Top 10 Things I Learned When I Spoke on Social Media for NATO in Brussels, Belgium

Screenshot 2015-09-23 at 12.24.07 PM By: Eve Mayer | @LinkedInQueen

1) The NATO headquarters is full of interesting and diverse people from all over the world.

2) Government agencies are intrigued by harnessing the powers of social media at a variety of levels and speeds - exactly the way the corporate world has.

3) Government agencies as a whole are learning from examples of social media strategy from the corporate, B2B and non-profit world.

4) LinkedIn is still very misunderstood. Most government officials view LinkedIn as a place to find a job and have very little knowledge of LinkedIn's networking potential and thought leadership power beyond the goals of recruiting.

5) With a total of over 380 million users, LinkedIn is growing. However, the heaviest use remains in the U.S.; almost 1/3 of the LinkedIn population is American.

6) @NASA is the 98th most followed Twitter account and the use of their social media platforms is magnificent! This is pretty inspiring when you worry that only celebrities like Kim Kardashian are leading the Twitter pull.

7) Brussels celebrates a “Car-Free Day” in which case people are encouraged to find alternate modes of transportation. Brilliant! Belgian chocolate, I’m excited to share, is also as delicious as the rumors proclaim.

8) Even when you run out of characters in a Tweet, you can still include up to 3 pictures and tag another user.

9) In the end, people and organizations aim to use social media to achieve their personal and business goals. It doesn't matter whether they are in within the public or private sector. People want to use social media to more easily connect with other people.

In other words, relationships lead to getting things done. Social media is their catalyst.

10) People everywhere are fearful of the future of social media and what those changes could potentially imply. Social media is a tool like all others- it can be used for good or for evil. I may be an outlier, but I believe the virtuous people in the world far outnumber the evil. If you wish to be among those creating a positive force, I challenge you to use your social media to make a difference. Fear is not an option.

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