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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Social media for expats

Yesterday, I attended a workshop by Molly Quell, entitled: “Social media for Professionals”. You can find pictures here! In her 2-hour speech, Molly told us almost everything we should know about using social media for business purposes. It was packed with useful information, and on top of that it was just plain fun. And not only did I get to attend a workshop on a very interesting topic, but I also could get to know some very awesome people: Susan Jimenez, blogger and photographer, Manuela Damant, whom I know from Delft MaMa and who is a coach and Vivian MacAllister, owner of Simply Skin.

I came back home with my brain oozing with thoughts and ideas. I was thinking about how expats and expat parents can use social media for their own purposes. And while the workshop was more or less geared towards professionals, I can’t help but think that all attending people were expats, and some of them were expat parents. But here’s the clue: social media are for everybody, depending on what you want to achieve.

I think expats’ situation in this matter is rather special: they don’t want to lose their connections to their home country, but on the other side they want to make new friends, and find new jobs in their new country. But with social media, they can do just that. Imagine that you can have a space with your school friends, and your expat friends, all together? With Facebook, you can.

Expats want to share their pictures and pictures of their children with friends and family. With Picasa and Flickr, this is possible. Maybe you need to get in touch with old and new clients? Twitter is the answer. You want to set up a blog? Check out Blogger and Wordpress, and the many other blogging platforms. By the way, blogs are a great way to tell your own expat story. Expats come in all colours and sizes, and each perspective is absolutely unique.

There are other social media that I am just starting to hear about, for example Pinterest (how cool is Pinterest?), Instagram (I am not on Instagram yet but plan to be there in the near future). There are many, many more, depending on what do you want to use it for. The cool thing, however, is that you don’t have to be everywhere. Since each of these social media have their own rules and ways of communicating with others, they require a lot of time and attention. People like Molly, who are social media consultants, have turned their passion for social media into full-time jobs!

But for us mortal people, it suffices to be on 2 or 3 social media sites, depending on our niche. I am learning to use Facebook and Twitter better, and am digging deeper into Pinterest. If you’are also using social media, let me know-by following me there! Can you think of other social media appliances that would be useful for expats? Tell me-and my readers!

Besides, I will have a great giveaway for you tomorrow!

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  1. Hi there, I am also getting into social media and finding that 3-4 sites is about right! I use Facebook whenever I want to update family & friends, my blog for telling my bilingual/bicultural story, and twitter to share my blog! I'm hoping to get into Pinterest soon, as I love images and the way it works. I just need a couple more hours in each day..!

  2. Yes, Tallulah, exactly! All these social network sites are so awesome, and I would like to give all of them a try, but the day only has so many hours! And there are just sooo many of them! In fact, we could spend the whole day, doing nothing else but communicating on social media sites!

  3. Hi there I love Social Media and think it is a great way to stay in contact with family and friends. Just found DoubleScoop which connects Grandparents and grandchildren an awesome resource. I also use it with my students as they relate to this more than email :)

    1. Yes, staying connected to friends and family is a good way to use social media. There are so many applications! Oh, and using social media with students is a great idea- my friend is a school teacher, and she regularly uses Facebook to communicate with her students. They love her for that! The more I learn about Social Media, the more amazed I am at the possibilities they offer! And there a new ones coming out every day, and don't even get me started on mobile devices, apps, etc.!


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