SOCIAL MEDIA FRENZY

I have succumbed.

For the past several years I’ve ignored any form of social media, reluctant to waste time writing or reading about the minutiae of life – mine or anyone else’s for that matter (sorry Kim and Paris). However, South Africa Tourism – which is commissioning the assignment I’m flying out on as I type – has asked me to engage in it as part of their marketing strategy.

So, here I am.

Over the past several days, I’ve signed up to Twitter, Twitterpics, Pinterest, Facebook, Link-in, Instagram and a management platform called Hootsuite which I paid someone a small fortune to set up for me believing whatever I posted on this blog (which I enjoy writing) would be instantly shunted onto everything else. Sadly, I haven’t quite worked it out yet so I’m having to make individual entries which is driving me insane (to my close friends and family who have sacrificed their details and endured the wave of abbreviated, non sensical text message and attachments I’ve sent as I work through this, my sincere apologies).

While its obviously early days, I still can’t help wondering if there’s really a tangible return on the time I’m spending fluffing around with it all. And, yes, it has been explained to me (thanks ladies) that social media can increase traffic to my web site and add to my profile but it still beggars the question: Does the return justify the time invested and will it attract the calibre of traffic I’m chasing for business. Certainly my concern has been amplified by my first loyal Twitter follower who logged on yesterday to say “I am more suntanned today than I was yesterday.”

….My life is enriched.

But what most concerns me is that in order to get this far, it seems I’ve signed over to Google, Instagram and Facebook the rights to every photograph I’ve posted, the details of everyone I know and every word I’ve written for the net. Can this be the case?

Still, I intend to persevere for at least the time I’m in South Africa and see what eventuates.

The only saving grace of all this to date is my discovery that I have something in common with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz (a mere 84,000 followers) who has also just started a Twitter page in which she exclaimed “This is my first official Tweet.”

That was two months ago. She hasn’t  Tweeted since.