INFORMATION OVERLOAD
Do you have a penchant or an additiction for modern communications? If you are like me you will be hooked on a number of social networking sites. I have limited myself to active participation on three social networks. Facebook to keep in contact with friends and family. Twitter because famous people actively tweet and you can follow them if you so choose and Linkedin because it showcases my curriculum vitae. Well these are the justifications I have for being active on these networks.

FACEBOOK NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION
While nearly half a billion people have a facebook account and many people know how it works, some people are still not sure how to maximize their use of Twitter. One of my Japanese students says he tweets about five times a day and he tweets about Singapore as his friends back home want to know more about this tiny island state. I use Twitter to follow famous people such as Deepak Chopra and Zig Ziglar (by his son). Twitter does not work for everyone, but I love believing that I am following the actual musings of a celebrity or a wise person. I retweet their most interesting tweets.

TWITTER-CIDE
Some people do not get Facebook or Twitter. Before you decide to tone down or totally turn off and delete your account, consider that you may not be doing the right things. Yes social networks are time-consuming and that may be a good reason for keeping under control how much time you do spend on them, but I feel they are part of moden-day communications, so before you hit the delete button see if you can make them work more effectively for you.

BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IMAGE
Twitter and Facebook can help to give us a higher profile but you need to think about why you are using these platforms and what you want to get out of it. So have a plan. What do you want to achieve. I use Facebook to post blessings on the walls of the friends who I like very much. I retweet motivational quotes I like for myself and for people who are also interested in such quotes.

PLANS AND GOALS
Personal plans may be more woolly than business plans. If you are running a business, your game plan should be to the increase the visibility of your business and drive traffic to your website. Alternatively, it could be to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area. Yes I use Facebook and Twitter to drive more traffic to my website: www.abetoday.com. This also means you need to think about a target audience. Not all of your followers and friends have to be a target audience, but enough have to be. Thus if you are attempting to raise your profile, you are in the business of self-promotion, but do it in a subtle way and remember it has to be the same approach as successful websites. There should value as well as promotion.

KEEP IT SOCIAL, SILLY (KISS)
It is not Solo media, it is Social. Social networking is about some sort of interaction, such as sharing and connecting. Comments on other people’s posts, retweeting, sharing interesting posts, responding to questions are part of the spirit of Facebook and Twitter. Also avoid borefests. Make your posts as interesting as possible. Add a dose of fun and quirky posts as well.

FOLLOW THE LEADER
Following others is also part and part of the spirit of social networking. Follow people who you find interesting and get involved with them.

REGULAR AS CLOCKWORK
How many tweets? How many postings? Every day if possible. Yes there has to be activity, so aim to do some daily. Watch the people who have lots of followers. See what they tweet about and their frequency. If you disappear for days on end, your followers may also disappear, or certainly the number will stagnate. But you can overdo it. Space out tweets and postings during the day. If you tweet too much you can lose followers as well.

KEY WORDS ARE KEY
People search using key words. Use them as new followers use key words to find you. Use key words in your profiles, tweets and posts.

BE YOURSELF AND GENEROUS
Be yourself as much as possible. If you portray yourself as someone you are not, sooner or later your connections will realize this. And you need to be big on sharing, because that is the essence of social networking. If you cannot do that then yes may be it is time to hit the delete button.

Author's Bio: 

Susan McKenzie is a London-trained lawyer and English teacher. Read articles written by Susan at www.abetoday.com. Susan McKenzie teaches at Linguaphone in Singapore. For enquiries about the courses Tel: 8455 8534, Email: enquiry.linguaphoneschool@gmail.com