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I recently attended an excellent SAP Mentor webinar regarding the impact and usage of social media.  We heard about SAP’s thoughts and strategies on social media and the Mentors were able to share theirs.  Then by chance,  this  morning I was part of an email discussion at work about which social media sites people have joined and what kind of value they saw each bring to them.  I can’t help but how subjective these things really are.  Every individual is going to have their own thoughts on what they get out of each.  And that’s exactly is what is at the heart of the matter!  Each social media avenue can be used for a different purpose, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it.   For me, this is how I break it down:

 

Twitter:
This seems to have become my main information hub.  I follow trends, look for news, track blogs and pretty much see what’s going on through Twitter.  But to be honest, I usually keep it limited to ‘work’ on here.  While I do find myself sharing personal ‘check-ins’, the occasional pithy comment or family news item; when I look at my followers/follows I see SAP Mentors, bloggers, influencers, ASUG-ers, techies and other SAP/BOBJ folks on here.  I realized that I’ve done this on purpose because of…

 

Facebook:
I hate to say it, but Facebook is for family and friends.  Pictures, stories and the relationships on here have been cultivated around the premise that my Facebook account is where I can connect with my Uncles in Florida and Washington State, cousins in Mexico and close friends spread amoungst the wind.  But there is a bit of overlap, though.  I have some people who are on both Twitter AND Facebook because not only are they colleagues, they’re friends.  That reminds me, I really do need to do some more reaching out in Facebook to friends from Twitter.  I am REALLY bad at searching for people and sending friend requests!  

Here’s the thing about Facebook, I won’t engage in a conversation about BI4’s GA date on it.  I’ll rarely like a company page, unless it’s on a whim or having to do with something outside of work.  For example, one page I liked was Seagrave Fire Apparatus.  They have ZERO to do with BI4, but since I rely on their ladder truck to get me home safe to my family (a non-work activity),  I like their page.  BI4 comments will go to Twitter or…

 

SCN:
For me, the main blogging and news information portal for SAP-related news.  I blog on here and read blogs on here.  I am not as active on the Forums as I probably should be.  I consider SCN one of the main hubs for SAP/BOBJ information.  The SAP Mentors tend to centralize content on here (or link out to it) and even before I was a Mentor, I looked for their unvarnished views on products and technologies.  But I don’t think SCN is for…

 

Personal Blogs:
If I want to blog about my latest family vacation, post some birthday party pictures or review the newest gadget that my wife got mad at me for buying, I’ll post it here.  I would like to think that my personal blog kinda straddles the line between Facebook and Twitter.  Since it’s public, anyone can read it if they choose.  I am not limited to just SAP/BOBJ posts like on SCN or to only a selected list of people like Facebook.  Which bring us to…

 

Google+:
Right now, G+ is limited to early adopters and has shown some promise.  I really do like the ‘Circles’ approach to life.  I can put people in my ‘SAP’ circle and when I want to make that comment about BI4, I can just limit the post to those folks who would be interested.  Or if I posted some birthday party pictures, I can limit that post to just my Family.  I think that this is a powerful feature and I suspect that others will likely roll out this kind of functionality at some point.  I do see promise in Google+.

 

LinkedIn:
Now you’ve noticed no pithy ‘linking’ to LinkedIn in the blog.  That’s mainly because I don’t really use it as ‘social media’.  For me, it’s mainly a form of online resume and professional network documentation.  I have connected to folks that I want to stay in touch with professionally,  figuring out who works where and making sure that I have a professional appearance online.  Some folks really use the groups and other features of LinkedIn, but I find that they don’t really work for me too well.  So for now, I consider LinkedIn to be more of a placeholder than active social media experiment.

These are the main forms of social media that I utilize on a daily basis.  The moral of this story is that you should take the time to find the strategy that works best for YOU!  The amount of value that you will derive from these networks really depends on what you put into them.  If you want to just consume the information, good.  There’s plenty out there for you to find and read.  Want to start producing?  Go for it…but remember it takes time, effort and quality to start being heard.  Don’t be discouraged.  In today’s world, it seems that you are your own brand.  How you present your brand is up to you! 

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17 Comments

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  1. Jarret Pazahanick
    Good article Derek and I think the most important thing to take out of it is social media plays a big role in your SAP career and you wouldnt be spending the effort on it if it wasnt value added.

    My “strategy” is evolving but almost identical to your which make me wonder if that is the norm. I will say after being in G+ for 2 weeks it does have the potential to disrupt the others mostly twitter & facebook especially given how tight integrated it is with their other product offerings that so many people are familiar with.

