Sunday, 15 April 2012

Blogging and twittering: my ‘offline’ persona goes farther online

Social media marketing is a maze I am slowly trying to navigate.  When I started blogging, I did not realize it would be my first step into a whole new world. For me, blogging was a means to return to something I enjoy – writing and playing with words.

It took several books on blogging and a few years of experience before I understood blogging is part of the broader 'social media' phenomenon. (Revisit some of my early blog posts and notice that I did not know how to add hyperlinks or visuals at the time!)

Like virtually anything interesting, it is inevitable one gets sucked in deeper and deeper with time. That, my friends, is exactly what happened to me. My interest in social media has taken a life of its own.

Recently, I expanded my web presence through a LinkedIn account. In the short time since joining the LinkedIn network, I have become a LinkedIn evangelist! It is a great platform to expand one's personal and professional 'brand.' I now wonder why it took me so long to get connected!

LinkedIn, unlike blogging, is most certainly only a professional networking site. Most members have too little time to worry about my personal opinions on the US presence in Afghanistan or Singapore's Islamic law – unless it is couched in professional terms, e.g. through an article in an industry publication or seminar presentation.

Blogging, meanwhile, stands very much at the crossroads between personal and professional social media.

Having caught the bug, I will soon begin the Grand Moofti's twitter experiment! Surely, it will take time before I am comfortable (and conversant) with the dos and don'ts of twitter. Nevertheless, it promises to be a fun adventure.

And, yes, social media should be fun. Over time an individual's personal brand should develop naturally reflecting their 'real life' persona. A person's online and offline character should not be disconnected – the online is an extension of the offline (aka 'real') person.  

To some marketers, my blog represent a particular conundrum as far as creating an online brand is concerned. My blog covers diverse subjects. There is no one 'niche' which I nurture deeply over time. Arguably, there is little focus.

My posts, like my interests, range from Singapore, Pakistan, Islam, the Islamic world and whatever else takes my fancy at the time.

But, hey, that is who I am. A multidimensional individual with some core interests related directly to my own history as a Pakistani Muslim Singaporean finance professional. Not a one-dimensional, singularly focused person always hurtling down the same path.

And it's that propensity to experiment which has driven me to twitter in the first place. (Stay tuned for more, my twitter account should be active soon.)


Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors, Imran improves the profitability of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at 

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