Starting Up With Social Media: Come On In, the Water's Fine
Question: How do you get started with social media?
You have probably heard all the hub-bub about social media and why as a creative business owner it is important to be on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. However, you may be asking yourself “Where do I start?” Social networking can be intimidating to almost everyone in the beginning. The decisions of what social network to belong to and what to post or tweet once you have an account can be daunting. My advice to those who may be afraid of this ocean we call social media, is to take baby steps getting into the water.
Baby Steps to Getting Started in Social Media
- Sign Up. All the major social networking websites are free, so the first step is to sign-up and create an account. If you are wary about your privacy on the web, set your account to private until you are ready to dive into the public waters of social media.
- Locate Friends. The next step is to use the friend finding tools made available to you by each of the social networking sites. When using the friend finder, you can see immediately who in your circle of friends is already swimming in social media. Right away you should get a sense of where the majority of your friends and colleagues are and which social site might be best for you and targeting your audience.
- Lurk. One of my favorite social media behaviors is “lurking.” Lurking on a social media site allows you to just sit back, float on that raft, and digest content, posts, and conversations happening between friends, colleagues, and brands you may be following. Take the time to analyze what you can and determine what is of interest and importance to you. As you lurk, think about the things going on in your life, your career, or your industry that may be similar to the content you felt was interesting and important. The cultivation of a good idea to share starts here!
Putting Your Toe in the “Social Water”
If that killer idea for a post or tweet hasn’t hit you yet, don’t worry, it will, just give it time. In the meantime put your toe in the water by “re-tweeting” on Twitter or by “liking” a post on Facebook. Once you participate you will start to see your network grow and old friends and colleagues will want to connect with you.
Don’t be afraid to join the conversation and reply to those interesting items with your own thoughts on a given subject. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will get adjusted to the water. If after a week or two you are still confused with how to use the social networking site. Ask someone who is more experienced to take five minutes and show you the basics. If you have no one to ask, there are plenty of resources on the web. One of my favorite sites is Mashable.com, a blog about social networking. Check out their how-to guides on social media:
Mashable’s Twitter Guide
Mashable’s Facebook Guide
Taking the Social Plunge
Take baby steps to get started, lurk around for a while, and then start participating in a small ways. After a few weeks you’ll be calling yourself a social media guru and you’ll be swimming with the sharks and wading through all your killer ideas for tweets and posts.
So come on in, the water is fine; it is time to enjoy the ocean of social media! Why not start by leaving a comment below?!
Jim has been working in the technology field since he graduated with a Bachelors Degree from Siena College in 1997. He started his IT career as a computer operator before being swiftly transitioned into a number of managerial roles. Jim joined Agency Access in 2003 and currently oversees the entire IT function within Agency Access ensuring that the necessary software applications and hardware is constantly performing to its peak efficiencies. Jim is also heavily involved in the development of new IT based services as well as heading the project management for Agency Access’s website development.
Jim continues his thirst for knowledge and to add to his already impressive IT resume is currently undertaking graduate work in Computer Security and Internet Crime at Long Island University. Agency Access
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