After conducting another Social Networking 201 workshop it is again apparent that people use, and have a variety of expectations for their social media interactions. In the workshop we encourage participants to use social media to build their visibility and credibility. We also draw attention to the pitfalls of premature or persistent direct selling through the platforms. It is fair to say that people use social media for a dazzling array of purposes. As a result, I thought it would be interesting to find out how you use your social media presence. At the end this post you will find a poll where you can tell us. The poll is anonymous and will remain open until May 10th.

Before you cast your vote however, here are a few examples which demonstrate the versatility of social media:
1. Event Promotion. Last month Ivan Misner (BNI’s founder) spoke to more than 400 BNI members and guests in Sacramento. A variety of social media platforms were used to promote the event. The result was outstanding, and Ivan told me it was the best publicized BNI regional event he had attended. People from around the country contacted him about the event. This is a testament to the reach and accessibility of social media promotion, a reach that conventional media cannot hope to emulate.

2. “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. A very self-contained, young woman with whom I am acquainted, recently used a Facebook message to invite a young man to attend the prom with her. I have known for sometime that the Gen Y age group places far more faith in social media than in the telephone or email. This examples shows that not only are they more likely to experiment with social media use, they also consider some social media forms more personal and efficient than traditional communications!

3. Look Out 911! Australian firefighters recently rescued two young girls who were trapped in a storm drain after they “called” for help via Facebook! Apparently the fire service received an emergency phone call from a person who said that two girls were trapped in a drain in Adelaide. The girls had a cell phone with them, but decided to “ask for help” via their Facebook pages – we don’t want our Mom to find out! Click here for more on this story. Thank you Cindy Emmerson for passing on this account.

I would really appreciate you telling me about any innovative, bizarre or unconventional uses for social media you may have heard about.

Ok here’s the poll to determine how you use social media. You may choose more than one option. Select the link below to vote:
How would you characterize your main social media usage?