I am Barbara Maldonado, Social Media Strategist + Mobile Strategist, I am a connector, a dreamer, and a lifelong learner.
How do you walk the talk re: social media?
I began exploring social media professionally almost five years ago when I served as the Business Affairs Manager for a marketing agency in the Chicago area. I examined the opportunity from the inside out, first starting with the Terms and Conditions, understanding the limitations of use, looking at applications from brands and clients and then exploring the different channels personally so I could understand the user experience. From those “early” explorations, I was able to integrate my growing understanding of social media and the opportunities for my work professionally – whether building my personal brand while in business development, to working on pro bono projects for small businesses to gain real application experiences, to blogging and learning, reading and learning some more. My has always been and will continue to be the develop and foster a digital footprint as the case study of my understanding of the space.
What one practical tip can you recommend regarding the use of social media?
My biggest frustration when speaking to people about social media is that too many want to understand it without investing the time to learn. Social media has delivered a fundamental shift in how we communicate with each other – that is something that has to be experienced to be truly understood. The tip that I have given many times is to start out slow, find the issues/topics that most interest you and above all else…just start.
What do you think is the perfect age?
My perfect age is in the here and now…mid-thirties. I am not afraid of my age. I look back and see all that I have accomplished, struggles overcome, times I have shined and those spent dusting myself off – all of those things are a culmination of who I am today and where my future is heading – I wouldn’t trade that for a few less wrinkles and grey hairs.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My guiltiest pleasure are the afternoon naps I take on the weekends. After a long, stressful week, nothing beats the peaceful slumber of a Saturday afternoon where the only thing that awaits you is a fluffy bed and quiet dreams.
What are you really good at?
I am very tough on myself so often times it is difficult to pick out something that I am good at without following up with all the ways that I can still improve – but I will say that I am a connector. I enjoy helping others meet the people that they can help or in turn can help them. Too much time is lost these days in the pursuit of our own dreams without taking time to look at who we can help on our way there. I think that is why I gravitated to social media – you can build your community, those who you can share with, support and learn from.
Name one thing you will never understand.
One thing that continues to baffle me is that as adults we sometimes get lost in the day to day challenges and stop learning. When I get lost in the grind of the everyday, I look at the photos I have of the children in my life and reflect that everything to them is new, exciting, something to learn and explore in their eyes – that enthusiasm and discovery of life is something that I need to keep as a reminder of the great opportunity that I have to look at life and learning in the same way through social media and far, far beyond.
Share something on your mind lately
With all of the openness that social media has heralded, will we find ourselves in a profound backlash of people wanting to take back their privacy?