    On a side I enjoy following you on both Twitter and G+ and per my “strategy” no Facebook invite yet (not missing much as I have 30 posts in 4 years) 🙂

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    1. Derek Loranca Post author
      Same here on the following!  Like I said, I am AWFUL when it comes to Facebook-ing!

      As for G+…I agree that only time will tell, but it does have promise.

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  2. Tridip Chakraborthy
    Hi Derek
    Its really an awesome piece articulated by you with the funneling of your intentions, its great to see 3 blogs back to back on the areas of Social networking and SAP
    I too posted mine yesterday How Social Networking has transformed my Procurement thinking, ths was my sequel How Social Networking has transformed my Procurement thinking

    keep spreading the message and am sure with the engines that youhave chosen for personal branding will go a long way
    Cheers
    TRidip

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    1. Derek Loranca Post author
      Thanks Tridip…loved the detail on your post, especially around the graphic in the middle.  I especially agree with your comment about what’s seemed to change is that people are more willing to share. I think that is going to be one of the keys to success going forward!

      Plus, you got my social media ‘guru’ and fellow Mentor Natascha Thomson to weigh in.  That’s always  a good sign!!  🙂

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  3. Richard Blumberg
    Derek…Hi! The University Alliances Community team really liked your blog! We have featured it front and center on our site (www.uac.sap.com).

    Thanks for sharing your insights on Social Media!
    Best regards,
    Richard

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  4. Diem Lam
    Hi Derek,

    Great blog! I do not use Twitter at all for anything personal but manage an account for University Alliances, am a big Facebook user for personal and have just joined Google+ and am trying to get a hang of it.

    One issue is that it seems to overlap with Facebook’s activites – will I be seeing the same updates twice now?

    Besides the “circles” concept, what are the differences between the two? I guess this is where trial and error will come into play in order for me to figure out how to strategize between using the two.

    Diem

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    1. Derek Loranca Post author
      Good point…I think that having the information in multiple streams is going to be one of the biggest challenges that avid users are probably going to have to overcome!  Unless the tools can do it for us, but with the way the API’s seem to be shaping up- who knows.

      Thanks for the comment!

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    1. Derek Loranca Post author
      I can only imagine how animated the next one will be.  I agree with Sina that one thing is certain…if you put the Mentors in a call, you’re going to get an opinion.  And probably ones that range the entire gamut!!  8^)
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  5. Tom Cenens
    Hello Derek

    Without a doubt being active on social media adds value for any SAP professional. I can relate to your thoughts around the different social media and their use.

    I do have a limited amount of SAP friends on facebook, I also have some colleagues of mine on facebook but it stays limited to persons with who I have  really connected and trust with the information posted there. I do have to state I’m not that active on facebook. I prefer meeting up with friends and family in real life.

    One thing that does concern me is time spent on social media. I pay attention to it because I don’t want it to impact my work in a negative way. Finding the riht balance there is important.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Derek Loranca Post author
      Hi Tom- You are 100% correct about time management.  With so many avenues, being smart about your time is key.  I think that the folks who are successful in using social media for career purposes are really the ones who can use the mediums most efficiently.  We can look at them at yet more tools in our arsenal.

      Thanks!

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    2. Natascha Thomson
      This is so true. The time aspect of social media is difficult. It’s not really part of most people’s jobs yet; it infringes into your private sphere and how to juggle it is tricky. I’ve seen different people handle it in their own ways. Personally, I am still struggling with finding a good balance. Tips welcome.
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  6. Jeanne Carboni
    Hi Derek,

    Nice write up explaining the different elements of social media. I am training a new SAP Graduate Academy in a couple of weeks and will refer them to this blog.

    Be sure to tag this blog to include the new “Social Media & Social Networks” tags to make it even easier to find.

    Jeanne

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  7. William Newman
    I find that the Collaboration Workspace is really the place to go to comment on the “behind the curtain” work going on with influence groups inside SAP.  Especially since most of that information is protected under whatever group charters and NDAs which may be in place.

    I have both a personal as well as a business blog on WordPress. It’s easy to brand both as such and then everyone can see me as the same author.

    In case you would like to follow:

    Twitter (william_newman)
    Blog http://theviewfromclevel.wordpress.com
    LinkedIn (in/wnewman)
    Facebook (William Newman)

    Also Project Expert had a great article on this which appears also in my blog as a abstract.  You can also visit their Insider Learning Network workspace for more goodies.

    http://insiderlearningnetwork.com/

    Cheers!

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