Who has the time or the patience to fuss with social media when you’re so busy addressing REAL problems? From my post in marketing at a product development company, I’ve noticed that our engineers and designers are generally swamped. And once there is a break, who wants to look at that computer for even one more minute? There are reasons why, though, that so many engineers (61 percent of engineers) take advantage of social media. It provides a medium for like-minded technologists to convene, connect and learn. Following are 6 big reasons why engineers benefit from social media and reaching out online. Have a look. The learning curve is short. I promise. Even fat thumb syndrome won’t get in the way.
According to the EE times article Social Media and Engineers: Live with it, OK?, “Engineering arguably is one of the most collaborative professions around.” Social media is the perfect tool to easily bring fresh ideas from outside your organization and into your team’s organization. Collaboration via social media is customizable and completely limitless – properly targeted, engineers and folks from related fields can work together on ideas and offer new insights to their peers, clients, prospects and up-and-coming students.
2.) STORYTELLING and COMMISERATION
A day in the life of an engineer is certainly unique. I am sure that for better or worse, you have a lot of stories to tell about projects you’ve worked on that remain indelibly implanted in your memory. There’s something for everyone to learn from these tales. So tell your story- your fellow group members and followers want to hear what you have to say and you may well find their stories to be relevant and useful. Some to be filed on Twitter under #EngineeringProblems. Others to be filed under #GreatFeatsofEngineering
3.) SHARING NEW PRODUCTS, TOOLS, UPDATES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Are you reading about the latest rendering tool? Have you just invented the coolest gadget? Share it! Share what ever it is you find interesting. The online community is always on top of the latest news and will want to know what you have to offer. And who knows, you may find someone who likes your invention idea – maybe even a lot. ($$)
4.) INDUSTRY NEWS
Stay in the know about all things engineering without typing a letter. This is another reason why social media is great- you can have the news come to you. Instead of sifting through news you don’t care about, just follow the industries you want to be updated on. No more Kim Kardashian, please.
5.) NETWORKING and OPPORTUNITIES
In the long term, engaging with social media really helps to build your network. LinkedIn is the most professional social media tool to use. Creating a profile is easy and networks within product development grow quickly. You may find these connections to be useful for many reasons. Searching for job opportunities? Businesses know the next generations of engineers will be on social media. Lots of positions are posted on LinkedIn. Twitter also has a trending hashtag for job postings.
6.) THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Start growing your online identity by contributing your insights to the body of thought out there that’s relevant to your sphere. You could become a relied-upon, expert resource for things that MATTER to your clients, peers, prospects and other stakeholders in the product development community. Building your visibility and credibility online is worth a lot more these days than ever before.
So how do you choose which platform to use? With the many diverse channels to engage in, it’s important to choose the one(s) that is best for your needs. Some people prefer a professional approach with LinkedIn, others enjoy casual and to-the-point tweets on Twitter. And then there are those who enjoy imagery on Pinterest and Instagram. No matter how you engage, you will find that investing time in social media will be worth the effort. Get started and stay tuned for my next post that will give you insight on how to build on and create value from the connections you make on social media.