter. I for instance, used social media to discover how to blog. I use social media everyday to read about what’s happening in the world and what is relevant in my line of work. I use sites like Twitter to stay up to date on issues that would affect my life and my work. With the creation of social media, people’s access to learning has grown drastically, however, the average user only views and shares pics with their immediate connections. Well, I’ve always believed that when you know better you do better, so I challenge you after reading this to DO BETTER with social media! I want everyone who reads this blog post to find a new way to use one of your favorite social media sites TODAY!

I declare today, that no matter what you do for a living, YOU can learn and even advance your goals through intentional social media use. If the best brands in the world can use social media for business…why can’t you? If the President of the United States can advance his goals through social media….why can’t you? If a single mother, working at a small private college can use social media to grow a business….why can’t YOU?

Well, I say you can. I challenge anyone who reads this post if you cannot think of a reason or a way to use social media to get smarter, to advance your goals or to improve your work, CHALLENGE me to help you! Post on the Aspire2Higher Facebook page the reasons why you CANNOT use social media in these ways or if you feel that you CANNOT use Facebook in your specific line of work, and I will personally respond with suggestions!

Now go forth and get smarter with social media!

STOP Cross-Posting! Why content should vary across social media platforms

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MY SOCIAL MEDIA RULE OF THUMB: AVOID THE CROSS POST(STATUS/TWEET, ETC.)

I am of the belief that when using various social media platforms (sites) one should have clear and distinct purposes for the audiences on each site. Overall, your social media message, images and “digital footprint” should be consistent across all sites, but not all social media sites serve a “social” purpose and or audience.

Some prime examples of cross posting are:

1. That person who has linked their Twitter account to Facebook AND LinkedIn

We all know people whose tweets appear on Facebook and vice verse. Occasionally, this is understandable, especially if there is an important message or announcement to communicate to your audience/followers/customers, etc. However, if you use Twitter (or Facebook) as a personal site where you are trash talking, voicing your opinion and talking to friends while you are watching TV-perhaps those tweets and status updates should not be accessible to potential employers and recruiters on LinkedIn.

2.  The Self Promoter or the Over Sharer

Everyone also knows a person who posts on ALL their social media sites only things that are happening in their latest endeavors! Those who’ve started selling jewelry, or want you to attend their latest event or buy their new music and post those requests on ALL social media platforms without any creativity to draw you in.   There is also the person who shares all their thoughts and feelings on life and their day to day interactions on Facebook and carries on a conversation (or even argument) via Twitter! Do they not realize you can send Direct Messages to people in ALL social media sites?

The Rationale for My Rule of Thumb:

OK, considering that each social media site has a different description, mission and/or purpose, why would you use them all identically? Also answer this, would you speak to all your friends, relatives, colleagues, associates, co-workers, etc.  in exactly the same ways? I should hope not.  In order to use social media most effectively, you should be keenly aware of your audience across each social media platform.  When using these sites, you should have clear goals, even if those are goals are as simple as staying in touch with friends.  What’s even more important is understanding the use and functionality of each site you are on and how most others are using these sites. Why be one of the only people on Linkedin who is mindlessly sharing what you are listening to on your Ipod?

While some of my younger readers might not be ready to use social media professionally, its never too early (or late) to learn how to communicate professionally in person or online.  It is also never too late to begin cleaning up or clarifying your social media presence.   To help you jump-start your social media clarification process, learn more about the who, what when and why of social media sites and their users.

Below is a link to an article from leading technology and new media company Mashable.com. The article, posted in early March, has a great Infographic of a demographic breakdown of all the most popular social media sites.

http://mashable.com/2012/03/09/social-media-demographics/

Here is a posting that gives a quick & dirty break down of all the most popular social media sites and who is using them and WHY?HOW you should use them.

http://www.businessinsider.com/which-of-these-facebook-and-twitter-things-are-actually-worth-your-time-2012-1#only-use-google-if-you-want-to-talk-to-strangers-about-things-1

And just for good measure……Aspire2Higher Personal & Professional Development Services does provide a Career Based Social Media Package!

Best of luck to those who are attempting to tell a clear, consistent and professional story on social media!

Aspire2Higher 2011 in Review

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Aspire2Higher (A2H) Blogging Year in Review report (provided by WordPress.com)

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times just in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

I would like to take this time to THANK all the readers, subscribers, followers and occasional viewers of this blog for your part in this year.  I can only attribute the (slow) steady growth of the Aspire2Higher Movement to supporters and readers.

There are some specific sites that continue to drive traffic to my blog:

These sites are where some people found out about Aspire2Higher…..and I thank you!

Some other cool info…..I had a few visits/readers from the UK and from Canada….how exciting! And the most popular or highly viewed posts on the blog in 2011 were:

VisionWork: Creating my own vision board

A Day in the Life of a Career Counselor  and

3 Essential Skills for ANY Career

Again, MANY THANKS to my friends/readers! I promise to offer more posts like those listed above in 2012.  To view the full, colorful & graphic report with more details about the blog, click the link below!

Click here to see the complete report.

~~Aspire2Higher (A2H)

3 Essential Skills for ANY Career!

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PROBLEM-SOLVING 

All bosses enjoy having people on their team who contribute to the bottom line.  If you notice your team members or even your boss struggling with something that might come easy to you, gently offer your assistance.  As you go about the business of doing your job, periodically observe the system.  If you notice weakness or opportunities for improvement make a note and get to work at finding a solution! After you find what you think is the answer, test it out. For example, in my job one of my observations was that our customers weren’t using our online system because it was down right confusing! As I worked through my tasks each week, I set aside time to “test/tweak” the system.  I found ways to make our system/site more user-friendly and appealing. I eventually showed it to my boss (in beta), provided the team with instruction on how the improvements worked, and explained why those changes were beneficial.  My boss agreed and we updated the site which in turn gets much more traffic.  The moral of the story is, find solutions, work out the kinks first and show your boss the benefits! This should minimally give you a positive rating during performance review time!

PASSION (well, that IS what this BLOG is all about!!)

While helping to solve problems might yield high ratings, it won’t give  you a winning personality!  Passion will take you even further in the quest for career/professional success.  Passion for what you do will make tough tasks and long days easier to bear.  It will also keep you going as you deal with the sometimes mundane activities we all get bogged down with, like e-mail, reports and staff/team meetings!  Passion and excitement are contagious, you might even make  work more enjoyable for the people around you.  if you aren’t in a job that you are passionate about (CALL ME-I can help you), focus on things you enjoy about your work.  More importantly, be a pleasure to work with and/or for.  When the people you work for, the clients/customers you serve always speak highly of you—->you are WINNING (A little Charlie Sheen humor)!

INNOVATION 

Lastly, I think that innovation is the cornerstone of business. It keeps the economy, industries and business moving forward!  What does that mean for you-well simply stated, BE INNOVATIVE!  More specifically, innovation is a quality that can manifest in many forms and in many lines of work. What I am suggesting is that you think critically AND creatively! Many employers report those two things as characteristics they seek in candidates across all industries.  A few simple ways to do this are to stay “fresh” and current, especially in technology.  Overall, find creative ways to make work easier, efficient, effective and fun for you, your team and your boss.