Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Linkedin. Blogs. Social media. What? Are you lost? Confused? Wondering when to use what, with whom, for what purpose? I’m no expert but I’ve been immersed in social media since the 80’s. You know, back when social media meant going to the movie theater (media) with a group of friends (social). Now it means sitting alone (social) in front of your laptop (media). Go figure. Here’s how I see it:
- Blog: An online journal or record of one person’s thoughts – a web log. I visit blogs to learn something about anything I’m interested in. Photography, interior design, adoption, home school, recipes, crafts, social media, technology, product reviews, movie reviews, book reviews, ranching, travel. You name a topic, Google search it, and presto, a blog appears. If I’m going to buy a new camera, I prefer to read a blogger’s opinion on cameras, not the manufacturer’s sales page. Bloggers are real people using real products visiting real places and talking about it. When I find a blogger I like, I follow them. Life is a classroom and I want to learn something all the time about things I didn’t know anything about yesterday!
- Twitter: A little birdie told me about your blog using 144 characters. Yes, it’s self-promotion at it’s finest. Twitter is a public relations firm, a marketing firm, an advertising agency all wrapped up into one place that you can manage yourself. Are you an author? Tweet about your latest book. Are you a singer? Tweet about your new song on iTunes. Are you a blogger? Tweet a link to your blog post. Are you making and selling something? Tweet about it. Are you the CEO, CFO, OREO of a company? Tweet about your leadership style and what sets your company apart. If you are selling something, Twitter is invaluable to you. If you like to buy things, Twitter is fun for you. If you don’t do either, Twitter is lack luster. Twitter is an interface for sellers to get consumers to like them because people buy from people. I use twitter to promote my blog in hopes of growing followers that may one day buy a book I’ve written. Follow me on Twitter
- Pinterest: An online bulletin board to push-pin all the things you dream about into organized categories. Pictures galore. Pictures of food. Pictures of places. Pictures of clothes. Pictures of art. Where do all of those pictures come from? Blogs, of course! You see, websites aren’t enough anymore. If I’m selling jewelry online, that’s two-dimensional. Consumers want to know how to wear it, where to wear it, who’s wearing it, what to eat while wearing it, and what inspired the seller to make it. So the jewelry maker/seller integrates a blog on their website full of pictures that they can promote by pinning pictures on Pinterest. Buyers can pin pictures of their favorite jewelry on Pinterest. Followers can re-pin pictures of that same jewelry on Pinterest and each time someone clicks on that jewelry picture, they’re redirected back to the blog. Voila! Sellers using another avenue to direct consumers to their blog, site, check-out cart. I use Pinterest to find bloggers I like and keep my finger on the trending pulse. Follow my Pinterest boards
- Linkedin: A virtual networking group. Looking to make a career change? Looking to hire someone? Need a recommendation or referral? Linkedin has you covered. It’s the six degrees of separation mentality. It’s all about connections, resume’, experience, who you know, and putting the word out that you’re on the hunt. There’s even a clever way to hunt anonymously so your current boss, who may also be one of your Linkedin connections, doesn’t know you’re testing the new job waters. Or, worse, your current boss can hunt anonymously for your replacement. Ouch. Honestly, I like my job and don’t need a new one now but I never burn bridges. Connect with me on Linkedin
- Facebook: Purest form of social media for personal interaction, authentic feedback, and validation. If you use Facebook to keep track of long-distance friends and family, maintain local friendships, and develop new friendships, then the payoff is huge. If you use Facebook to bully, make passive-aggressive remarks, or continually whine, you’ll be disappointed. I absolutely love reading my friends’ status updates on my timeline. My friends are not celebrities but many of them are doing great things. Some days I scroll through my timeline and laugh. Some days I cry. Most days I comment. I ‘like’ lots of status updates. I opt not to debate anyone’s opinion. Most days I update my status. Every day I’m challenged to pray more, read more, listen more, speak more, help more, love more. Facebook is where the stories behind the faces come alive. Sometimes the stories are pretty but sometimes they’re not. Life is hard and Facebook normalizes my circumstances and makes them bearable. Facebook is the only social media platform where I have ‘friends’ not ‘followers’. Personally, I ‘like’ the idea of walking through life with friends beside me, not followers behind me. Become my Facebook friend
So there you have it. My take on social media. If you ‘like’ this post, share it on Facebook or Tweet about it. Pin my picture on Pinterest with a caption about my blog. If you want to hear from me more often, follow my blog and hopefully you’ll learn something about things you didn’t know anything about yesterday.