Sounds dramatic I know.
But, now that I have your attention, let me qualify that statement:
If you don’t exist online and are less than 25 years old you might as well not exist. In another five years, this will probably hold true for social media as well.
Social media is the new social proof: Corporations are flocking to Facebook and LinkedIn to establish themselves online. It’s a matter of time before a corporation will have no validity without a positive social media identity … and a very prominent one at that (Talk about the digital divide!).
I can’t help but wonder what happens to the local grocery store that sees the Internet as this enigmatic puzzle somewhere out there in the ether!
As an individual, you need to have a LinkedIn account if you want a complete identity in the corporate world. Apply for a job and you can be almost certain that the recruiting manager will check you out on LinkedIn. Hell, she might even check you out on Google to look for any quirks (usually exposed via indiscreet Facebook status updates) in your personality outside of office hours that could present a problem as an employee!
If I don’t look up my potential line manager's LinkedIn profile before going for a job interview I don’t consider myself fully prepared. And if I don’t find their presence on LinkedIn I actually reconsider my application.
Twitter is your megaphone: If you want to be a thought leader then you are at a distinct competitive disadvantage without twitter. If you have something valuable to say and want to be heard then twitter is your megaphone.
Different social mediums are sprouting everywhere: each with its own slight twist on sharing ideas, vying for a niche in the growing market of mental real estate. A mental landscape with fast shrinking attention spans I might add!
Instagram, Tumblr, Stumbleupon … the list goes on
Your social media identity can be a double-edged sword: Don't be seduced into thinking A social media presence can only do you good. It truly is a double-edged sword. You live and die by your reputation online. Consistency of communication, delivery of quality content, and an interesting (but not annoying personality) are essential for social media success. Spammers and sycophants very quickly relegate into insignificance and even end up with considerable “bad will” making their online presence a liability rather than an asset
So if you don’t have a Twitter or a Facebook account … get one now … but think before you post because the world is watching.
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