Being present online: Blessing or course?
Today's requirements for international managers as well as intercultural trainers are manifold. In our globalised world, this applies also to the individual presentation and networking.
Online tools such as social media can be a good way to attract clients but also to stay in touch with colleagues and participants. However, they require some knowledge, willingness and time to interact – it certainly is an investment. But does it pay off?
The recent SIETAR Europe conference in Krakow chose tools for virtual communication and the use of social media as a key topic. The opinions could not have been more diverse: while some see international managers with an insufficient online presence as "dinosaurs", while others deliberately decided to delete their social media accounts. Where is the line?
The online medium is for me a rather natural way to present myself both on a professional and a personal basis. My first website went online in 2004, alongside with the start of my own consulting business in tourism planning and development: rudimentary but there.
During our time of living in Damaskus/Syria, I started my first weblog in 2005. Still online today, it recaptures our intercultural experiences while living and working in the Middle East.
2007 saw the opening of this current blog LifeforThought as well as the start of my new website related to the opening of my business as an intercultural management trainer.
And after that of course came the time of social media. Xing was first (as a good German sticking to the German inventions), then came facebook, then LinkedIn. What I am finding particularly useful is some kind of a strategy how to use which network.
Xing is for a me a good network for my (largely) German contacts, although I do not use it actively in search for clients or colleagues:
Xing profile Andreas Hauser https://www.xing.com/profile/Andreas_Hauser2
facebook for me is a great way of mixing professional with personal contacts – like keeping in touch with former training participants and following their footprints around the world: facebook profile Andreas Hauser
LinkedIn finally is the international professional network that I use – passively, but as a good way to keep the contacts intact over distances:
LinkedIn profile Andreas Hauser http://de.linkedin.com/in/andreashauser1
So what good does my social media presence do me? First of all, I enjoy it, being connected. Second, I stay in touch with people I care and are interested in. And thirdly, it gives me exposure and presence in the professional context.
So apart from indirect implications, it is hard to show any specific or economic benefits. But when seeing it from a systemic approach, it somehow goes hand in hand... and as long as I enjoy what I am doing – it feels like a good way, MY way...! :-)
Management Consultant | Intercultural Trainer | University Lecturer