Mark Zuckerberg has not only led the way in recent weeks with Facebook's IPO, but his strategic thinking has been at the forefront of Facebook since its conception in 2004. What I find fascinating about Mr Zuckerberg is that while he is one of the most subscribed to people on Facebook, he is very calculated in the way in which he communicates and shares information with his fan base.
As Mark has yet again shown us, strategic thinking should not and cannot be confined to the work place as technology and social media, in particular, is increasingly blurring the lines between public and private space. This information has changed the way in which we view relations between ourselves and the outside world. While much of this information might not be the kind that would allow our bank accounts to be hacked, there is a trail of searchable information that can be followed and should be considered when interacting/participating online. Danah Boyd has extensively covered the issue of privacy, taking a deeper look into how users privacy behaviour affects their social actions.
You see while Facebook, Twitter and various other social media networks provide us with the avenues to map out our existence online, we should start to consider the implications this can have on other aspects of our lives. I have never been a big updater of information on Facebook, in fact I uploaded my first Facebook Photo album only the other day. So why, if I advocate 'social' as part of my day to day, have I not previously embraced it myself? I think the answer to this is that up until now I hadn't decided what my own personal strategy was...
I have always been very passive about people posting and tagging images of me on Facebook and Twitter as they would only be seen by mutual friends, but times have changed and so have my feelings about this...and this is where the strategy comes into my online presence.
Having recently become single, you suddenly realise the impact that social media plays on your life. Even if you delete your partner on Facebook, and unfollow them on Twitter, they can continue to pop up on your cyber radar. And while I am sure we have all flirted with or have friends that have been involved in online dating, surely there is still some charm in the mystery of a blind date. While internet daters actively chose to make that decision to 'put themselves out there' social media and the mobile nature of apps and smartphones now means that technically we are all 'out there' irrespective of whether we have a Facebook profile or not. We are, in essence, all open to this new form of dating whether we like it or not, as after all the more (good) content that there is out there about you, the more likelihood of a potential suitor seeing you for 'who you really are' (or at least who you want them to think you are!).
From Jo Blogs to brands, we all need to consider our personal social media strategy:
• Reputational management - detagging friends' photos that don't quite cut it for your Facebook Timeline.
• Ambassador activation - making sure you are being associated with and tagged by friends - popularity is key.
• Editorial planning - briefing your friends on what and what not to say about you, being 'checked into' the latest 'cool' bars
• Content planning - making sure you have a camera (set up at the appropriate angle) ready as you swallow dive off that small rock...Or berating your friends to take a picture of you when you know it's a good hair day
• Word of mouth monitoring - making sure you are the first person to see and de-tag that incriminating stag photo.
And so we are the brand, our friends are the advocates and our lives are content.
Follow Simon John on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RoostOnline