When it comes to social media, are you a poster or a lurker? Do you avoid sharing blog posts, updating information on LinkedIn, or sharing your thoughts on Twitter? If so, it might be time to rethink your professional online footprint.

At the center of the future of work are workplace collaboration tools. Nearly everything else that is a part of the future of work, from flexibility to real-time feedback and gamificiation, is only possibly because of collaboration tools, or internal social media sites. There are a number of platforms to choose from, giving organizations options of what will best serve their employees and customers. These platforms are vital for forward-thinking companies, but many organizations find that their employees are hesitant to use the services. There are a lot of reasons why you should contribute to a workplace collaboration tool, but the biggest comes down to your own career: it sets you up for success. In fact, fully utilizing collaboration tools could be the single thing you could do for your career.

Think back to the people who embraced social media platforms when they were new. Many of the people who created industry blogs or professional Twitter accounts are now very successful and connected. These people have increased their visibility and become leaders in their fields, which grows their networks and their opportunities.

If you think of a collaboration platform like internal social media, then the same principle can hold true within your workplace: the more you post and comment on the internal system, the more you will be recognized within your organization. Embracing the collaboration technology to share your thoughts and ideas increases your exposure and can make you a leader within your organization, which can provide you with lots of opportunities. Sharing your thoughts and ideas can turn you into a thought leader even outside your organization. In most companies, anyone from the CEO to the newest employee can access the same internal collaboration platform--think of the platform as a way for you to get virtual face time with management and make your voice heard.

This isn't to say you should abuse the collaboration software and dominate every discussion. Just like you would on more personal social media outlets, be sure to only post applicable and useful ideas and information. However, when done correctly, you can leverage the collaboration tools to not only better the organization as a whole, but also to set yourself up for a successful career.

How do you use collaboration tools?