If you are getting to grips with the power of social media you’re smiling.

There is no doubt that your future credibility and effectiveness will lie in your ability to master social  platforms.

And if you are a business, know that you better watch out what your customers and perspective customers are thinking about you and your products.You can be sure that they will be checking you out with their connections on social media.

I recently needed to change my smart phone and was uncertain which device to go  for. So I put it out on Facebook. Fifteen people replied of which 80% recommended a particular phone, which I subsequently acquired. Quite a fruitful exercise (excuse the pun).

The world is changing and if you don’t change with it, you do so at your peril.

So personal branding is becoming more and more important.

It is amazing how many people are ignoring the tremendous power that they can create using the likes of LinkedIn.

I connect with a number of CA’s on an ongoing basis and am often surprised at how many do not even mention that they are Chartered Accountants. I have to ramble through their whole profile to find that maybe they are SAICA registered.

Sometimes I connect with these people and try explain the power that they are wantonly throwing away. Some are grateful and some are offended. Some comments include”it is arrogant to put forward your qualifications” or “it is not done – the connotations are grubby – you should know my capabilities by talking to me”.

When I was in Corporate it was decidedly grubby to put your qualifications on your email address or your business card. Essentially your title said it all – CFO. No need to shmooz it up with details of academic history.

Social media is different. A lot of interaction is flesh-less. The belly-to-belly contact is absent  – as much info about yourself needs to be delivered as quickly as possible, otherwise the person will lose interest. Social media is not about detail – it’s about skimming – gain as much info in the shortest time.

Put as much information about yourself in the smallest possible space. Don’t expect people to search around to understand you. If you are a CA(SA) put it in your title. It makes all the difference – when reading your profile they know who they are talking to!

It says a lot about your character!