Social media is one of the biggest drivers of behavioural change in recent times. It’s almost expected that everyone will be on at least one platform – especially now that most of us are near constantly glued to our smart devices. Like it or not – we’re now hardly ever disconnected unless you want to be.
You may be thinking: so what, I’m a project manager, why should I care about being on social media? Isn’t it just for wasting a few hours looking at funny cat memes?
In my experience being on social media is great and gives me a few advantages over other project professionals! That might sound a bit weird – after all, what benefits do Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram offer?
Answer – loads, but here are my top three:
Let’s start with Twitter. I’m an active participant in a weekly project management Twitter chat (#PMChat) where a group of project professionals tweet using the hashtag on an agreed topic. It’s a great way to get insights into how other project managers do things, as well as share ideas and frustrations. Twitter is also a great way to connect with people before and at events by following the hashtag on the days leading up to the event and at the actual event itself.
LinkedIn groups are particularly useful and often contain links to interesting and pertinent articles. You can ask questions and are pretty much guaranteed at least one answer.
Facebook also has active project management communities where you can engage with project professionals from around the world. Admittedly, they are less active than some of the other platforms, but I think that has more to do with what Facebook is about.
Instagram, although more of a photo sharing app, can also be used to connect with other project professionals. Especially during specific events such as conferences and meet ups when you’re sharing photos of the event in real time.
Quora is another great place to ask questions, although it can sometimes take a while to get responses.
Builds connections across borders and industries
In the “real world” how likely are you to connect with project professionals in your industry in other countries? If it’s anything like mine, unless you’re attending events around the world, highly unlikely. Social media breaks down those geographical barriers and makes it easier to connect with the global community. It’s amazing where connections made online can lead – it could be anywhere from a friendly face at an event to a potential new employee or employer.
Nothing beats being able to access relevant and current information when you need it. Social media makes that possible. Have you ever searched for project management videos on YouTube? There are thousands out there covering every project management topic imaginable. This means if you’re ever stuck or have a question, the answers are just a couple of clicks away. If conferences are your thing, but you can’t spring the $$ to attend in person, heaps of events are now live-streamed over social media, so you can still get access to all of the information being shared.
If you are interested in connecting with me on social media, I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn. We also run an active YouTube channel where we regularly upload new project management-related video, plus we’re on Facebook too.