Social media and professional networks

Spread the love

Social media keepers and goners in 2012

Keepers and goners in 2012

For independent professionals, time is probably the most valuable commodity.

We strive to save it – by becoming more efficient and productive. We aim to invest it wisely – by targeting our social media marcomm efforts well and being active in the right professional organizations. And we aim to find balance between our professional and personal time. 

Less is more

As an increasing number of social media and professional networks compete for our attention and participation, freelancers face a tough choice: to participate lightly in many or in a more committed fashion in a few? The answer depends, in part, on your goals.

For me, social media and professional networks are a vehicle through which to engage with and ultimately meet others in person. Developing relationships takes time, commitment and regularity and I plan to focus my efforts better in 2012.



Twitter is a fabulous information resource. Thanks to fellow Tweeps, I’ve discovered terrific blogs to follow, gotten answers to questions in a jiffy, and enjoyed many conversations with colleagues through the workday. Better still is having had the chance to meet followers and colleagues in the flesh, especially during the Journée mondiale de la traduction last December (#JMT2011).


As member number 304,812 I joined LinkedIn before it even had 1 million members, but didn’t start really making use of it until about two years ago. As of November 2011, it has over 135 million members, with about 3 million in France, making it a much more useful tool in my target market.

Société française des traducteurs

Choosing to remain an active member of France’s union of professional translators is a no-brainer! Collegiality, a lively private discussion list, a rich CPD offering and local events, in addition to group insurance plans, combine to make this membership a worthwhile investment all around.

Communication et Entreprise

Another keeper! The oldest association of professional communicators in France gathers corporates, public institutions, communication agencies and independent professionals. It hosts regular workshops and round tables, publishes a quarterly magazine (for which I’ve been interviewed twice!), spearheads issue-oriented projects (such as the Guide de la relation Indépendant – Entreprise/Agence), and offers a solid and diverse CPD programme in which I’ll be instructor as well as student this year.



I’ve been a premium member of Viadeo for the past two years (because you can hardly do anything on that network otherwise), but I shall not be renewing it, cheap as it may be. I find it cumbersome to navigate and too filled with service and product offer broadcasts. I don’t find it an appealing space in which to spend time and contribute. I’ll keep my profile alive but won’t rely on Viadeo in my networking or business development endeavors.


I joined IABC (the International Association of Business Communicators) last summer, seduced by its information and resource-filled website and incredibly rich live and remote conferences and courses. I’ve read its quarterly magazine from cover to cover and shall probably order some of its publications before my membership runs out.

It’s a great organization, so why am I not renewing my membership? Because all that drew me in is tough to afford for an independent professional. Every single conference, workshop or course (even remotely delivered) I’ve been interested in signing up for had a price tag above $1,000. Even one-hour webinars cost around $100 for members. It is an organization that seems to cater to large corporates and their managers, not SMB or independent professionals. And that’s a pity. They could, as Communication & Entreprise does, apply rate scales depending on the size of the member organization, allowing for a fruitful mix of all players in the corporate communications professions.


After reading Pam Moore’s blog article Why I deleted my Klout profile, I went ahead and did so as well. I’m not on Facebook for a plethora of privacy and copyright issues, and Pam’s article explained well the similar drawbacks with Klout.  Thanks Pam!


I signed up for Google+ when it came out in beta, but haven’t taken the time yet to learn to use it properly. I’ll play with it before making a decision. Advice and how-to’s most welcome!

Your choices and recommendations?

Where will you invest your precious time in 2012? Do you take a “sprinkle approach” or a concentrated one and why? What networks and organizations have you found worthwhile and would recommend to others?




Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments: 17

(comments are closed)

  • Social media and professional networks by @lokahiandquill Same choices as yours, Patricia: Twitter, LinkedIn, SFT

  • By @lokahiandquill Social media in 2012 > Twitter is my favourite: fun, resourceful, can set up tweetups #xl8

  • Social media and professional networks (via @lokahiandquill) #marketing

  • #Social #media and professional networks. A very nice overview. by @lokahiandquill

  • #Social #media and professional networks. A very nice overview. by @lokahiandquill @rinconlp

  • Good idea, I’m going to clear up some as well. Keeping the translation assocation memberships SFT ITI ASETRAD which have proved useful, as well as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I think we’ve all given up investigating Google+ further. Thanks for the tip about Communication et Entreprise which I will investigate further. I’m also pondering over the renewal of my 4N membership -the meetings were useful and welcoming but haven’t had time to go lately.

    • Welcome, Emmanuelle! Early spring cleaning is useful 🙂 I’m not familiar with 4N, could you tell us more about it?

      As to Google+, I’m trying to figure it out. Created a profile page after the summer and my website redesign, but didn’t have the time to figure out how it is all supposed to work. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t find it terribly intuitive and I struggled (and still am) to find what role that page can play that is different from this blog and Twitter. Today, though, I created my business page, in French, to spur exchanges with clients and prospects. With a bit of thought and elbow grease, I think that page can play a useful role. Time will tell!

  • Thanks for your assessment, Patricia. I enjoy Twitter the most, so much that I find it addictive. In second place comes LinkedIn. I finally put up a profile in French, and I hope that helps me gain visibility. The SFT is great for meeting colleagues.

    I also set up a Facebook page for my blog, as an experiment. It’s now a keeper. And a few weeks ago I created a Google+ page for SEO reasons. One thing I’m doing differently on that page is that I’m posting mostly in French. My Google+ page won’t be about networking with colleagues, but connecting with clients.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with Viadeo, IABC and Communication et Entreprise!

    • I agree, Twitter can be a bit addictive! That’s probably why the rhythm of my participation is a bit erratic, unfortunately – it’s like having a box of chocolates on my desk…Distracting, fulfilling and flavorful!

      Are you planning to create a business page on Google+ in addition to your profile page?

      • I’ve already set up a G+ page for my blog. Now I have a personal profile and a professional profile to update. I hope I can keep them up!

        • Indeed, it’s a lot of work! What’s challenging sometimes is choosing which content to (re?)publish where on G+ (profile, blog page, business page) when you are already active on your blog and on Twitter — a careful balancing act!

  • After selecting the social media networks I wanted to spend more time, I chose exactly the same top 3 keepers as yours 🙂 and thanks for sharing Communication et entreprise, I will look into it.

  • A nice summary of social media for professionals. Enjoy!

  • I created personal and professional pages on Google + a few months ago and was surprised to find so few colleagues’ professional pages (although there were quite a few translators’ personal pages). I think this will gradually change over time though, as it did with Facebook pages.

    • After adding your Smart Translate profile to my circles, I had to hunt around to find your personal one. I find using Google+ still a bit confusing, but hopefully it will become clearer over time. Perhaps that is one reason why so few translators are on G+.

      Part of the problem, for me, is building both an individual profile and a business page. As Google explains, “It’s recommended for businesses (particularly small businesses) to maintain both a Google+ Page and personal Google+ Profile. The main reason is in the development of your circle. With your Google+ Page you can not add individuals to your circle until they have added your page to their circle. Google Plus Pages can add other Google Plus Pages to their circle… even if those other pages did not first add your page.” I find it a bit cumbersome and I do wish Google made it simpler and easier to understand!

  • I agree it’s cumbersome, and I wish I’d realised before creating a page for Smart Translate instead of a profile. As Smart Translate I can’t add anyone until they add me because it’s a page and not a profile.

    • Exactly. That’s the frustration I have too. And unless folks look at the bio page of your personal profile, there’s no real way to show you have a separate business page. Social media experts were more optimistic that Google+ would fly, after Google’s other attempts – Wave, Buzz, etc. – had failed badly. For now, I’m suspending judgment. Of course, Google’s leverage is in its search algorithms…