For those of you who are unsure as to how to navigate with the social media universe, I’ve provided here a concise traveler’s guide to help you get started on your virtual travels. I will not only highlight four of the main social media channels, but I will also help you plan your journey as well as offer additional resources, should you need them. (Some information will be included here, but be sure to check out ongoing continuations of this blog. As of right now, I’ve posted part two as well.)
For starters, what exactly does the world of social media entail? Google, an encyclopedia for many of us, aptly defines social media as websites and applications enabling users to create and/or share content as well as participate in social networking on computer or mobile devices. 1 Expanding on this, Christina Dillon, social media author, lists the ten main attributes of social media: 2
- Interactive: Users must be able to interact and engage with social media channels and others.
- Changeable and Evolutionary: Because it’s founded on both technology and social factors, the only constants about social media are change and progression.
- Professional or Personal Representation: Your profiles and posts create an online impression / reputation of you and/or your business brand.
- Personal: Social media is also individualistic because people can directly communicate to others and vice versa by posts and profiles on their own accounts.
- Social: With its constant levels of online socializing, be it local, national, or international, social media is also very community-oriented.
- Helpful: Social media is overflowing with useful information.
- Sounding Board: For better or worse, social media provides quick feedback on how people are responding to you and/or your company’s actions.
- Testing Platform: While you should exercise caution, social media provides great opportunity to test out new ideas and projects.
- Soft-Selling: In other words, your persuasive tactics on social media must be more passive and subtle; wooing over your audience and satisfying their needs / desires before yours are the most important elements of soft selling.
- Entertaining: No matter how informative a resource may be, most would not stay tuned into social media if it wasn’t for its many fun factors.
Now, let’s move on and explore some of the main destination routes on social media. Our first social media channel, one of the most successful social media networks, is none other than Facebook itself. Figuratively, Facebook can be likened to a popular coffee shop or restaurant joint where you and your friends socialize. In a nutshell, Facebook includes the following attributes:
- Social networking site in which users set up personal and/or business profile pages which display information about their personalities, behaviors, interests, dislikes, motivations, and so forth.
- Users add “Friends” or “Like” pages to boost their levels of online social engagement. Others can communicate with non-friends or unliked pages as well, but personal security settings made by receivers may limit the degree of access.
- Users can send/receive messages, receive notifications and RSS feeds (online content delivery vehicle of news and other web-based information 3), post status updates, upload pictures and videos, share content, create event pages, and “like” certain posts and pages.
- Users can also post and share content on other friends’ profiles.
- Facebook’s Events and friend lists are also very useful for professional and personal use.
- Entrepreneurs and businesses can also use Facebook’s marketing platform to reach potential audiences and consumers.
Well, we’ve reached our first stoplight. To learn more about the other three main social media channels and additional resources, read part two of this blog. Thank you for reading and please give me your feedback!