The line between sharing aspects of your life and making a business of the same information has always been a difficult one to draw. Social media has utterly erased the distinction: life and work has become one continuum, for better or worse. Your presence in social media is your business, whether you want it to be or not.
Many users regard social media as a casual activity. Most businesses see it solely as a marketing opportunity. They’re both wrong. Social media transforms the way in which we perceive individuals and businesses online: at its best, social media is a unique blend of intimacy, insight, frivolity and information.
I should emphasize that I do not regard myself as an expert in this: I have just a few hundred followers in each major social media sphere. I’m not going to talk about “conversion rates” or “analytics”. But from my perspective, it is fairly obvious that there are four different primary social media roles. Growing your presence online is aided greatly by determing out which role you play: