2011/02/08

Social Media a necessity for Consultants ?

Introduction

I work as a Enterprise Application Integration / Service Oriented / Business Process Management consultant at a company. I started using Blogger, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter almost 2 years ago. I started with LinkedIn and almost a year later with my blog, recently i started using Twitter and Facebook. I also tried Plaxo and Hyves but I dropped them.
My first reaction to Twitter and Blogger was the same as the one I get today:
  • I have no time to Blog
  • I do not know what to Blog
  • Why should I Blog?
And with Twitter:
  • I do not know what to Tweet
  • I am not interested in what a person does in the bathroom
  • Too may Tweets to read
  • Stupid stuff

Within this blog item i will try to explain why I think it is a necessity (or can be) for every consultant.

Blogging

I started blogging with knowledge storage in mind. When I found a solution for a particular problem or when I did not want to forget how I did some things, i started to make a Blog item for it. This way I could always look up how to do this. After a couple of Blogs i got some remarks/comments/questions on my Blog, so i started to realize that my blog was also good for personal branding.

I also noted that it was also good company branding, because at seminars and conferences, people started to "recognize" me, so it was very good for networking as well.

Twitter

With Twitter the same story. I just wanted to know what it could mean for me, so i started using it out of curiosity. I use it almost only for business related tweets. I started to follow a lot of interesting people about interesting topics within my work field. And they follow me back as well. I use the Tweets to promote my Blogging site. I noticed that a lot of people started to read my blog and i started to read a lot of other interesting blogs.
So for me Twitter:
  • Brings me in contact with interesting people
  • It extends my knowledge within the field
  • It gives me personal exposure within the field
  • It gives me company exposure within the field
  • It gives me interesting insights in people's mind and thoughts within the field
  • It keeps me up-to-date with the latest insights within the field of EAI/SOA/BPM/Cloud
  • It extends my virtual network of people within the field


What to Tweet?

  • Well Tweet about what keeps you busy as a consultant
  • Tweet about topics that you would read yourself
  • Interesting articles, blogs and websites
  • Tweet about a new Blog item you made
  • Tweet about an interesting project your company finished
  • Tweet about an interesting solution you advised for a customer

When you follow a lot of people you can use the Twitter's List option. This way you can add people to a particular list, for example BPM, EAI, SOA, Oracle etc.

Who to Follow?
I follow interesting people within my field but also people with other interesting topics, like social media.
I also people follow people that have some interesting insights of what's going on at a customer. This can help me as a consultant what problems or thoughts customers have.

LinkedIn
I use LinkedIn as my personal CV and keep it up-to-date. This is a site that customers always will check and it also contains a link to my blog- and twitter site. It will give me leads to interesting projects.

Conclusion

I think that social media is a common good within the Consultancy profession. It will keep you up-to-date of the latest insights within the fields and you can track customers need.


No comments:

Post a Comment